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Engagement vs. Wedding Ring: The Differences

Both engagement and wedding rings are rooted deep in tradition, but before we get into that, let’s discuss the basics.


Traditionally, a woman receives an engagement ring from a man during a marriage proposal.  The ring will often have a diamond in the center, set above the band. The woman will then wear the ring on the third finger of her left hand (the one by the pinky) to show the world that she has agreed to spend her life with another. Typically men don’t receive engagement rings, though that trend has begun, and may take over soon!


During the wedding ceremony, the couple will exchange wedding rings. These rings are simpler than the engagement ring, and are either plain bands or have small stones (set inside the band) or designs. When purchasing an engagement ring, you can often buy a matching wedding band that will suit the engagement ring’s style and beauty. A man’s wedding ring is often thicker than the woman’s, but that isn’t always the case.


Wedding rings are worn on the third finger of the left hand, just like the engagement ring. During her wedding, a bride will often wear her engagement ring on her right hand so the wedding ring can be placed on the left. The engagement ring will then be switched back over to the left hand and rest on top of the wedding band (the wedding band should be worn ‘closest to the heart’).


So why do we exchange rings this way? It dates back quite some time. When a man wanted to marry a woman, he needed the father’s permission first. He would give the woman a valuable ring in exchange for the father’s approval, and to show his wealth. While this tradition is outdated today, the idea of giving an engagement ring has lived on.


While traditions may have changed slightly throughout the years, engagement rings and wedding rings are still very popular. Traditions aside, it’s important that you choose the ring that your significant other will cherish most, even if it means taking them along to pick out the perfect one. These rings will represent the unity and bond the two of you committed to on your wedding day, and will serve as a constant reminder of your love and affection.



If you’re looking to find the perfect ring to give to your significant other, visit IMG Jewelers. We are a quality jeweler that has served the Cleveland area for more than 50 years. Please stop by our Lyndhurst showroom and we can help you select the perfect gift, no matter the occasion. You can also contact us with any questions.



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