The vein of love

Once you go black...

Though the plain gold band remains a staple of tradition, there are plenty of other wedding bands out there to choose from. I myself like the Celtic knot designs. Titanium and black zirconium bands, like the flat band with rounded edges above from Absolute Titanium Designs, are gaining in popularity. Mixed metals that make bands more colorful and striking are also creating a stir.

Of course, regardless of shape, size, or color, that wedding band is most often worn firmly on the fourth finger, better known as the ring finger. But why? According to Cool Quiz:

Before medical science discovered how the circulatory system functioned, people believed that a vein of blood ran directly from the third finger on the left hand to the heart. Because of the hand-heart connection, they chose the descriptive name vena amori, Latin for the vein of love, for this particular vein.

Based upon this name, their contemporaries, purported experts in the field of matrimonial etiquette, wrote that it would only be fitting that the wedding ring be worn on this finger. By wearing the ring on the third finger of the left hand, a married couple symbolically declares their eternal love for each other.

The vein of love. I like it.

9 Responses to “The vein of love”

  1. SJ says:

    One word of caution with wedding bands or any rings made out of “stronger” metals – such as Titanium: Be Careful! A friend of my broke a couple fingers on his left hand (including the ring finger) playing basketball while wearing his titanium wedding band. Needless to say, the emergency room had a lot of difficulty getting his ring off so they could treat him.

    But in terms of design, if you can’t decide on what color metal to choose – you can always get a band made by the Japanese metal working process, Mokume Gane. This process results in delicate swirls of metal with a pattern not unlike wood grain. If you’re looking for something delicate, singluar and timeless – definitely something to look at/consider.

  2. srah says:

    Isn’t the ring finger the fourth?

  3. JaneC says:

    If you start at the index finger instead of the thumb, the ring finger is the third finger. I, too, would call it the fourth finger, because I count the thumb as a finger, but some people don’t. Meh.

  4. Never teh Bride says:

    I was discounting the thumb but have since changed third to fourth! The thumb is now and forever shall be A FINGER!

  5. Twistie says:

    It’s interesting to note that most fingers of both hands have been used at some point by some culture for wedding bands. For instance, through much of the 17th century, English brides wore their wedding rings on their left thumbs.

    I love the fact that wedding rings, like so many other aspects of marriage, are more variable now than they were not too long ago. A lot of people don’t even recognize my wedding/engagement rings as having any particular meaning, largely because they’re both silver and there’s no stone involved. If enough of us break ranks with gold and a diamond, though, others will begin to understand. ; )

    Nothing, I hasten to add, against gold and diamonds. If you like them, that’s fantastic. I just like the fact that it’s become easier to choose something else if your preference lies that way.

  6. jenny says:

    Ooh: I like the idea of wearing my wedding ring on a different finger. For some reason, it drives me batty to wear my ring on my “ring” finger. I think I’m liking the thumb idea…

  7. Never teh Bride says:

    I asked The Beard to get me an engagement ring that I could wear on my middle finger. Besides the obvious fun when people ask to see my engagement ring, I can keep wearing it once we exchange wedding bands.

  8. Twistie says:

    (giggles) I love the middle finger idea, NtB!

  9. Never teh Bride says:

    Wow, SJ, I just checked out some Mokume Gane and they are GORGEOUS!