Right Hand or Left Hand?

 

Right vs. Left: A Cultural Perception 

An engagement ring used to serve as a token of financial commitment and a placeholder for virginity. Today, the world embraces it as a symbol of love, passion, and closeness between two consenting adults. A wedding ring signifies eternal love, eternal commitment, and (hopefully) eternal happiness.

Across the globe it is generally recognized that an individual (or couple) can choose to wear wedding and engagement rings on whichever hand they please. Right or left hand - neither is correct or incorrect; it is a matter of personal preference.

Wearing your engagement and wedding bands separately is culturally and socially acceptable to most people. Different cultures observe different rituals.

In the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Iran, Chile, Italy, France, Sweden, Slovenia and other Commonwealth nations, an engagement ring is generally worn on the left hand.

In other countries such as Germany, Greece, Russia, Spain, India, Colombia, Venezuela, and Poland it is most often worn on the right hand. Orthodox Christians and Eastern Europeans also traditionally wear the wedding band on the right hand.

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Finger meanings

According to ancient Chinese philosophy:

  • The thumb represents your parents 
  • The index finger represents your siblings 
  • The middle finger represents yourself;
  • The ring finger represents your life partner 
  • The little finger represents children

 

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Love vs. Eternal Togetherness

What you are going to read here applies to all rings, not just those made by us. The reason we are willing to share this information with you is that we are not a retail store in the conventional sense of the word.

We are not afraid to "lose a sale" by telling you the truth. There is no sale to lose. We see plenty of damaged jewelry and we feel that it is our obligation to inform you before you make the vital decision... Wearing two rings next to each other will eventually damage either one of them or both. It might take a while, but it will definitely happen. If any ring has diamonds or gemstones exposed you will see the damage faster. Even if you wear a plain solitaire next to a plain wedding band there will be eventually a groove where the two meet.

Most gemstones are much harder than any metal used in jewelry. When the two grind against each other, stones will prevail over metal. A ring is oscillating left and right on a finger during the normal course of everyday wear, and you cannot stop that movement. These minute but constant vibrations are what cause the most damage. The only type of ring that is designed to withstand the abuse of continuous wear next to another is the stackable ring.

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Yet Another Conspiracy

Wearing both engagement and wedding bands next to each other is often explained as “tradition.” The truth is, however, that people in the past who were conditioned to wearing both rings together were completely unaware that instead of ancient tradition, they were in fact following a clever marketing ploy.

Retail jewelers, backed by an all-powerful diamond syndicate, heavily promoted the idea in order to lock engagement ring customers into returning to the same store for their wedding band. When both rings sit right next to each other, they must look very similar in style. Someone who purchased an engagement ring in a store would hesitate to buy a wedding band at a different store in case it did not match.

If both rings are worn on different hands, then the need for an exact match is nonexistent. As a matter of fact, most bands made to match an engagement ring would look insignificant and understated on their own.

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History: Fact & Myth 

Pliny the Elder tells us: "It was the custom at first to wear rings on a single finger only — the one next to the little finger, and this we see to be the case in the statues of Numa and Servius Tullius. Later it became usual to put rings on the finger next to the thumb, even with statues of the gods; and more recently still it has been the fashion to wear them upon the little finger too. Among the Gauls and Britons the middle finger — it is said — is used for the purpose. However, in our society today this is the only finger that is excluded. All the others are loaded with rings, smaller rings even being separately adapted for the smaller joints of the fingers."

The custom of placing the betrothal or wedding ring upon the fourth finger owes its origin to the romantic, albeit false theory that a special nerve or vein ran directly from the finger to the heart. This theory is originally thought to be from the Roman grammarian and Neo-Platonist philosopher, Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius, who in turn received this information from an unnamed Egyptian priest.

Macrobius also explained that the fourth finger is the one protected the most. We don't even want to think what his other fingers were used for. Isadore of Seville, writing in the early part of the seventh century, also declared that the betrothal ring was placed on the fourth finger. It seems likely that this rule was generally followed in the Roman Empire up to its end.

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Solutions?

There is no logic in wearing two matching rings sitting flush because both rings will merge visually into one thick shank. The combo ring will appear lopsided, and most people will assume that the craftsman had one too many Jägermeister’s. However, for those of you who really must wear your rings together, here are a few suggestions to try and minimize the damage that will inevitably occur.

We do not endorse these solutions and do not recommend using any of them. We list them so you are aware of the possibilities.

  • You can permanently attach rings together. This solution is totally void of any logic - in essence you are wearing just one pregnant ring.

 

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