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Wedding Ring – A Recognizable Symbol of Love

While there are no hard and fast rules on the exact science of wedding ring wearing, most people opt for wearing theirs on the ring finger of the left hand.

The wedding ring, that most famous and instantly recognizable symbol of the
(hopefully perpetual) joining of a man and a woman as husband and wife in the
institution of marriage, has a long, wide spread and mysterious history. The meaning of the wedding ring can be traced back almost 5,000 years. It is said the wedding ring tradition was first originated by the Egyptians who some 4,800 years ago twisted plant material (such as hemp) into rings and bracelets.

The ring is of course a circle and this was the symbol of eternity for the
Egyptians as well as many other ancient cultures. It had no beginning and no
end, like time. It returned to itself, like life; and the shape was worshiped
in the form of the Sun and the Moon. The hole in the center of the ring is not
just space either; it is important in its own right as the symbol of the
gateway, or door; leading to things and events both known and unknown.

It is not difficult therefore, to see how the ring and the gift of a ring
began to be associated with love, in the hope that this most worthy of emotions
could take on the characteristics of the circle and capture eternity.

They believed the round symbolism of wedding rings was linked to an eternal love with no end. Use of the wedding band symbol is mentioned in the hieroglyphics on the walls of Egyptian tombs as translated by archaeologists.

Some 2000 years ago, Asian puzzle rings were commonly used as wedding bands. It is said that sheiks and sultans required each of their wives to wear one as a pledge of fidelity while he was away.

If for some reason, the woman removed her ring, it would fall apart and be very difficult to put back together without knowing the answer to the puzzle.

My goodness but we’ve come a long way since then!

Before 1940, only about 15% of bridegrooms received rings. The tradition of the double ring ceremony first started to become popular during World War II where around 60% of couples exchanged rings. This percentage rose to 70% during the Korean War.

Although it is not known what the percentage of wedding ring exchange ceremonies exist today, one can only assume that it has increased steadily over time. What can be more romantic than two people who promise to love and honor each other, using wedding ring symbolism as an acknowledgment of that pledge?

Ancient Egyptians and Romans believed that the ring finger of the left hand follows the "vena amoris" or vein of love, which is directly connected, to the heart.

Therefore, many wedding rings were worn on the left ring finger, as it was believed to link a couples’ destiny. Even though Science discredits this theory – many romantics at heart still follow this practice today.

Another theory suggests that during the 17th century, wedding rings were typically worn on the thumb and then moved to the 4th finger of the left hand during the wedding ceremony.

It is believed that during a Christian wedding, a priest presents the ring to the 4th finger after touching three fingers on the left hand and saying, “In the Name of the Father – Son – and Holy Ghost”.

Isn’t it amazing how a small circle of metal, an unbroken circle, symbolizes eternal loveArticle Search, continuing its endless flow through time? This universal symbol has been an important part of the wedding ceremony for many generations.

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Andy Moquin has spent 20 years in the jewelry industry with much of her experience in polished diamonds, engagement rings , wedding rings and custom jewelry design. She is an accomplished business consultant and is available for advice on topics such as marketing, advertising, merchandising and business turnarounds.

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