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When did wedding rings come about?

It's wedding day, so I have very little time, but thought it was fitting to find out when wedding rings became a thing.

Evidence of wedding rings have been found from around 6000 years ago. Ancient Egyptians believed in the vena amoris, (literally the “vein of love”) that runs directly from the heart to the fourth finger on the left hand. Since then, wedding rings have been worn as a sign of the binding pledge between spouses. The endless circle shows the eternal nature of the union, with the open center a portal to the unexplored life ahead as a couple.

This sentimental theory is recognized in western cultures and is the main reason the engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger, now referred to as the “ring finger”. In other cultures, however, the ring is worn on the right hand, since that is the hand used for oaths and vows.

The Greeks and Romans carried on the wedding ring tradition but, during these eras, betrothal rings were made out of leather, bone or ivory. In early Rome, the use of metal rings began to surpass other materials, but the metal primarily used was iron. Gold and silver rings were given on rare occasions, and only by the extremely wealthy.

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