Let's talk rings and fingers..

Thursday, September 22, 2011
So my mom and I were having a little discussion about wedding rings (and which was which) and ring fingers. I always understood the bigger ring was the engagement ring and then there was the wedding band. But my mom (she's Korean BTW) said the band was the engagement ring and the bigger ring was the wedding ring. I've never heard of such a thing!!! So...who's right? It's me, right?!?

And then there's placement.. I always thought you wore the engagement ring (bigger ring) on top of the wedding band on your left ring finger.



But my mom wears her rings like this:  with the bigger ring on the left ring finger and the band on the right. So I tried it. And it's not that bad. When I'm feeling especially wild that day, I'll do it just to switch things up. (Can you tell how exciting my life is?)


But then I also remember having a coworker from South America who wears BOTH rings on her right ring finger!!!


Thoughts?!? I'm so confused right now. :(:(

75 comments :

  1. Haha, you're absolutely right my dear! Sorry Elaine's mom (if you're reading this). The ring with the stone/diamond is the engagement ring,  the band is the wedding band. Traditionally,  they both go on the left finger with the wedding ringer on the bottom and the engagement on the top. Although, I personally think that makes no sense. You get the engagement ring first, so THAT one should be at the bottom, right???

      Lidi @ Eclectic Flair

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  2. Yup, you're spot on. The rings go on your left hand, with the band closer to your palm. (I think the tradition is that it's supposed to be closer to your heart.Or the engagement ring just helps keep it more secure? I don't know.) But really, I think that customs like that are made to be broken. If you want to wear them on different hands, or all on your right hand, go for it! Just don't be surprised when other people are confused, haha.

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  3. I'm not really sure it matters all that much, just do what you want to do I say! but technically you're right the big ring is the engagement ring and the band is usually the wedding ring.  I wear my wedding band on top of my engagement ring, because I got that first (obviously) and then got the wedding ring later on my wedding day so for me it makes sense to wear it that way round.  I guess it's different in other cultures/countries but here in England everyone wears both rings on their left hand!

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  4. I'm aware that some countries wear their wedding bands on the other hand -- but as a right-handed person I think I'd find that inconvenient.

    My bling ring (which isn't really, it's actually quite reserved) is my engagement ring. I was engaged before I was married so it's the first ring on my finger. My wedding band is just that -- a band.

    I can see why it might be the other way around for some people -- get her a simpler ring, and then let her pick out a fancy wedding ring. (Easier then exchanging the engagement ring because she doesn't like it right? Also keeps the guy from potentially loosing out on big bucks if it all gets called off...)

    But I suppose it started the other way around because you needed to show the girls family you were doing financially well and could provide for her -- symbolized by an overpriced rock.

    It's also more fun to show off when you announce you're engaged!

    I haven't removed mine in maybe 3 years (and before that only once for a cleaning). It would be very difficult if not impossible for me to remove it now so I don't think switching it up is an option for me :-)

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  5. Yep, you are right!  That's how I wear it, but sometimes I feel like just wearing my wedding band.

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  6. I remember having this confused discussion with my mom a few years back, too. I don't remember the particulars, (because that's how I roll) but I wear my wedding band on my left ring finger. Who was "right," I'll never know or remember. Since my husband and I were poor grad students at the time, we didn't have moneda to buy an engagement ring. But he bought me a small diamond ring later, which doesn't match my gold wedding ring at all... so I wear both in my left hand but on different fingers. 

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  7. Well that is confusing for me now lol but I know for sure i've never seen anyone wear both rings on their right hand

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  8. so the big ring is the engagement ring--diamond etc. the band is the wedding band--should be worn closest to the heart! you can't tell with my rings unless you look real close. i had them soldered together so i can't wear them separately. by the way, you hae beautiful hands!

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  9. In my country we wear the wedding band on the right hand, which is the ring u get married with in church, the most important one!I have an engagement ring also, and wear it on my right finger as well, above the wedding band, like u r on the third picture:)

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  10. This completely is confusing me too. I wear both mine on my left, engagement on top of my wedding band. I know that in some countries they wear them on their right instead of left but that's about it.

