In Which Order Do You Wear Engagement, Wedding, and Eternity Rings?

Many people only consider an engagement ring when they ponder and plan for the ring that will symbolize the love and commitment between them and their fiancé. After the engagement, it becomes more normal to then think about the wedding band they may or may not add to the equation to mark the marriage. There is yet another type of ring that can be added to both an engagement ring and wedding band, or worn in place of either one. It’s the eternity ring. 

How do you wear each of these significant rings? And, if you opt for all three, in which order do you wear engagement, wedding, and eternity rings? We’re here to answer these questions to help you perfect and personalize the stack that symbolizes your eternal love. 

If you are looking for wedding jewelry to complement your wedding rings both on the day of your wedding and afterward, consider a pair of diamond simulant earrings, a timeless pendant necklace, or a delicate bracelet

The Engagement Ring

The engagement ring is the first piece of jewelry that you and your fiancé will exchange when you become engaged. It is a symbol of your intent to marry and has been for hundreds of years. The engagement ring typically features a diamond or other gemstone at the center—a tradition that started in the 15th century—but the cut, style, color, and design of the ring can vary greatly. 

Because of their beauty, significance, and substantial cost, engagement rings are often given the most attention by couples planning to wed. Today, it is typical for couples to choose a unique engagement ring; given the plethora of designs available, this is a great opportunity to showcase the bride’s style. 

Which finger do you wear an engagement ring on?

The engagement ring is worn on the left-hand ring finger, which has come to be known as the engagement ring finger. Throughout engagement, it is common to wear the engagement ring alone, but after the wedding day, it is common to stack the engagement ring with the wedding band. However, some couples decide to forgo the wedding band and let the engagement ring stand alone.

The Wedding Ring

The wedding ring actually came before the engagement ring, likely because weddings long ago were much simpler affairs, and there wasn’t a betrothal or “engagement” period until relatively recent history. During medieval times the wedding ceremony simply entailed a man offering a woman a ring and the woman accepting it. 

The ring, of course, has long been the symbol of marriage and eternal love because of its shape; a circle has no beginning and no end. Later on, when a ring also became the symbol for the promise to wed, the wedding ring and engagement ring became two distinct rings: the engagement ring given to signify betrothal and the wedding ring given on the wedding day to signify the actual marriage. To this day, wearing both an engagement ring and a wedding ring is commonplace.

Which finger do you wear a wedding ring on?

The tradition of wearing a wedding ring on your ring finger is one that is centuries old. Ancient Egyptians believed that the fourth finger of the left hand contained a vein of love that led directly to the heart. And the tradition remains; the left-hand ring finger is still where both men and women wear wedding rings today.

The Eternity Ring

What is an eternity ring? An eternity ring, or eternity band, is actually a specific style of ring. This particular style symbolizes eternal love, and so it is often given on a wedding anniversary or other special occasion, such as a baby’s birth. However, it’s also popular for brides to wear eternity rings as wedding bands. 

The eternity ring got its name for two reasons; one, being its symbolic nature, and two, being that it features small diamonds or gemstones all the way around the band in a never-ending or “eternal” fashion. The diamonds or gemstones that make up the ring’s eternal pattern are usually all the same color and cut.

These rings are incredibly sparkly and striking, but they are susceptible to damage, such as loose stones. For this reason, “half-eternity” bands have become a popular substitute. Half-eternity rings feature diamonds or gemstones over the face-up portion, or half, of the band. Because there are only half as many diamonds surrounding the band, half-eternity bands can also be more affordable than diamond eternity bands.

Another way to save on an eternity band, and have stones all the way around the band, is by selecting a diamond alternative. Browse gorgeous eternity bands set with Nexus Diamond™ alternatives and see how you will save money without sacrificing beauty.

Eternity rings are often confused with infinity rings but these two styles, although they symbolize the same thing, are not the same. An infinity ring doesn’t feature a never-ending row of diamonds or precious gemstones but rather an infinity symbol or figure eight. 

Which finger do you wear an eternity ring on?

With an eternity ring, there is no set rule as to which finger you should wear it on. For those who wear an eternity ring as a wedding ring, though, it makes sense to wear it on your left ring finger. If you receive an eternity ring as a gift for an anniversary or after the birth of a child, you can choose which finger you want to wear it on. If it matches your engagement ring and wedding ring, an eternity ring can be a beautiful addition to the stack you already have.

If, however, you don’t want to detract from your engagement ring, it may make sense to wear an eternity ring on your right-hand ring finger or middle finger.  

The Correct Order of Engagement, Wedding, and Eternity Rings

While each of these rings is distinct, it’s more common than not to wear them all together, one stacked on top of another. If you choose to wear all three of these rings together, you may be wondering what the correct order is to wear them. Consider following this sequence for multiple rings: 

First, slide on your wedding band, then wear your engagement ring on top of that, and then slide on your eternity ring to complete the set. 

Stacking Unique Wedding Rings

There are so many unique wedding, engagement, and eternity rings today that it may not be suitable to stack your rings in this order. For instance, wedding bands can be shaped just right to sit tightly around an engagement ring setting on either the top or the bottom, or on both the top and bottom of the ring. If this is the case, it’s suitable to wear a wedding band above or below your engagement ring. Additionally, in this case, the wedding band is likely curved so an eternity band wouldn’t look right stacked on top of it. 

Similarly, some engagement rings feature low settings and so a wedding ring or eternity ring can’t sit flush against it. If you have wedding bands of a different shape or an engagement ring with a low setting, you may want to consider wearing your eternity ring on another finger. 

If you want to wear all of your rings together, you may instead want to work with a jeweler to create a custom design. At Diamond Nexus, we offer custom jewelry services, which can help you create a wedding ring, eternity ring, and engagement ring that fit together perfectly. A custom design is a wonderful way to personalize your stack even further and achieve the exact look you want. 

Mix and Match Over Time

Purchasing an engagement ring, wedding ring, and eternity ring is hardly ever done in one breath. Each ring is a substantial purchase in and of itself so it’s more than OK to add to your stack over time. While engagement rings and wedding rings were once purchased as a set, more and more people are seeing the benefits of waiting to add to their collection of fine jewelry in a more drawn-out manner. 

This may mean your wedding ring and engagement ring won’t be a perfect match, and that’s OK too. Mixing and matching different wedding bands and eternity bands with your engagement ring can be a fun way to swap out styles as fashions change. When you feel comfortable mixing and matching the pieces on your ring finger, it makes it easy to add an anniversary ring to your stack later on. You don’t need to stick to just one precious metal, either. All of the precious metals from platinum to white gold to rose gold are beautiful and go beautifully together. 

If you aren’t sure what style or metal you’re looking for, start by exploring engagement ring styles, and then selecting a wedding ring or eternity ring will be much easier. 

Sources: 

GIA

GemSociety

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