The Wedding Ring Finger: History and Meaning

Have you ever stopped to wonder why the engagement rings that dazzle us are worn on the left hand? Is it purely by repetition that the ring finger gained its role in wedding symbolism? 

Perhaps you're getting engaged soon, and you want to evaluate whether the wedding ring traditions of the past are best for you. Once you understand the historical significance of the wedding ring, you'll be better prepared to make the decisions that are right for you about your wedding jewelry.

Your Wedding Ring Questions Answered 

There are many things in life we don't stop to question simply because they are customary. For example, you may not have pondered why a bride walks down the aisle on her wedding day. You might have accepted that a bride must carry flowers down the aisle without questioning it. There are many standard wedding customs that you can re-evaluate for yourself. 

Let's explore the history and meaning of the wedding ring.

Who Was the First to Wear Wedding Rings?

Many have thought it was the Romans who first wore wedding rings, but it was likely Ancient Egyptians. For thousands of years now, wedding rings have been exchanged as a symbol of love and devotion. For Egyptians, this ring was a symbol of eternity. Later on, other cultures began to see the value of exchanging rings as a symbol of affection and devotion. 

Why the Left Hand 

You might have thought the placement of a wedding ring on the fourth finger was purely an aesthetic choice. However, ancient Egyptians and Romans alike ascribed to the idea that the fourth finger held special significance. Specifically, they believed the vein in the left-hand fourth finger connected directly to the heart. This belief led to this vein being named the "vena amoris."

It's worth noting that though many Western cultures recognize the fourth finger of the left hand as the ring finger, other countries choose the right hand instead. Among these are India, Germany, Spain, Norway, and Russia. Should you choose to wear wedding jewelry on another finger instead of the left-hand ring finger, you are more than welcome to do so. To ensure the best fit for your wedding rings, try out a ring sizer on your preferred finger.

Why Wear a Ring? 

As we mentioned, Egyptians were the first to exchange rings as a symbol of eternity. Today, this eternal symbolism is still included in wedding ring vocabulary. Certain styles are called "eternity rings," indicating a forever bond. 

You can ultimately decide to exchange necklaces, bracelets, or another symbol of devotion at your marriage ceremony. Wedding rings are one exciting way to commemorate an eternal promise to your partner while giving them something personal and valuable.  

Are There Rules to Wedding Rings? 

Do you have to wear an engagement ring before a wedding ring? Do you need both rings for your marriage? Does the groom's ring have to be plain? 

One important thing to note is that your wedding is about you and your partner. Though there are wedding customs that many ascribe to, your wedding is your own ceremony. You can choose to forego traditional wedding ring customs and create symbolism that is special to your relationship. 

Can I Customize My Wedding Rings? 

Some people enjoy wearing rings that are currently relevant and popular. Others prefer to put their individual design on display with a custom wedding ring that fits their taste. At Noémie, you are invited to customize a ring that delights you. You can do this using our custom diamond ring builder. This tool allows you to customize the metal you prefer, as well as the diamond cut and carat size of your ring's diamonds. 

For even greater personalization, you can choose to fill out our custom ring form. This form allows you to specify the exact number of carats you prefer, as well as your budget. In addition, you can upload an inspiration photo that helps guide us as we design your ideal ring. This ring form is an ideal option for those who want a Noémie ring that's one-of-a-kind.

Six Wedding Rings to Adore 

If wedding rings are a symbol you'd enjoy for your wedding, then you deserve beautifully handcrafted, eye-catching wedding rings. You can opt for rings that have stood the test of time or choose rings that uniquely express your marriage. Here are some of our favorite diamond rings that can showcase your unique relationship and commitment to your partner. 

1. Oval-Cut Diamond Eternity Band Ring 

Remember the significance of eternity bands? In this case, the word eternity signifies that the brilliant diamonds encircle the entire ring. Our Noémie Oval Cut Diamond Eternity Band updates the timeless eternity style with stunning oval cut diamonds. Wear it in 18k white gold, rose gold, yellow gold, or platinum.

2. The Vintage Diamond Band 

If you prefer to draw inspiration from historical styles, this ring is ideal for your wedding ceremony. The geometric and whimsical design of our Vintage Diamond Band gives it a nostalgic feel. 

This band showcases beautiful petite white diamonds set in each whimsical shape. Go for a romantic 18k rose gold, or choose 18k white gold, yellow gold, or platinum for this ring's band.

3. Multi-Color Sapphire Eternity Band Ring 

You are free to choose the wedding jewelry that reflects your personality. Our Multi-Color Sapphire Eternity Band Ring is the perfect example of this. In 18k white gold, rose gold, or black gold, this colorful sapphire ring is a beautiful way to proclaim your vibrant love for your partner. Wear it alone or pair it with a stunning engagement ring. 

4. Chevron Diamond Ring

Do you enjoy minimalist styles and modern shapes in your jewelry? Our Chevron Diamond Band might be your ideal wedding ring choice. Its sleek, angular design makes for a unique wedding ring shape. This band showcases beautiful round VS clarity diamonds around the Chevron portion of the band, making it a brilliant option for wedding jewelry. 

5. Micro-Pavé Diamond Band 

Our Three-Row Micro-Pavé Diamond Band combines simplicity and luxury. If you'd prefer to forego an engagement ring and wear only one wedding band, this one is a terrific option. It sparkles with three rows of F/G color-grade white diamonds set in 18k white gold, rose gold, yellow gold, or black gold. 

6. Diamond Chain Link Ring

If you enjoy unique styles, our Diamond Chain Link Ring could be a perfect wedding ring alternative for you. Like a diamond eternity band that symbolizes eternal love, the diamond links in this band could be a symbol for you and your partner of intertwined lives and support of one another. 

In Conclusion 

Weddings are filled with tradition, symbolism, and history. Everything from cake-cutting to vow-reciting has its roots in tradition. 

Don't forget that you have the freedom to choose the symbolism and traditions in your wedding. You can exchange beautiful diamond rings and wear them on your left hand if you like. If you prefer to blaze your own trail, you can custom design your wedding jewelry to represent your unique relationship and story. 

Sources:

Everything You Need to Know About Ring Fingers | Brides 

The Origin of Wedding Rings: Ancient Tradition or Marketing Invention? | GIA 

Wedding Ring History and Why We Wear Rings on the Left Hand | Quick Jewelry Repairs