    C x
    http://memiorsofalittlethingcalledlife.blogspot.com/

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  11. I heard once that you wear your wedding band closest to your heart. ;) so it goes wedding band and then engagement ring, I don't have a wedding band but that's how I'd wear it if I did.

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  12. i am going to wear my wedding band on my right hand. my engagement ring is just too pretty for any other distraction! 

    the wedding band is usually more simple, and the engagement ring is usually the rock. usually...

    www.saucestudiosonline.com

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  13. Haha. The engagement ring is whatever ring you got when you got engaged (might not be the bigger ring) and the wedding ring is the ring you got during the wedding. And I agree with Melese, I wear the wedding ring closest to my heart. I've heard there is actually a vein that runs from your left ring finger to your heart.

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  14. you're wearing your rings like americans do, elaine, but other countries have different customs. you and your mom are both right. 

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  15. I heard the version Melese mentions - wedding band closest to your heart.  I'm currently wearing band on left, engagement on right (got married in July).  Eventually when I want to wear other rings again, I'll move the engagement on top of the band so both on the left and the right hand free for other rings.  

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  16. I keep it simple. I requested one ring when I got married. Confused everyone else ha ha. 

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  17. I've seen people do all of the above, and even wear their wedding band (small ring) on top of their engagement band (big ring) on their left hand, which as bothers me because it's wrong! After reading this, I moved my wedding band to my right hand. I kinda like it. Thanks, Elaine's momma!

    North Meets South

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  18. Hmmmm..so many options. Well I wear my engagement ring and wedding band on my left hand. I have my band at the top closer to my heart and the engagement ring underneath. Sometimes I just wear my band since I have always been told that's more important then the engagement ring after you get married. 

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  19. In America I think you are right about the traditional 'engagement ring is the diamond it goes on the outside on the left ring finger'. My mother told me that's because the wedding band is the 'important' one. (Even though the other is traditionally more expensive). So if one of the rings slips off and is lost it is the 'less important' engagement ring.
    I know that other countries have other traditions though.
    I'm not really a diamond person and have my heart set on the traditional Irish 'claddagh' ring. The ring goes on the right hand with the heart pointing out when you are single, pointing towards you when you have a boyfriend, goes on the left hand with the heart pointing out for 'engaged' and pointing in for married.

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  20. You are so cute! I am here to tell you you are right right right! Rings go on the left ring finger, band first, engagement ring on top. Kudos to your moms for even rocking an engagement ring. My mom is old school and she just wears a plain gold band that matches my dads.

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  21. You're right, but culture also wears it differently, so maybe your mom's right in a way too :)
    win-win?
    Regardless, your rings are stunning!

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  22. I think it was originally a catholic tradition to wear wedding rings on the left hand so often protestants and orthodox Christians (usually in Europe) wear wedding rings on their right hand. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_finger) I've been tempted to wear my on my right hand now, but my right ring finger is a half size larger so it doesn't fit :-/

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  23. Here in the States, you're right.  But different cultures have different traditions.  However, I wear my wedding band on my left hand and my engagement ring on my right (which is actually an anniversary ring.  I don't love the look of a solitaire).  I do that because my fingers are different sizes and rather than re-size the engagement ring when it went from right hand to left hand, I just kept it there.  I feel much more symmetrical that way, lol.

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  24. I was told that the tradition of wearing your engagement ring/wedding band on the left hand has to do with it being closest to the heart, and with that in mind you wearing your wedding band closest to your heart as it's the more important of the two.  Also I was told on your wedding day you're supposed to wearing the engagement ring on the right hand so your left your wedding ring is the only item, the sole focus as a symbol of your commitments.
    As for size of the two - personally I wish the wedding band got more attention than the engagement ring as it's the marriage that's the most important of all of those occasions.  For the commenter who wrote that her engagement ring is too pretty to be "distracted" by here wedding band, I'd suggest really thinking on the symbolism and meaning behind these peices of jewelry -  You're getting married - it is the marriage, not the wedding or engagement that is most important.

