wedding ring finger

Which is the Wedding Ring Finger? Don’t blow it on the big day!

The fourth digit of your hand, between the pinkie and the middle finger, is called the ring finger or Wedding Ring Finger. Its exact etymology is unknown but in the East, it was referred to as the magical or medicine finger. In fact, in Latin, it is called: “Digitus Medicinalis“.

What hand does the Wedding Ring go on?

An English prayer book dated 1549 actually states ‘The ring shall be placed on the left hand.’

By the 18th century, the Wedding Ring Finger started to become more personal.

Wedding Ring Finger

History and Origin of the nuptial ring
In ancient Egypt

Rings were given to one’s loved one because they were a representation of eternity. A circle has no beginning and above all no end. They were also the shape of the sun and the moon which our ancestors worshipped.

Why not use this idea to have a snake-contoured wedding band custom-made just for your loved one?

snake contoured wedding band

Or perhaps you prefer a more streamlined ring like this 18k yellow gold     Astra ring with diamond accents.

which is the wedding ring finger for this ring?

The Greeks

After Alexander the Great invaded Egypt, the Greeks also adopted the custom of gifting rings to lovers. Many depicted Eros or Cupid.

Wedding rings today are far more classical.

Check out this delicate wedding band with a rounded inside edge that fits well with your engagement ring.

It is available in 4 colors and different widths from Brilliant Earth.

classic gold ring

The Romans

When the Romans conquered Greece they too emulated this tradition. At first, they used iron and copper, and by the 2nd century onwards gold.

They became more ornate using gemstones

Medieval period

Goldsmiths began to free themselves from the patronage of the Church. They organized themselves into guilds. Rings started to become more popular. Symbolic and religious value was attributed to the wedding ring.

The gem-stones became more varied

Rubies were used to indicate passion.

Check out this passionate ruby in the center of this diamond-encrusted band from Brilliant Earth.

Ruby ring

Or check out this exclusive 14-k white gold Ruby stackable ring from Gabriel & Co:

14k stackable ruby ring

Sapphires embodied protection.

Check out this protective Petite Elodie sapphire in this sleek, classic, gold ring from Brilliant Earth.

sapphire ring by Brilliant Earth

Diamonds were used for their strength:

Check out this Luxe diamond ring featuring scalloped pavé diamonds from Brilliant Earth

Petite diamond ring by Brilliant Earth

Interlocking bands started to be used.

Check out this interlocking ring from Bottega Veneta

interlocking ring

The Age of Enlightenment

The artisans expanded their artifacts. Secret rings were made that were divided into two parts.

Romantic engravings were used.

Popular Religious Customs

The Christian Wedding Ritual

It is a popular custom for the Best Man to bring the wedding rings to the Altar. The engagement ring is transferred to the right hand during the procession down the aisle. The fiancée then puts the nuptial ring on her left hand. Later the engagement ring is put on top to protect the wedding ring.

wedding ceremony

The Jewish Wedding Ritual

Which wedding ring finger is used in the Jewish Ritual? Traditionally only the bride receives a ring at the ceremony. The groom places it on her right index finger and she transfers it to her ring finger as a sign of acceptance.

Islamic Wedding Ritual

Jewish wedding
Muslim wedding
VLUU P1200 / Samsung P1200

The exchange of rings is not contemplated in the Islamic ritual. The wedding ring is generally worn by the bride on the left hand.

Wedding Rings for Men

Up until the great world wars, wedding rings were worn only by women. This changed when soldiers started to wear them to remind them of their partners when they were a long way from home. The wedding ring finger was either the fourth digit or the pinky.

Check out this special-priced unisex classic ring in 14k gold from Aurate New York.

classic 14k gold ring

Check out this classic 4mm comfort Platinum wedding band for Men from Brilliant Earth. For a limited period of time when you purchase a ring, you will receive a surprise jewelry item.

mens platinum ring by Brilliant Earth

Types of wedding rings

From classic wedding bands to something completely over the top with or without gems there is a huge choice out there to adorn your wedding ring finger.

Check out this 14k yellow-gold lab-grown diamond pavé ring at a promotional price

diamond pavé band


Traditionally the ring was in yellow gold. Today white gold and platinum are often used.

Check out my post on ring shapes

About Stuart Goldsmith

Born in London ,living in Florence (Italy) where i opened a Buying Office sourcing fashion products for international brands visting hundreds of artisans and factories. I now work with accessories including Jewelry which gives me the most satisfaction. The Jewelry creators have a fascinating past,present and future!

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