“I Do!” The Ring of Marriage
iPhoneOgraphy – 13 Jan 2016 (Day 13/366)
A wedding ring or wedding band is a ring, often but not always made of metal, indicating the wearer is married. Depending on the local culture, the ring is usually worn on the base of the right or the left ring finger. The custom of wearing such a ring has spread widely beyond its origin in Europe. In the United States, wedding rings were originally worn only by wives, but during the 20th century they became customary for both husbands and wives. Wedding rings are a tradition that goes back many centuries, having been manifested in the wedding customs of many different nations and religious groups. They come in many forms, most traditionally a ring made of gold or some other precious metal. Many people wear their wedding rings day and night, causing an indentation in the skin that remains visible even when the ring is taken off. Another indication of their cultural importance is that wedding rings are among the few items permitted to be worn by otherwise restrictive rules for prison inmates and visitors.
It is widely believed that the first examples of wedding rings were found in ancient Egypt. Relics dating back as far as 3,000 years ago, including papyrus scrolls, show us evidence of braided rings of hemp or reeds being exchanged among a wedded couple. Egypt viewed the circle as a symbol of eternity, and the ring served to signify the never-ending love between the couple. This was also the origin of the practice of wearing the wedding ring on the ring finger of the left hand, which the Egyptians believed to house a special vein that was connected directly to the heart, otherwise also known as Vena Amoris.