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  25. as long as they're on the right finger it's not important isit?
    someone i know wears their ring on a chain around their neck because they don't like wearing rings.. so i wonder how important it actually is?

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  26. I think it all depends on personal preference honestly. It may be cultural as well. My engagement ring has a swirl pattern and my band is straight (bought at different times), so I cannot wear then together. I wear my band in my left ring finger and my engagement ring on my right ring finger.

    www.fatandfierce.com

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  27. I've never actually paid attention to which ring goes first, but I know I've never met anyone who wears them on any other finger but the left ring finger.

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  28. My husband's aunt wears her engagement ring on her right hand and her wedding band on her left,but everyone else I know wears them both on their left hand with the wedding band on the bottom (closest to the heart - gag).  My fingers are completely different sizes and while my engagement ring fits on my left hand just fine, it won't even go over the knuckle of the ring finger on my right hand, so it's not an option for me to wear it on any other finger!!

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  29. I know there are traditions and they differ from place to place, so I say just do what you want. A ring to symbolize something that is so indescribable is so arbitrary anyway, right? 

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  30. I always thought you're supposed to wear them just like you do. My mum wears hers like you do as well :) 

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  31. All I was ever told about wearing rings is that your wedding band is the one you wear closest to your hand because it is the one closest to your heart. 

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  32. I consider my "large" ring as my engagement ring.  It is, after all, the ring that we were engaged with.  I consider my "little" ring/band to be my wedding ring because that is the ring that we were wed with.  I wear both rings on my left hand.  I put the band on first and then the engagement ring.

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  33. Well I think you're right.. Although I've noticed some couples wearing both rings on the right hand, not the left one as most of the people does... Maybe it depends on the country and the culture. I'm not married yet but I think I'll wear them on my left hand!

    Alci.-
    http://alcinalci.blogspot.com

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  34. Eastern Europeans, like from Latvia, wear their wedding band on the right hand.

    On my left ring finger first I put on my plain band, then the one with the rocks on it.

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  35. hahaha. too bad mine is a puzzle ring and I can't really wear them seperate without looking weird.
    I love your ring by the way.
    and I guess maybe it's just the American way to wear them together on the left ring finger?!

    and I like that you wore the big one on top of the band.  I do that.
    but I've noticed a lot of girls do it the other way around and I think it looks weird.

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  36. I got my diamond when we got engaged and the band when we got married. So I think you're right. I also wear my diamond ring on top of the band on my left hand. But in Europe you wear a ring on your right hand for married. Interesting.

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  37. i just found out i'm not allergic to zinc...and my ring is 14k gold, so it has a mixture of zinc in it...long story short, i am now allergic to omy wedding ring...so when i go out a look like a single mom with 3 kids. lame. i'm looking in to what i can do to fix it, because i heard it's fixable.
    anywho, i stopped wearing my band altogether years ago...like 7+ years ago and just where my engagement ring (the big one). but regardless i'm wearing nothing now and let me tell you the dates are just pouring in.
    not.

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  38. In the US the engagement ring and wedding band are worn on the left hand because it is on the same side as the heart.  The wedding band goes on first and then the engagement ring.  If you wear your rings on your right hand it means that you are a widow.

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  39. Thanks! That makes sense. So if I wear my wedding band on the right it means my husband is sick and almost dying?

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  40. Both rings go on the left hand. The band goes first; it's the closest to your heart. The engagement goes second. The fourth finger on the left hand is so designated because there is a vein there that goes directly to the heart. According to American (Western?) traditions at least ... As for which is the wedding ring and which is the engagement ring ... what ring did he propose with and what ring did you exchange during the wedding ceremony? That should solve that mystery pretty quickly.

    Thanks for the gratuitous ring shots.

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  41. I wore the bigger ring as the engagement ring {on my left hand} and added the wedding band to it afterwards. :)

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  42. I heard it had something do with the veins in your hands--that the largest bloodline runs from your ring finger back to your heart. That said, not sure if both hands have this, or just the left. But I've always worn the band on the bottom so it'll be "closer to my heart," or so I heard and liked. BTW, you're covered in diamonds. My wedding band is just a silver loop. Just had my six year wedding anniversary and am patiently awaiting my upgrade! With a car to fix, and credit cards to pay down, and a little baby who's not so little, I'm not gonna see it for a while! Damn you, economy!

