Precious jewellery can be very symbolic, with each piece marking an important milestone in your life. Your engagement and wedding rings are no exception to this rule and whilst many people have them, it can be difficult to know exactly how they should be worn.
It is thought that the idea of engagement rings came from Roman tradition where women used to wear rings attached to small keys to symbolise commitment to their husband. The first diamond engagement ring recorded was back in 1477 when the Archduke of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy. This then became a trend among European aristocracy, which in turn helped it become the tradition it is today.
Engagement rings are traditionally offered by a partner to their prospective spouse in return for their hand in marriage - otherwise known as proposing. If the proposal is accepted the ring is then worn to symbolise that they are engaged.
The engagement ring is traditionally worn on the fourth finger of your left hand, this is known as the ‘ring finger’ and was originally made popular by Romans who thought there was a vein which led directly from this finger to the heart.
Wedding rings symbolise love, commitment and the promise of a future spent together. Its circular shape represents a love that is unbroken and eternal. Wonderfully significant, wedding rings are exchanged between a couple on their wedding day.
Dating back to the same period as the engagement ring, wedding rings were popular among the ancient Greeks and Romans, however, it was only the wife who would wear one. Wedding rings are now intended to be worn by both partners and they come in a range of designs and metals, with some also including diamonds.
The wedding ring is usually worn on the fourth finger of your left hand. Traditionally when worn with an engagement ring, the wedding band should be placed first - closer to the heart.
An eternity ring (also known as an infinity ring) is usually given as a gift to celebrate a significant milestone in your marriage. For example, for an anniversary or for the birth of the couple's first child.
Eternity rings are a symbol of eternal love and are beautifully luxurious. Typically they feature identical cut diamonds encrusted all around the metal band creating an exceptional, luminous sparkle. There are two types of eternity ring - full eternity and half eternity, with half eternity rings appearing just as luxurious as full eternity but the bottom is pure metal.
There is no defined way to wear an eternity ring, some say you should wear it on top of your engagement and wedding ring and others believe you should wear it in the middle. However, this can be uncomfortable for those with an unusually shaped or large engagement ring so another alternative is to wear it on the right hand.
Engagement, wedding and eternity bands
There are many rules and traditions which dictate how you should wear your engagement, wedding and eternity ring, however, it is important to choose what suits you best and mostly what is comfortable.
Traditionally and possibly the most followed way to wear all rings is on your ring finger on your left hand. With either the eternity ring worn between the wedding and engagement bands or on top of them. You may find this quite uncomfortable, especially if you have an active lifestyle, depending on the size and shape of the rings. Instead, you may wish to wear both your engagement and wedding ring on the left hand and your eternity ring on your right hand for a more comfortable fit.
Although there are many symbolic meanings associated with how you choose to wear your rings there is no right or wrong answer and it should be determined by your own personal preference.