This isn’t going to be just another article on weddings, jewelry, engagement rings, and whatnot.
No, no, no!
We’re going to tell you about why wedding rings are predominantly worn on the left hand, and why most of us still believe it’s the right thing to do.
Let’s dive into it, shall we?
If you thought hard enough on the topic, maybe you would think that the idea of "left side, strong side" would be at work.
Sadly no, in this case, you’d be wrong.
History would suggest that in most religions, beliefs, and geographical locations, people believed that being a lefty meant you were associated with witchcraft, were connected to the evil, or were downright disgusting.
Can you believe that?
In fact, let’s take into account a few examples of people being inconsiderate towards the ones who used their left hand more.
- Spanish Inquisition: Talk about being tortured and killed because you’re a lefty!
- Islamic countries: Eating or drinking with your left hand is a taboo (yes, even now)!
- Japan: A left-handed wife could be divorced without another reason or any debate.
- India: Lefties are unlucky and unclean.
Who would imagine that one day, the same left hand would become the symbol of eternal love between two people and their sacred bond in marriage?
Here’s an interesting fact you should know before we move any further.
A ring today is a symbol of love, an eternal bond between two people who love each other. History would suggest otherwise. According to experts, rings used to be the symbol of owning someone, in particular, a woman that a man would be attracted to.
This is why there were multiple regions where only the woman would wear a ring.
Then the Romans swooped in and changed the day.
They were one of the civilizations to find that there was a vein in the 4th finger of the left hand, known as the vena amoris, that would connect directly to the heart. In translation, the vena amoris would mean “lover’s vein.”
So, a suitor who was well to do would bring a ring and have her bride-to-be wear it on her now called “the ring finger.” Symbolically, it would mean that the lover would always have a hold on the woman’s lover’s vein.
Maybe a little romantic, maybe not, it’s just how you wish to perceive it, right?
Well, there are several cultures around the world where people wear their wedding bands on their right hand (mostly all your European couples):
Let’s talk about Greeks here, for a little bit, shall we?
They wore their wedding rings on their right hand, like the other European countries mentioned above. Now, when they’ve moved away from home, rather than adopting the left-hand 4th finger tradition entirely, they’ve managed to add an essence of their culture to it.
During the engagement, rings are worn on the right hand, and then as they exchange vows during their wedding, they slip their rings from the right hand to the left hand.
Something similar is followed by the couples residing in Brazil and Columbia.
If we get to talking about how the Netherlands and Germans do it, then, well, that’s an entirely different story in itself.
The shorter version, though, tells us that they wear their engagement rings on the left ring finger and have their wedding rings placed on their right-hand ring finger.
Hey, did you know that since the legalization of same-sex marriages, a lot of these couples have begun wearing their wedding and engagement rings on their right-hand ring finger as well? This practice was adopted because it is not quite similar to the heterosexual way, but is.
Around the world, today, the norm is to wear the ring by your loved one on the 4th finger of your left hand. If you wish to go with this, good for you, if not, you could decide to wear it on the right hand or not wear it at all.
As long as your love is pure and mutual, we’re all for your decision.
Sona Jewelers is a family-owned business. We remain committed to the surrounding community by supporting many philanthropic efforts, particularly those that encourage young girls and empower women to reach great heights. We inspect each and every diamond that comes in and moves out of the house in every piece of jewelry. All of our jewelry is certified under GIA.