The history of the wedding ring and why it is worn on the left hand
July 27, 2016
The wedding ring has a long history that goes all the way back to the Romans. The first engagement ring, however, is believed to have been the one that was given to Mary of Burgundy from Archduke Maximilian just a few years ago in 1477.
Wedding rings have evolved over the years into what are often, more intricate and dazzling pieces of jewellery, this contrasts greatly with the simple iron rings that were used in Roman times. It took a few more years until Medieval times when gold rings with gemstones were beginning to become popular.
The tradition of both bride and groom receiving a wedding ring during a ceremony is believed to have started in the Greek Orthodox church in the 1300’s. This tradition took a while to become widespread across the globe, it was the impact of the separation of couples during WWII that saw couples marrying and exchanging rings before going off to war, uncertain of the outcome. Today the symbolic gesture of exchanging rings has been embraced by many cultures. We are also happy to see that across much of the Western world, it is finally becoming accepted that all couples, regardless of gender, have the opportunity to exchange rings during a ceremony.
So have you ever wondered why we wear our engagement and wedding rings on our left hand’s third finger from the thumb? Whether you have or not you would most likely be interested in the beautiful idea behind this. The tradition is believed to have come from the Roman times when it was thought that there is a vein in this finger that runs directly to the heart called the ‘Vena Amoris’ or translated to the ‘Vein of Love’. Of course, we now know that all veins lead to the heart but there is no denying this is a beautiful notion of love.