The wedding ring is a tradition that is almost universal across cultures worldwide. However, it does not have strictly the same meaning across all cultures. Over time, the wedding ring has taken on different symbolic meanings in different areas of the globe. As you look for wedding rings Williamsburg VA, you may be surprised to learn what some of the traditions mean, how old some are, and how recently others have emerged.
The Tradition Is Prehistoric
Evidence suggests that the tradition of the wedding ring dates all the way back to the Neanderthals. Back then, the bride would wear bracelets around the wrists or ankles woven from rushes, twigs, or grass. It may have been regarded as a means of protection or a symbol of loyalty.
The Hand Can Vary
In Western cultures, the wedding ring is typically worn on the left hand. In ancient times, it was believed that a vein ran from the third finger of the left hand to the heart, and that is how the wedding ring took on its romantic connotation. However, not everyone wears a wedding ring on the left hand. Some religious traditions wear the wedding ring on the right hand due to a superstitious belief that the left is bad or unlucky. There are also practical reasons to wear a wedding ring on the right hand. People who are left-handed may choose to wear their wedding ring on their nondominant hand to reduce the risk of loss or damage.
The Tradition of Wedding Rings for Men Is Relatively Recent
Until the 20th century, only women wore wedding rings. In Ancient Rome, it was a symbol that the wife was entitled to her husband’s money and property. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the wedding ring exchange became commonplace and men started wearing them too. This was due largely to World War II. Soldiers sent overseas to fight started wearing wedding rings as a way of keeping their spouses close even when they were far away.