Accurate Body Language, “Should the Wedding Ring be on the Left or Right Ring Finger?”

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Jewelry & Wedding Rings are
Nonverbal Body Language ‘Artifacts’

For many people around the world, wearing a wedding ring symbolizes the love, commitment, and unity of marriage.  The wedding ring conveys nonverbal messages about each spouse and their religious, cultural, and economic status. 

But where is the wedding ring worn…on the LEFT ring finger or the RIGHT ring finger?  It all depends on the nationality, country, culture, religious traditions, or individual preferences. 

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It is common in the following countries to find RIGHT handed ring wearers:

  • Austria
  • Some parts of Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Georgia
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • the Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Serbia,
  • Spain
  • Ukraine
  • Venezuela

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On the other hand, people in these countries typically wear their wedding rings on the LEFT ring finger:

  • Asian countries
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Egypt
  • France
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Jordan
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

It is a custom in Brazil to wear an engagement ring on the right hand and then the wedding ring is placed on the left hand on the actual wedding day.  German couples do the opposite: wearing simple gold engagement bands on the left finger before the wedding and then placing the wedding band on the right ring finger after the wedding ceremony. German Protestants typically are left-handed wearers, while German Catholics are right-handed wedding ring wearers.

In the Jewish tradition, the groom places the ring on the bride’s index finger and then the bride’s ring is transferred to her ring finger after the ceremony.

For many brides and grooms, an enormous amount of thought, planning, expectations, and expense go into selecting the perfect complex combination of metal, stone, shape, cut, color clarity, carat, and cost for the selected wedding ring. In other cases, simple gold bands may be the tradition. Or, rings may not even be included in the Muslim, Islamic, or Indian wedding ceremonies.

And the sudden absence of the previously worn wedding ring off the usual ring finger may possibly signal nonverbal messages that:

  • the wearer of the ring is unhappy with his/her spouse
  • the wearer is being unfaithful or deceptive about being married
  • the marriage is heading for a divorce
  • or, the ring is
    • not worn for personal preference or convenience
    • lost
    • being re-sized
    • being substituted
    • or simply being cleaned

What ever the shape or size, the ring symbolizes (at least initially) the status, eternal love, and commitment of matrimony.

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“Get-to-the TRUTH!” Janette Ghedotte is an EXPERT in Human Behavior & Communication:

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