Wedding rings and engagement rings today are oftentimes expensive sentiments and symbols of love and eternal union, but do you know how these traditional symbols came about? Why did they become famous symbols and why on your left hand’s fourth finger? Read the discussion below from AAAJewelryUtah.com to find out.
The Origin of Engagement Rings and Wedding Rings
Ladies, you can thank the Archduke Maximilian of Austria for that gorgeous diamond ring on your ring finger, who was believed to have started the tradition of giving a diamond ring to the lovely Mary of Burgundy as a symbol of his love for her back in 1477.
But, wearing both the engagement and wedding rings on your left hand’s fourth finger, now known as your ring finger, was introduced by the Egyptians who alleged that the “Vena Amoris,” which translates to “Vein of Love,” directly ran from your heart to the topmost part of your ring finger. Consequently, to solidify and signify a union of two beings brought together by love, the Egyptians also placed rings on the ring finger to symbolize the romance newlyweds share. Allegedly, Egyptians chose the circle shape since it has no beginning and no end.
But, it wasn’t until Roman times that wearing a ring in public became a symbol of honoring a marriage union. The earliest engagement and wedding bands were manufactured from iron, and it wasn’t until the medieval ages that gold rings with various gems became popular. Diamonds, rubies, and sapphires were all the rage back then—diamond for being the most expensive and toughest, ruby for its red color, similar to the heart, and sapphire for its blue color, which is reflective of the heavens above.
Where Should Your Rings Go?
Wearing your engagement and wedding rings—whether it was passed on by family or custom engagement rings—on your ring finger is still pretty much the tradition these days in the majority of Western cultures. Plenty of Europeans also wear their wedding bands on their ring finger, but on their right hand. Ultimately, you’re the one’s who’s going to be wearing them for life, so you should do as you please.