Archive | Jewelry & Accessories RSS feed for this section

Tradition of the Ring Finger

16 May

Have you ever wondered why it’s tradition to place the engagement ring and then wedding band on the fourth finger of the left hand (the ring finger)?

The idea of giving a ring to a women to symbolize her betrothal dates back to the 11th century in Rome where they ceased to consider marriage a “wife-purchase” and saw it as a civil compact.  The betrothal ring (annulus pronubis) was a symbol of the compact as no legal forms were written.  Derived from this Roman belief, Henry Swinburne published a work, A Treatise of Spousal or Matrimonial Contracts, in 1686 where the term vena amoris was first used.  Vena amoris is Latin for “vein of love” or “vein of the heart.”  The belief is that there is a vein connecting the heart to the ring finger on the left hand, a symbol of love.

Today, many consider this theory/belief to be false as there are veins in all the fingers that are connected to the heart.  The belief and tradition, however, remains steadfast among most western cultures as the ideal place for the wedding ring.

%d bloggers like this: