Wedding rings are a staple of modern day society and the surefire way of telling if someone is engaged or married is by checking their left hand. We also know that engagement and wedding rings go on the fourth finger of the left hand, otherwise known as the ring finger.
No one really knows the exact origin of the wedding ring. In history, the wedding ring was connected to the exchange of possessions at the moment of the wedding rather than the symbol of love and devotion that it is now.
Now, the ring itself holds its own meaning: circle is a symbol of eternity, with no beginning or end while the hole in the middle signifies a gateway or a door into a new life together. By wearing rings on the fourth finger, a married couple symbolically declares their eternal love for one another.
But why put the ring on the fourth finger?
Up until the 1700s, the ring could be worn on any finger, including the thumb. Later on, people believed that a vein ran directly from the fourth finger on the left hand to the heart. They titled this vein the ‘Vena Amoris’ Latin for ‘Vein of Love.’ Because of the perceived connection between the hand and the heart, they decided to place their symbol of love on this finger. Though this was proven false by modern day science, the custom remains today.
Looking down and seeing a ring on the fourth finger holds a different significance for everyone and the rings worn on this finger represent each couple’s own unique version of their eternal love. This ring-finger tradition has stood the test of time just as the ring itself sends the message of a love that will also last forever.