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Wedding ring


The world perceives the engagement ring as a symbol of love, passion and intimacy between two adults. Now a person (or couple) can wear wedding rings on any hand that he wants or takes into account religious traditions.

History and traditions

The custom of placing an engagement ring on the ring finger owes its origin to the beautiful, albeit false theory, that a special nerve or vein of love is directed straight from the finger to the heart. It is believed that this theory belongs to the Roman grammar and neo-Platonic philosopher Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius, who, in turn, received this information from an unnamed priest from Egypt.

Couples wear wedding rings on their left hand in many Western countries such as North America, South America, and EU countries, including the UK, Italy, France, and Slovenia. In the United States, women (and some men) prefer to wear wedding rings on their left ring fingers. In countries in the Asian region, people also tend to wear the symbol of love on their left hands.

Traditional Indian practice is to wear a wedding ring on the right hand, because the left hand is recognized as unclean according to religion. However, modern Indians can wear a ring on their left hand to fit custom in countries such as the United States. In many countries of Northern and Eastern Europe, including Denmark, Norway, Russia, Poland and Bulgaria, they traditionally wear a wedding ring on the ring finger of their right hand. Similar customs in Portugal, Spain and Greece. There, the symbol of marriage is worn on the right.

In Brazil and Western countries, the bride and groom wear non-precious rings as engagement rings on the right hand, and after pronouncing the oath they transfer these or other rings to the left hand. Couples in Germany and the Netherlands often do the opposite: promise rings are put on the left hand, and marriage symbols on the right.

In Jewish tradition, the groom puts a ring on the index finger of the bride’s right hand, because it is the most prominent finger. Today, the bride usually puts the ring on the ring finger after the ceremony.

There are many variations around the world. In China, for example, the wife wears a wedding ring on her right hand, using the so-called “working hand” to show that she is responsible for the household, while the husband wears it on his left hand.

There are certain preferences related to religion:

  • Orthodox wear a sign of love and fidelity on the right ring finger.
  • Protestants wear a wedding ring on their left hand, and Catholics on their right.
  • Muslim men wear silver and give gold to women. More often jewelry is worn on the left hand.

In Russia, wedding rings were not worn, they began to be used only in the 18th century. Then came up with a special language of rings:

  • Decoration on the ring finger is a symbol of fidelity.
  • The ring, dressed on the little finger, spoke of the lack of desire to marry.
  • The decoration on the index finger showed the search for a worthy couple.
  • The ring on the middle finger indicated a frivolous attitude towards the marriage.

Now this language is not used.

Engagement Ring Signs

  • The ring of love is not allowed to measure, wear and even be considered in the hands of an outsider.
  • Foreign characters of marriage that are already worn by someone should not be worn at a wedding. The exception is family inherited jewelry associated with a happy marriage.
  • After a divorce, the ring is either changed to the other hand or not used at all.
  • Smooth decorations that symbolize a calm life are preferred. But this is conditional, since many successfully wear engagement rings with stones and engraving.
  • An unmarried girl can touch a wedding ring at a wedding to get married sooner.
  • The symbol of marriage is worn only on a finger without a wedding glove.

Today, the decision is often dictated by personal choice and preference, as well as tradition. For example, if the bride is right-handed, she may prefer to wear a wedding ring on her left hand so that it does not interfere with everyday life.

The history of engagement rings

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Different sources describe the emergence of the tradition of engagement rings in different ways. Some authors believe that tradition begins its history in ancient Egypt, others in ancient Greece.

The ancient Greek writer Plutarch, referring to Apion's work “On Egypt,” provides an interesting historical background on why rings are usually worn on the ring finger: “According to legend, the ancient Greeks wore a ring on the finger of their left hand closest to the little finger. The same custom, as they say, was with the Romans. The reason for this ... is that when dissecting and opening human bodies according to the custom accepted in Egypt (the Greeks call it anatomy) it was found that a certain subtle nerve departs from and reaches the heart and therefore it was deemed appropriate to honor this finger with such an ornament, as closely involved in the primacy of the heart in the body. ”

The tradition of exchanging wedding rings has its roots in ancient times, when newlyweds, as a sign of love and devotion, gave each other symbolic wedding rings woven from hemp or cane. They became the prototype of modern engagement rings. Later, a custom appeared in ancient Rome, according to which the groom, as a sign of assuming obligations for the future wife, during the engagement ceremony gave a metal wedding ring to the bride's parents.

Today, the engagement ring has not lost its original meaning. Its round shape, with no beginning or end, symbolizes infinity and eternal love, and the noble metal, from which wedding rings are traditionally made, is a symbol of purity and purity. The appearance of wedding rings over its centuries-old history has undergone a number of changes. If initially wedding rings were extremely simple, nowadays more and more young couples choose rings, in the design of which there are interspersed stones and combinations of precious metals. As a rule, these rings are made of gold, but modern newlyweds are increasingly choosing rings from other metals (silver, titanium, palladium) or alloys (stainless steel, tungsten carbide), and even from non-metals (ceramics, plastics).

On wedding rings there are ornaments, images, inscriptions, which have special symbolic meaning for husband and wife. Such rings are not only an attribute of the conclusion of a union, but also become a talisman, an amulet of loving hearts. On the inner rim of the ring are engraved words, confessions, the name of a loved one.