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History of the Wedding Ring: Why do we wear it on our left ring finger?

In the Western world, you can quickly discover a person's relationship status by looking at their left ring finger. Ever wonder how this tradition started?

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It all begins with the ancient Romans. Their belief was that the vein in the fourth finger of the left hand was directly connected to the heart. They named this vein the vena amoris or vein of love. With the wedding rings being the physical representation of the vows exchanged by the newlyweds, they chose this finger for the placement of the rings, representing the union of love and romance shared by newlyweds and connecting the two hearts. Pretty romantic huh?


Men often wear the wedding band alone, but women will wear a promise or engagement ring as well, but always with the wedding ring stacked closest to the heart.

Fun Fact: A chastity ring, symbolizing a person’s abstinence vow, is also worn on this finger. Some religious groups wear this ring to mean that they also abstain from displays of affection and sometimes from even developing romantic emotions at all. It is a purity ring in this form and these days often has such words as “love waits” or “purity” engraved on the band.

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