Engagement ring: Which hand is the right one?

Engagement ring: Which hand is the right one?

For sure, you know exactly who is the right one! But when it comes to the question of which hand is now the right one for the engagement ring, some stumble for good reason. Below we explain at what point the engagement ring adorns which hand.

Wearing an Engagement Ring on the Right or Left

Many couples in love ask themselves: On which hand do you wear the engagement ring? To answer this question, let’s first look into the past.

The tradition of an engagement ring goes back a long way and with it the way of wearing it. Especially the typical circular shape of a ring symbolises infinity. The thought: whoever binds himself remains for eternity. The custom in Germany of wearing the engagement ring on the ring finger of the left hand originates from an ancient myth which says that the ring finger of the left hand is directly connected to the heart via a love vein, the vena amoris. A beautiful thought and a clear commitment to love!

However, a custom or a German tradition does not mean that you have to stick to it. There is no fixed rule about how and whether an engagement ring is worn. As with the free choice of partner or the choice of rings, common preference and personal taste decide which hand is adorned with the ring at the engagement.

Where does the ring belong?

Surely you know the saying “Other countries, other customs” and also the question on which hand the ring belongs can vary depending on tradition and origin. The engagement ring is worn on different hands and sometimes different fingers in different countries than is the tradition in Germany. In Germany there is a clear favourite: The engagement ring with or without a diamond initially adorns the left hand. After the wedding, the engagement ring either moves to the right hand and complements the wedding ring as a pre-engagement ring or is replaced by it.

Wrestling for the right hand: engagement rings vs. wedding rings

Engagement rings are often purchased to surprise your loved one with a marriage proposal before planning the wedding together. This makes a decisive difference for the engagement ring or the wedding ring. Engagement rings are usually bought on spec: People think about what their loved one might like whereas wedding rings are often chosen together. What happens to the engagement rings when the wedding comes closer? There are different approaches here. If the engagement ring goes well with the successor model, the wedding ring, it is customary to wear it as a pre-engagement ring over the wedding ring. Often, however, the ring is set off and the engagement ring is carefully stored in a drawer until it is the turn of your own children. Perhaps you know this touching moment in films when the engagement ring of one’s own parents or grandparents is pulled out for the marriage proposal. A particularly expensive engagement ring made of gold and set with diamonds would be far too good to let it languish in a drawer. Although ring sizes and tastes may vary, it is still a beautiful gesture to continue this custom. Alternatively, antique jewellery can be used for engagement rings or wedding bands! You will find a wonderful selection of antique engagement rings in our shop. We will also be happy to advise you if an expert opinion is important to you when choosing the right ring and you would like to order engagement rings.

In love, engaged, confused

Classically, it is the man who proposes, but of course there are other ways nowadays! Some relationships even consciously decide against a wedding and still wear rings to express their attachment and loyalty to their partner. Here, too, the question of all questions arises: On which hand does the ring belong? On which side do you wear the engagement ring? In this country at least, the wedding ring traditionally belongs on the right hand. What about in other countries?

Other countries, other customs

We don’t need to travel far to see that it can be done differently. Our direct neighbours in the Netherlands or Switzerland already wear the engagement and wedding ring exactly the other way round. A popular destination is the USA. Las Vegas is an often-chosen place where German couples also like to say “I do”. By the way, there is no distinction between a wedding ceremony and a wedding in the USA. Here, weddings are performed by so-called wedding ministers at every conceivable location. Here, a civil wedding is not compulsory, but a church wedding in a Wedding Chapel, which usually has little to do with a church in the religious sense, can be reported to the authorities later. And how could it be otherwise: in America, both the engagement ring and the wedding ring are traditionally worn on the left hand. With so many countries and customs, it’s really not surprising to lose track occasionally.

On which finger do you wear the engagement ring?

Now that we know for sure that the engagement ring in Germany is initially worn on the left hand and changes sides for the wedding, the additional question arises as to which finger the ring is put on. As a rule, the engagement ring is put on the ring finger of the left hand. The reason for this is that the ring finger symbolises a direct line to the heart of the loved one via the vein of the heart, even if there is no vena amoris.

Antique jewellery as engagement ring

An engagement ring causes a sensation and is often closely scrutinised by friends. For those who consciously want to step out of the line and are looking for unique jewellery, antique jewellery is the special something.

An antique engagement ring inspires enthusiasm not least for the reason that there are at least as many stories to tell about it as there are about the old ring conjured up from the great-grandparents’ drawer. When it comes to choosing the right engagement ring, every bride and groom is free to choose, just as they are free to choose their hand and, not least, their finger. The main thing is to have the engagement rings put on your finger with full conviction as a sign of love by the right person, either as you wish or according to old tradition:

On which side do you wear the engagement ring: left or right, which hand and which finger is correct?

Ring finger of the left hand

Ring finger of the right hand

Engagement rings


Wedding rings



Hand on heart: If, at the moment of the proposal, the ring does not end up on the right finger or even the right hand due to nervousness, this should not worry you. In the future, you will master your life together, for better or for worse. So it is the most beautiful triviality in the world on which hand the engagement ring lands, as long as the answer is “Yes, I do”.

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