Wedding bands are the easiest way to identify a married person, but this hasn’t always been the case. In 2021, many marriages would be considered incomplete without one due to a historical tradition.
Wedding rings play a very significant role in marriages these days and can signify quite a lot. When a married celebrity steps out without their wedding band, it makes news, all thanks to this widely followed custom.
Many have known when and where a person wears a wedding ring, but most do not understand why. Read more to explore the history of this age-old custom that many married couples have followed for centuries.
Wedding Ring Origins
Wedding rings are a symbol of life-long love and commitment to your partner and have been for centuries. The history of wedding rings dates back to about 4800 years ago in Ancient Egypt.
Zaven Ghanimian, the CEO of Simon G Jewelry, explains the meaning of the wedding band shape. The Egyptians came up with a sentimental theory for the wedding band and even the centerpiece stone.
“The circle symbolizes eternity, with no beginning or end. What most people don’t know is that the hole in the center of the ring also has significance—it’s not just space but rather a gateway or door. When you give a woman a ring, it signifies immortal love.”Says Zaven Ghanimian
During this time, rings were made of different materials such as ivory, leather, and iron before gold and silver. The Egyptian custom spread among the Greeks and Romans and then the rest of the West.
The Left-Hand Sentiment
Many people wear their wedding rings on the ring finger on their left hands, and it’s become a widespread tradition. Although it may just be a hand, there is some sentiment to wearing your ring on the left ring finger.
Ancient Egyptians believed that the ‘vein of love’, ran through the left ring finger directly to the heart. As a result, married couples wore their eternal love symbols on the finger they believed to be connected to their hearts.
Although the sentiment behind wearing your ring on the left finger is romantic, it’s unfortunately inaccurate. The vena amoris, or ‘vein of love’ does not exist, but the thought is still quite sweet.
Wedding Ring Alternatives
The left hand may be the tradition many are accustomed to in the U.S, but many countries do the opposite. In countries like India, Germany, and Bulgaria, it is customary to wear the ring on the right hand.
The right hand is typically used for oaths and vows, which is why many people wear their bands on the right. Additionally, the left hand is considered unlucky in some cultures making the right hand a better choice.
Wearing your wedding band on the right ring finger is not the only alternative you can pick these days. Many non-traditional couples are ditching the rings for symbols such as tattoos, necklaces, and charms.