Many aspects determine which hand you wear your rings on, including home country, personal preference and religion. For example, Christians tend to wear the engagement ring on the left ring finger and the wedding band on the right, while Jewish wear the wedding ring on the left hand. 

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How Do Christians Wear Their Rings?

Christianity is still the largest religion in the world. At least 31.2% of the global population is Christian. This makes it likely that you will follow all the customs and traditions associated with it even if you are not a believer. If this is the case, then the engagement ring will be worn on the left hand and the wedding ring on the right. Wearing an engagement ring on the left ring finger comes from the Romans. Just like the Ancient Egyptians and the Ancient Greeks, they believed that the 'Vena Amoris' or 'vein of love' ran directly from the heart to this finger.
But rings are worn differently in many Catholic countries in central and southern Europe such as Italy and Switzerland. So, which hand you choose for your engagement and wedding ring as a Christian depends on where you live. More and more women also wear both rings on the same finger.

What Is the Tradition For Protestants?

Protestantism has around 560 million believers, making it one of the largest Christian denominations. As a Protestant, you will tend to wear the wedding ring on the right hand and the engagement ring on the left. Orthodox believers who live according to Christian traditions and dogma also follow this custom. A typical Orthodox custom is to move the wedding ring upon the spouse's death.

The wedding ring moves from right to left when the spouse dies. This tradition comes from old folklore that believes the left-hand side to be associated with evil.
Wedding rings are so heavy that it takes two people to bear them. Sometimes three.

How Do Engagement and Wedding Rings Work In Judaism?

According to Jewish tradition, wedding rings are essential, whereas engagement rings are non-existent. But some Jewish women still wear engagement rings. This all depends on the denomination within Judaism.

How Do Jews Receive and Wear Wedding Rings?

Nowadays Judaism has around 16.6 million followers, of which 6.4 million live in Israel. The bridegroom puts the wedding ring onto the bride's right index finger during the marriage proposal. After the ceremony, she moves her ring to the left ring finger. It is very important to Jews that this is a plain and smooth gold ring without precious stones or engravings. The plainer, the better. This is because the woman must be able to estimate the value of the ring herself. Embellishments would make this difficult.

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What Side Are Wedding Rings Worn On In Islam?

Islam is the 2nd largest religion in the world with around 1.8 billion followers. The question of whether a wedding ring should be worn on the right or left hand is secondary to the question of whether a wedding ring is permissible in Islam at all. The Koran forbids men from wearing gold and silk. These materials are reserved for women. But a man may wear a wedding ring made of a different precious metal such as platinum. In this case, the wedding ring goes on the right hand. Women generally may not wear engagement rings. Unless there are no superstitions attached to it.
Younger Muslim couples are increasingly choosing to have an engagement ring anyway. It is important to recognise that Islam is the most widespread religion. It forms the religious majority in at least 49 countries. Its broad geographical distribution means that Islamic practices can vary across different countries and regions.

How strong is the influence of one's home country?

Muslims wear the wedding ring on the right in Jordan but on the left in Iran. But we do not only see differences according to country and region in Islam. In North America and South Africa, most bridal couples put the wedding ring on the ring finger of the left hand regardless of religion. Even in little Belgium there are differences according to province. In East and West Flanders men often wear the wedding ring on the left, whereas they tend to wear it on the right in Antwerp and Brabant. Limburgers do it differently: for them it varies from place to place.

Confused? Just choose which tradition you want to follow when deciding whether to wear your wedding ring on the right or the left. Don't forget to take other aspects such as comfort and personal convenience into consideration.

A brief overview

As you have read, there are various customs all over the world which determine which hand you wear your wedding or engagement ring on. You can see a brief overview on this map of the world.

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How about personalised advice about your wedding and engagement rings?

Are you finding it hard to decide which wedding rings will match your style? Make your decision together with the experts at BAUNAT and consult us (online) for advice. Or view all the wedding rings for men and wedding rings for women separately and each choose your favourite design.

How do I begin my search?

Now you know all the rules about engagement rings and the complexities that can arise. Let the search for the perfect ring begin. We have given you more than enough information to ensure that it goes well. Here you will find some blogs with essential information. Enjoy reading them and good luck with your search.

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