The correct hand for your engagement ring depends on several factors, but traditionally, your religion plays an important role. Even if you are not religious today, you can still draw on the religious background of your family or where you live to decide which finger to choose. What are the options? How do I choose the correct hand based on religion?
Traditionally, people chose to wear the engagement ring on the left side because the vena amoris leaves from the left hand. Although we have not worshipped Egyptian or Roman gods for a long time, the custom was adopted during the Christianization of Europe. Although most Christians in Europe still choose the left hand today, the custom is reversed in some Catholic countries in Central and Southern Europe. For example, Italian and Swiss Christians prefer the right hand.
As a Christian, it is thus not your faith that plays the leading role in your choice of hand but your place of residence, origin, or the origin of your family.
Protestants usually choose the left hand for a diamond engagement ring but wear their wedding ring on the right. For orthodox people, it is usually customary to move the wedding ring to the left hand when a spouse dies. This is mainly due to the old widespread belief that the left side would be connected to evil.
It is not without reason that the word 'sinister' is derived from the Latin word for left. There is no unambiguous explanation for the origin of the belief, but it has been preserved over the centuries.
Traditionally in Judaism, an engagement was not started with a diamond ring but with an engagement contract and possibly other gifts. Today, wearing an engagement ring depends mainly on what movement within Judaism you follow. When there is an engagement ring, it is worn on the left. During the wedding ceremony the diamond ring is not worn. A simple wedding ring, without engravings or precious stones, is placed on the woman's right index finger during the ceremony.
The man also gets a wedding ring, but only afterwards. After the ceremony, the woman shifted the wedding ring from her right index finger to the ring finger of her left hand. Did she wear an engagement ring before the wedding? Then they can easily be combined.
According to the traditional wedding practices of Islam, Muslims do not wear engagement rings, as there is often no engagement period. The wife's family received a dowry in exchange for her hand, and the bride and groom often only met each other on their wedding day. Today, however, it is different for many couples as some opt for a diamond engagement ring now. However, it is important that the man does not wear a gold wedding ring afterwards, since the Koran explicitly forbids men to wear gold or silk.
The wedding ring is worn on the right hand by both husband and wife, due to the aforementioned belief that the left side is associated with evil.
What if I am still not sure which hand I should choose? Where can I find wedding rings without gold? Ask the jewellery experts at BAUNAT for advice on the perfect engagement rings and wedding rings.