History of Wedding Rings
A wedding ring or wedding band is a finger ring that indicates that its wearer is married. It is usually forged from metal, and traditionally is forged of gold or another precious metal.
The earliest examples of wedding rings are from Ancient Egypt. Western customs for wedding rings can be traced to ancient Rome and Greece and were transmitted to the present through Christendom in Europe, which adapted the ancient customs.
Depending on culture, a wedding ring is typically worn on the base of the left or right ring finger. Many spouses wear their wedding rings day and night, causing an indentation in the skin that is visible even when the ring is removed. Since the 19th century in the West, it has been considered unlucky to remove a wedding ring once it has been placed on the finger in church.
It is commonly believed that the first examples of wedding rings were found in ancient Egypt. Relics dating to 6,000 years ago, including papyrus scrolls, are evidence of the exchange of braided rings of hemp or reeds between spouses. Ancient Egypt considered the circle to be a symbol of eternity, and the ring served to signify the perpetual love of the spouses. This was also the origin of the custom of wearing the wedding ring on the ring finger of the left hand, because the ancient Egyptians believed that this finger enclosed a special vein that was connected directly to the heart, denominated in Latin the “Vena amoris”.
The Western traditions of wedding rings can be traced to ancient Rome and Greece and were first associated with the marital dowry and later with a promise of fidelity. The modern exchange of rings derived from the customs of Europe in the Middle Ages as part of Christendom. In the United States, wedding rings were initially only worn by wives, but became customary for both husbands and wives during the 20th century.
Courtesy of Wikipedia