While exchanging wedding bands is a common tradition in marriage ceremonies, you may not give much thought as to how this tradition came about. Furthermore, you may be familiar with checking the ring finger of potential suitors. However, you may not realize why the fourth finger of the left hand is the one typically graced with this symbol of love. Different countries have different customs when it comes to wedding-associated jewelry. Here are six fun facts about the wedding rings typically displayed by couples in the USA.
6. Why Wedding Bands Are Worn on the Fourth Finger
As a preschooler, you may have enjoyed singing the song, “Where Is Thumbkin?” In this nursery rhyme, each digit of the hand is greeted, beginning with the thumb and progressing through the pointer, middle, ring finger, and pinkie. Every toddler knows which finger is the ring finger. But do you know how the fourth finger gained this special title? Brides cites an ancient Roman belief that a special vein, the vena amoris, ran from the heart to the fourth finger of the left hand. To this day, many couples choose to place their symbol of love on that particular finger.
5. Men Did Not Wear Wedding Bands Until World War II
Wedding rings were not always exchanged between both husbands and wives in the marriage ceremony. The BBC reports that it wasn’t until World War II that men began wearing wedding bands as a reminder of their loved one back home. Today, many men wear wedding bands as a sign of love and commitment to their wives. Some men (Prince William for example) still choose not to wear a wedding band.
4. The Custom Began in Ancient Egypt
According to Ancient Origins, Egyptian couples were exchanging wedding rings as long ago as 3000 BC. The circular shape of rings signified the eternal nature of the couple’s love. Early wedding rings were composed of materials such as reeds or braided hemp. As time went on, more durable materials such as ivory, bone, or leather were used for wedding rings.
3. If You Drop the Ring, the Marriage is Doomed
According to The Knot, wedding day folklore states that if you drop your ring on your wedding day, the marriage is doomed. Fortunately, The Knot goes on to report that this is one piece of superstition you can safely ignore. However, to protect your investment, it may be wise not to entrust your wedding bands to the whims of your adorable little ring bearer. Furthermore, check the front of your church for any vents or duct openings that may capture your ring if you happen to fumble.
2. Gold Signifies Purity and Value
The traditional gold wedding band signifies purity and value, two admirable traits when committing to a life partner. Historically, precious metals were formed into rings to display the wearer’s status and wealth. Today, Portfolio of Diamonds reports that white gold represents friendship, yellow gold stands for fidelity, and rose gold represents love. Platinum is a popular choice for wedding bands, as it is hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin.Related: What Your Fingernails May Be Telling You About Your Health
1. Diamonds Stand for Enduring Strength
Rumor has it diamonds are a girl’s best friend. In addition to their sparkling beauty, diamonds represent strength and endurance. Furthermore, the indestructible nature of the diamond makes it a powerful representation of love’s strength and endurance. According to the American Gem Society, diamonds became more popular and affordable when the De Beers Company opened a diamond mine in Africa. The company marketed diamonds under the phrase “A Diamond Is Forever.”Related: 20 Helpful Household Hacks Using Toothpaste