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  43. I agree completely with eclecticflair. 

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  44. i love this post, because i love that there are no rules to this stuff even though our culture is always telling us there are rules!  

    i decided that i only wanted one ring, so my engagement ring, which is an eternity band, will also be my "wedding" ring.  i think i determined that the ring is a nice reminder of my commitment, but at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter.  i actually wrote a post about it recently... 
    http://bettycrockettrocknroll.blogspot.com/2011/09/ring.html

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  45. I lived in Germany last summer, and my host mom asked why I wore my ring on the right, since I said I wasn't married!  She said they wear engagement on the left and band on the right.  Or maybe you switch it from left to right when you go from engaged to married.  Gotta be cultural...

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  46. Well, it's cultural.  Many countries wear it like in picture two.  I've even heard of picture three, but not as often as picture two.  Now-a-days, people adopted the Western way of doing things which is picture one and what everyone is used to.  But it is purely cultural and no way is technically *the* right way.  Poland, Slovakia, Venezuela, Columbia, Greece, Ukraine, and India are referenced when talking about cultures that still have a strong tendency to wear rings on their right hands.  In certain places, like Germany for some, the ring is worn on one hand during engagement then worn on the other hand after marriage. Much of the world has been Westernized, however, so it's probably rare to see rings on the right hand, but historically and traditionally, many countries have worn them either one on each or both on the right hand.  Hope this helps you and everyone :)

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  47. I've worn both rings on my right hand when I lost weight.  My right ring finger is a half size larger than my left and when I lost weight my rings were flopping around too much on my left hand, so I moved them to the right for a while.

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  48. I have no idea what's "right," but I wear my rings the same way you do, especially since I take my engagement ring off at night and when I shower/wash dishes, but I leave my plain wedding band on 24/7. My mom only has a wedding band, which my parents got about 20 years ago because their first set of wedding bands was stolen when their house got broken into (she keeps her engagement ring in the safe-deposit box at the bank...I've never even seen it!). I'm sure there are various cultural ways to do it, though. Luckily the validity of marriage doesn't depend on where (or if) you wear rings. :)

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  49. I guess it's a manner of tradition. Here, the engagement ring is the one with the stone and the wedding band, well it's a band. I wear them both on the left rign finger.

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  50. Thanks for all your comments, guys! I feel so cultured.

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  51. I've always heard that the engagement ring is the biggest and you wear it on the outside of your left ring finger to protect the wedding band. :) So I'd say you're right!

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  52. I know this is besides the point, but you have beautiful hands!

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  53. ahhh, now you've confused me!! i always thought that you wore the rings the way YOU do...i need closure on this, hahaha.

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  54. Well, I have 2 wedding bands -- I like the symmetrical look. I wear one on top and one below my engagement ring. Also, I'm moving to LA in January and am hoping you'll share your favorite thrift stores.  :)  Otherwise, where will I shop? 

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  55. Yay! That's awesome! We should go thrifting together! Email me when you're settled in!

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  56. I thought they both went on the left ring finger, but I didn't know if a certain one belonged on top. When I got married, I chose not to get a wedding band (maybe for an anniversary some day). If I had a wedding band (yep, I agree the engagement ring is the big one), I'd wear them together.... but I do like the look of the band on the right hand! :)

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  57. I actually wear my wedding ring on -top- of my engagement ring, but it's not a typical wedding band and was my mother-in-law's. Right now, I wear my wedding ring and engagement ring on the left, and my promise ring on my right. I like the idea of one on each hand though. I dig symmetry. 

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  58. hahaha you used the word "dig." i think i love you.

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  59. I'm getting married and it's really really really confusing. I have a friend who's Filipina (like me) and she wears her ring on the right ring finger o.o. But they ALL say it's supposed to be on the left (cause supposedly it's closer to the heart) ....I don't know what goes on top of what too! But I figured wedding ring goes first and then engagement ring on top because of the "closer to the heart" thing/rule/whatever. 

