It is known to all that the ring finger refers to the finger which a wedding ring will be put on. The wearer is supposed to wear the ring daily later after to indicate that he / she is married. The ring finger is usually the one between the middle finger and the pinky. The finger gained its name in some cultures where people wore their wedding rings on that finger after they married. Later on its name and symbolic meanings are widely adopted in many other cultures.

In some cultures, the ring finger refers to the one on a person’s left hand. In the same cultures, brides or wives are supposed to wear rings after their weddings when there is no such requirement for grooms or husbands. Nowadays changes have taken place when grooms or husbands have also begun to wear rings. In the following section, we will dissect symbolic meanings endowed with wedding rings.

#1 - Marital status

Owing to the widely accepted belief that could date back to ancient Rome when people believed that a vein carried blood directly from the finger on a person’s left hand to the person’s heart, people get used to wear wedding rings on the fingers of their left hands in most countries in the West.

#2 - Betrothal

A ring worn on the finger of a person’s left hand can also imply that the person is engaged to someone. This belief also originated in ancient Rome. Back then, brides may either wear her wedding ring with her engagement ring on the same finger or switch her engagement ring to the finger on her right hand when she got married.

#3 - Promise

People can also wear promise rings on the ring fingers.

#4 - Chastity

Rings on the ring fingers can also be purity rings indicating that the wearers promise to remain sexually abstinent before they are married.

In most countries of North America and South America, the fourth ring on the left hand seems to be more associated with marriage. In these countries, a ring on the right fourth finger is most likely to indicate that the person is engaged while a ring on the left fourth finger means that the person is married.

It is also worth mentioning that the majority of men choose a plain style ring or a band as their wedding rings. That being said, at seeing a man wearing a fancy ring featured with large gemstone, the ring is less likely to represent the man’s marriage status. This certainly does not mean that a married man could not wear a fancy style ring with decorative gemstones. It merely refers to conventions.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash


This article was written by:

Louis Moore

Jewelry Marketing Expert and Analyst

Guest Editor of several jewelry magazines

Over 10 years of marketing experience in the jewelry market

Enjoys long-distance jogging and classical music