Two_left_hands_forming_a_heart_shape-By-Leon-Brocard-via-Wikimedia-Commons
Two_left_hands_forming_a_heart_shape-By-Leon-Brocard-via-Wikimedia-Commons

A Story of Veinity: The History of the Wedding Ring Finger

Two left hands forming a heart shape By Leon Brocard via Wikimedia Commons - A Story of Veinity: The History of the Wedding Ring Finger

The story behind which hand we wear our wedding and engagement rings is one of true veinity, coined by the Romans and adopted by many Western cultures.

Centuries ago in ancient Italy where men wore tunics and togas and women wore long flowing gowns, many battles were won, but perhaps some of the most important were the battles of the heart. Because behind the bravado of the Roman soldier we learned about at school, it turns out that the Romans were rather romantic; they believed that the vein in the fourth finger of the left hand ran directly to the heart, giving it the Latin name vena amoris – and to signify that marriage was a union of love, they wore their wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand.

Many Western cultures adopted this custom, which is why so many of us wear our engagement and wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand. This tradition was certainly coined in the UK, but you will find plenty of countries (including some European countries) where it is traditional to wear the wedding ring on the right hand.

Image Credit: by Leon Brocard via Wikimedia Commons