Should you wear your wedding ring on your left or right hand? As the #1 producer of unique designer rings in the USA, this is a question we get asked all the time.
Depending on your cultural and geographic background, what you consider to be the men’s wedding ring finger can vary. In some parts of the world, the male wedding ring finger is known as the fourth finger on the left hand, while other regions prefer to see the men’s ring on the right hand. There are no wrong answers when asking what finger is the ring finger for a man, and the choice is ultimately left up to cultural beliefs, ethnic traditions, and personal preference.
Which Hand Does a Wedding Ring Go On for Men? Right Hand vs. Left Hand
To answer the question “What hand does a man wear his wedding ring on”, you must first consider where you are (physically) in the world. Many cultures and religions have different opinions about which finger to wear the wedding ring on. For example, western cultures have long associated the left hand with love, heart, and affection. Most people in North America believe the left hand is the only acceptable wedding ring hand.
On the other hand, (pun intended), the right hand has equally been tied to feelings of trust, virtue, and honor by eastern civilizations. For this reason, it is very common to see male wedding bands on the right hand throughout Eastern Europe and Asia. The right hand is also widely used to showcase rings from an anniversary or special occasion, and is not exclusively intended for wedding bands.
A man’s choice will likely be based on both his personal beliefs and culture.
Why Do Some Men Wear Their Wedding Rings on the Right Hand?
Due to controversy about the left hand in Northern/Eastern European and Asian countries including India and Russia, many men wear the wedding ring on their right hand in these regions. Another reason why men wear wedding rings on their right hand could be that they are left-handed! Wearing a wedding ring on your less-dominant hand will help prevent damage from normal wear and tear.
Wearing a Wedding Ring on Your Right Hand: What Role Do Culture and Religion Play?
Culture and religion play a massive role when deciding which finger to wear a wedding ring for men. From beliefs and traditions to taboos and restrictions, religion can often dictate the acceptable wedding band hand for men. For instance, Indian culture states that the left hand is unclean, while the Orthodox Christians’ distaste for the left hand can be linked to the Latin word for sinister, which translates to “on the left side”. Clearly anything that is considered to be unclean or sinister might not be the best place to wear your diamond wedding band.
Not only can culture and religion impact which hand a man wears his wedding ring, but it also provides guidance on which finger is the proper ring finger for men. In a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, the wedding band is to be placed on the index finger of the right hand. They do this because the index finger is the closest to the heart.
Why Do Guys Wear Wedding Rings on the Left Hand?
Why do some people wear wedding rings on the left hand? The tradition of wearing a wedding ring on the left hand stems from the ancient myth that there was a vein connecting the fourth finger on the left hand to the heart, aka the Vena Amoris. Although the Vena Amoris does not exist, this myth persisted for decades and is the main reason why many western couples still choose to wear their wedding ring on the left hand.
This is not the only instance where the fictitious Vena Amoris vein influenced the placement of a wedding ring. In the 16th century, England’s King Edward VI believed in the Vena Amoris so deeply that he released a declaration requiring all married couples to wear their wedding rings on the fourth finger of the left hand. Prior to this, English wedding bands were generally worn on the thumb finger. This declaration marked the beginning of one of the oldest wedding traditions of all time.
Because of the widespread belief in the Vena Amoris, the left hand was quickly associated with feelings of love and chastity. The left hand is commonly used to broadcast an individual’s relationship status, and varying ring combinations have emerged to send different messages. As we mentioned before, right-handed people may also choose to wear their wedding ring on their left hand in an attempt to protect their ring from the damage of daily wear and tear.
Left or Right Hand By Country
5 Rules To Wearing Men’s Wedding Rings
Choose a wedding ring that fits your needs
The most important part of picking your wedding band is choosing a ring that fits into your daily life. Does your ring need to fit into boardrooms, or withstand the force of manual labor? Do you want to make a statement with a fully iced-out diamond ring, or would you prefer a more minimalist gold ring?
Take care of it
While gold and platinum jewelry is beautiful to look at, it is also quite fragile and should be worn with care. To learn more about proper aftercare for precious jewelry, you can read our list of the Top 6 Things to Keep Your Wedding Band Shining Forever.
Clean it often
Preserve the beauty of your ring by regularly cleaning it with warm soapy water, scrubbing gently with a soft toothbrush and patting dry with a microfiber cloth. We at Rockford Collection suggest sending your ring to your jeweler at least once a year for a professional cleaning.
Luckily for you, all Rockford Collection products are protected under a lifetime warranty that covers replating, polishing, cleaning, and stone tightening.
To send your ring in for a cleaning, simply contact a Rockford Collection sales representative. Our associates are here to help, and will guide you through every step of the process.
Wear it with confidence
There are few items that you will wear as often as your wedding ring. This is one of the most important pieces of jewelry you will ever purchase- no pressure. The perfect ring is the one that you feel confident and comfortable wearing, regardless of the occasion.
There truly are no rules when it comes to choosing and wearing a men’s wedding ring. Have fun with the process and don’t force yourself to uphold wedding traditions that don't resonate with you. At the end of the day, it is your special moment and nobody gets to make the rules but you.
It’s Up to You
The only way to know which finger men wear a wedding ring on, is to simply ask them. Personal preference, cultural background, and religious traditions all influence where and how a man will wear his wedding band. Whether he wears his ring on his left hand or his right hand is nobody’s choice but his. If you’re in the market for wedding bands, view the Rockford Collection of wedding bands for him and her.