    Oh the confusion!

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  60. i wear it like you, both on the left ring finger. i used to think that it was supposed to be worn like your south american co-worker. but i guess it is your own preference also where you come from. where i come from, the engagement ring is the smaller band (like a wedding band). then we have the bigger ring to be put on during the wedding day. and some couples also have another (second) small band as a wedding band (to be worn daily etc).

    p/s: i am a muslim malay from malaysia.

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  61. traditionally the engagement ring is the one with the diamond and the wedding ring is the band. The band is supposed to be on the bottom and "closest to your heart." I was confused at first too. I thought the band was supposed to worn on top since you get engaged first and married second, but I was wrong. :-)

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  62. I've heard that you wear them on the left ring finger because it's the only finger that has a vein/artery/somethinglikethat connected directly to the heart.

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  63. As someone explained earlier, Indians prefer the  right side (left hand is reserved for bathroom business). Being left-handed, I tried to eat with my right while visiting India to avoid grossing people out. When entering a house, you are supposed to step in with your right foot as well ... messed up on this as I am left-footed! : \

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  64. It varies from place to place. North America is actually one of the few places where the engagement ring is the bigger one. At least in Scandinavia the engagement ring is usually the simple band and then on yout wedding day you get the big rocks. Some cultures also only use ONE ring. So when they're enaged it's on their right hand and when married on their left.

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  65. I'm italian and tradition says that: the wedding ring goes on the ringfinger to the left because the left hand is the heart's hand (because even the heat is at the left). The engagement ring is on the same finger, and precedes the wedding ring.
    sorry my english, but I try :D

    Elisabetta

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  66. LOL! That's so funny you guys got into a discussion about it. I guess the American way is: the bigger ring with the diamond (the one proposed with) is the engagement ring and that goes on top of the wedding band. My mom always explained it like this: the engagement ring is worn over the wedding band because it's protecting your marriage. Who knows, that's how I wear them though =D

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  67. You are so nice -- I totally will!

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  68. My engagement ring doesn't mesh well with my wedding band, plus it's a little big, so i wear it on my right hand (right handed) and my wedding band on my left hand. I'm American so I'd otherwise wear both on my left hand (with e-ring on top) but more than anything else I'm practical and lazy I guess so this works for me. :)

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  69. I've noticed that a lot of people from other cultures decide to wear their wedding rings in the left hand while in the US to avoid confusion... too many American have never heard of any way other than left-handed.

    I only have small wedding band, and no engagement ring. That "tradition" is new anyway, and instigated by the diamond industry. But it don't not have one due to principle... we were just flat broke!

    My husband talks about wanting to get better rings when we have more money, but I like the idea of wearing the same cheapo ones to remind us where we started off together.

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  70. visiting and had to comment. I do believe it is a cultural thing. The first picture is how it is most commonly worn here in the USA and I have always heard that they are to be worn on the left hand with wedding band (smaller band) worn closest to the heart!

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  71. well the wedding/diamond ring is a new modern concept, ring exchange historically from a European Christian perspective was just a simple band worn on the left based on the Trinity concept.  Many other cultures consider the right hand to be more revered from Asia to Africa, hence why you would see them wearing the wedding ring on their right hand. Also, other cultures do not even consider ring exchange to be a mark of your marital status...many men and women don't wear a ring at all like my mom.

    I say do whatever makes you feel happy and you and your partner agree on.

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  72. I think you should do whatever you want! But traditionally, here in the
    states anyways, you are right. The wedding band is supposed to be worn
    "closest to your heart" thus first, followed by the engagement ring on
    top! But I too am liking the wedding band on the other hand :) haha it is 2011, do what you like :)  

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  73. Well, your rings are beautiful, and it might sound weird, but you have really nice hands!! So it doesnt matter where you wear them, they look great <3 And I have no idea since Im 17, but when you find out let me know so I can be prepared for the future =D
    Bellesme

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  74. i use it on the left! b

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