So where did it all begin? And why exactly are they worn on the fourth finger of your left hand? Here are a few interesting facts about wedding rings:
A symbol of life-long love, commitment, and loyalty. The wedding ring today is a sign of an unbreakable bond as the circle is meant to symbolize eternity (to some extent). But this is just in modern times. The ring did not always symbolize love.
The oldest record of weddings rings is said to be in ancient Egypt. Where the women took plants like reeds and papyrus that grew alongside the river Nile and twisted them, wove and braided the plants into various ornaments, one of which was the ring. These flimsy and breakable materials never lasted long, however.
And so the rings were made with leather and gradually bone and the more valuable ivory. According to research, the Egyptian era created what is arguably the basis of the wedding ring as we know it. It is unlikely that you will find such rings at the Australian Diamond Company because rings today are made of gold and silver and dripping with gems.
The Romans took this from the Egyptians while changing the purpose of a ring it quite a bit. When the ring was previously a gift and a symbol of love, the Romans now turned it into a sign of ownership and a barbaric means of possession. A Roman man would ‘claim’ a woman by making her wear a sometimes engraved ring. These women were not considered to be their wives but rather, they were like prostitutes and the Roman man could do as he pleased with her because the ring on her finger meant that he ‘owned’ her.
Only much later was the ring adopted by Christens for their marriage ceremonies. The rings were very expensive, elaborate and extravagantly decorated. The church considered such rings to be heathen like and so highly discouraged the giving of rings during a marriage. Eventually the wedding rings of the Christians along with the Roman ‘brothel rings’ were both made a lot simpler looking. It is odd however that the wedding ring and brothel ring existed at the same time.
Wedding rings through the ages have been worn on various fingers from the thumb to the pinkie finger and on both the left and right hand. But the Roman women wore it on the fourth finger of the left hand because of what they believed was the ‘vein of love’ that supposedly runs from the ring finger straight to your heart. Although scientists have debunked this myth and proven that it is false, many people still like to believe that it is true.
So now you know that wedding rings or rings, in general, have a deeply profound history. It began as one thing and ended up as another. And so nothing is as it seemed.