A History of the Wedding Band
One of the simplest expressions of the promise of love, the wedding band is also one of the oldest. Dating back to the Egyptians, who considered its round, empty center to represent a door or a gateway to unknown events (presumably good events for the couples-to-be), it is rife with symbolism and inspired practice.
Many countries recognize, and have for centuries, the wedding band as a left hand adornment. The term “ring finger” undoubtedly stems from the band itself. And it’s thought that the cultures who wear it on this hand do so because of a vein in the left finger that can be traced up the arm and eventually to the heart. The ancient Greeks, soon joined by the Romans, consider this vein the “vena amoris”. Or, the “vein of love”. Contrarily, a vast majority of European husbands and wives today wear their wedding bands on their right hand.
So, as our look at the wedding band across eras and continents carries on, one thing seems clear–its symbolism is strong, but what that is exactly comes down to who is giving and who is receiving.