2021.10.28 Jewellery Column

The Reason for Wearing a Wedding Ring on the Left Ring Finger

Wedding rings, symbols of the commitment between two people who have decided to marry, are traditionally worn on the ring finger of the left hand. But why is it the "left hand" and specifically the "ring finger"?


The Origin of Wedding Rings

Among various theories, the most renowned suggests that wedding rings are worn on the left ring finger because of a vein that directly connects to the heart.


In ancient Greece, the heart, located at the center of the body and believed to govern emotions, was linked to the ring finger, considered a special location. Wearing the ring on the left ring finger became a practice to symbolize "eternal love pledged with life."


Moreover, wearing a "circle," a symbol of eternity and reincarnation, signifies "forever connecting with your partner's heart."



In the 9th century, Pope Nicholas I deemed the ring as a "symbol of marriage," laying the groundwork for the tradition of couples exchanging wedding rings.


By the 13th century, engagement and wedding rings were differentiated, and the custom of exchanging rings became popular among European nobility.


This tradition reached Japan in the late Edo period, about 500 years later, introduced by Dutch residents in Nagasaki. With the end of Japan's isolationist policy in the Meiji era, the practice spread, and by the Taisho era, wearing wedding rings as a symbol of marriage had become established.

Chinese Tradition

In China, fingers represent "relationships with oneself."


Thumb: Parents
Index Finger: Siblings
Middle Finger: Self
Ring Finger: Lover
Pinky: Children

Even as family members may eventually leave home due to growth or independence, lovers/partners are meant to be bound eternally.


This is another reason attributed to wearing the wedding ring on the ring finger.


There's a beautiful tradition to verify this belief with your own hands.


First, join the tips of the same fingers together from both hands.


Next, bend only the middle finger inward so that the second joints touch each other.


Then, fold the middle fingers inward and try to separate your other fingers.


You'll find that while the thumbs, index fingers, and pinkies can be separated easily, the ring fingers cannot, symbolizing the lifelong bond with your partner.


It sounds like a romantic tradition, doesn't it?

Practical Reasons

Globally, about 90% of people are right-handed.


Especially for right-handed people, the left ring finger can be considered the least used among the ten fingers of both hands.


One reason is that it is less likely to be subjected to impact or stress in daily life, reducing the risk of injury or deformation. Additionally, it tends not to interfere with tasks or work.



However, there's no strict rule that wedding rings must be worn on the left ring finger. Depending on the country or culture, the preferred finger for wearing a wedding ring can vary.


Ultimately, the best place is where it feels most comfortable for the wearer.

Infusing Rings with Meaning and Preference

Unlike fashion jewellery, which can be changed according to outfit or mood, engagement and wedding rings are special items worn for a long time.


You'd want to choose a ring that's suitable for the first significant milestone in both of your lives, wouldn't you?


At ith, the concierges present in the atelier will support you both as your dedicated guides in choosing a ring.


Let's create a ring unique to the two of you, filled with your thoughts and preferences.


Sakurai, Concierge


For reference:

ith's wedding ring designs
ith's engagement ring designs
ith's custom-made
ith's atelier
About ring sizes


The Reason for Wearing a Wedding Ring on the Left Ring Finger