Why we wear our engagement ring on the fourth finger

Why we wear our engagement ring on the fourth finger

We all know the engagement ring is worn on the fourth finger of your left hand, but you may not know why .

It turns out the reason is actually quite romantic and goes back centuries.

About 4800 years ago the ancient Egyptians twisted sedges, rushes or reeds into a ring.

The circle was a symbol of eternity – with no beginning or end – and was recognised by most cultures. Basically, to give a ring was a sign of eternal love.

The placement was key. There’s a debate over whether it was the Egyptians or the Romans who started the idea of the ring finger, but whoever it was the reason remains the same.

It was thought the vein running through the finger led directly to the heart.

The vein was called ‘Vena Amoris’ – the ‘Vein of Love’ – in Roman times. Scientists have since disproved this, but it’s sort of true when you think all veins lead to your heart.

The Romans, rather than offering the ring as a symbol of love, used it as a symbol of ownership.

We’ll just skip over the fact they were used to for slavery or business partnerships too. That ruins the romance.

More practically, most people are right handed so the ring would get less worn if it was on the left hand.

The ring placement is just one of the many traditions passed on from the Egyptians and Romans.

Weirder ones include the Egyptians pinching the bride on her wedding day for good luck.

The veil? The Romans thought it protected the bridge from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since.

Who knew?




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