Wearing A Wedding Ring On Your Right Hand: Is It Fashion Or Tradition?


February 2, 2018 17:46 By Fabiosa

Wedding rings have been recognized and accepted as symbols of marital unions between couples for many generations.

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So, the aesthetics surrounding their creation have also evolved, giving rise to various designs, gems, and metals used in making this precious jewelry. But have you ever wondered about the origin of the wedding ring?

The origin of wedding rings

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It is believed that in ancient times, the pharaohs of Egypt initially used the circle - a shape that has no beginning nor end - as a unifying symbol of eternity. However, it was during the Roman times that wearing a wedding ring became customary as a public pledge to honor the marriage contract.

Rings were first made with plain iron, but in medieval times, gold rings set with gems were quite popular and fashionable.

Some of the symbolic gems used back then were a blue sapphire which reflects the heavens, and a red ruby which was the color of the heart. Nevertheless, the most coveted gem was the powerful and indestructible diamond, a precious stone that has inspired many beliefs and myths.


The ancient Greeks believed diamonds were delicate pieces of fallen stars, which offers power and protection to the wearer. It was also the belief of early astrologers that diamonds warded off nightmares and witchcraft and promoted lasting love.

This precious stone has also been associated with many defining qualities such as sexual power, protection, and innocence. No wonder it is the number choice of a betrothal gift even till date.

According to historians, the diamond ring trend was started by Archduke Maximilian of Austria in 1477, after he gave one to his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy. The Egyptians were credited with beginning the tradition of wearing engagement rings and wedding bands on the fourth finger of the left hand. They believed the vein of love, known as vena amoris, ran directly to the top of this finger from the heart.

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In the 1300s, the Greek Orthodox Church introduced wedding ceremonies where both the bride and groom wore rings. The custom found its way to America at the beginning of World War II when couples got married in fear of separation.

The dual wedding bands- one for each partner- served as a reminder for brides and solace to lonely soldiers. The dual-ring wedding ceremonies became the norm ever since.

READ ALSO: Story Behind Wedding Ring Placement: Why Is It Worn On The Ring Finger?

Wearing a wedding ring on your right hand

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Contrary to popular belief, wearing a wedding ring on your right hand is actually very common and accepted. In fact, people frequently wore their wedding bands on their right ring fingers long before the 1700s. Due to a cultural belief that the left hand was untrustworthy and sinister, the Romans wore their wedding rings on their right hands.

In countries like Norway, Russia, Germany, Spain, Poland, Austria, and Greece, wearing wedding bands on the right hand is customary. Women in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Brazil, wear their engagement ring on the right hand until their wedding when it is transferred to the left hand. The German tradition is the direct opposite of this.

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However, there are other reasons why some people opt to wear their rings on their right hand. For some, it could be because they are left-handed and wouldn't want to damage their rings in the course of doing their daily tasks, for others, it could be due to certain health conditions that cause swollen joints and knuckles.

Single ladies who can afford to buy themselves expensive diamond rings would rather wear them on their right hand to avoid confusion. Aside from that, wearing a ring on the right hand originates from the cocktail rings of the 1920s, which signify a woman's economic independence.


There are also some couples who do not bother with wearing wedding rings at all.

5 Celebrities who do not wear wedding rings.

While many affluent and famous couples go to great lengths to display their affection for each other by gifting their partner's expensive wedding rings, some celebrities and their spouses have chosen to forgo this phenomenon altogether.

Here are five celebrities who don't wear wedding rings:

Will Smith And Jada Pinkett Smith

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The Smiths have been plagued with divorce rumors for years due to their lack of wedding jewelry, but despite all that, the two have remained married for nearly two decades now. So, wedding rings or not, these two are rock solid.

Jay-Z And Beyonce

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This power couple tied the knot in 2008, but rather wear traditional wedding rings, the duo tattooed the Roman numeral "IV" on their ring finger. The tattoo is said to be symbolic, representing their birthdays (Beyonce is September 4 and Jay-Z is December 4) and wedding date, April 4.

Prince William

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While Kate is never seen without her stunning sapphire ring, Prince William does not wear a  wedding band. According to a statement released by Kensington Palace, Prince William doesn’t wear one out of “personal preference.” 

Ivanka Trump

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Ivanka Trump happens to be one those women who choose to wear their wedding ring on their right hand. Addressing the issue on Twitter, Ivanka explained that she prefers to wear her ring on her right hand.

Viola Davis

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Actress, Viola Davis, and her husband, Julius Tennon, have been married for 13 years. Davis however, prefers to wear only her engagement ring without a wedding band.

Which hand would you rather wear your wedding ring and why?

READ ALSO: Celebrity Couples Of The Year: 4 Beautiful Engagement Bands Of 2017

Tradition Fashion