A wedding ring or wedding band is, as a rule, worn on the fourth finger (thumb included) of the left hand in many parts of the world. The reason being that it is a belief that the Latin name “vena amoris” or “vein of love” ran directly from the heart to this finger. Other parts of the world wear the wedding ring on the right hand (eg. Russia, Chile, Poland, Germany to name but a few.)
The majority of rings are made from precious metals, gold or platinum, with the recent rise in popularity of of non precious metals such as stainless steel, Titanium, Zirconium and Tungsten. These non precious metal rings are often inlaid with precious metals and diamonds to enhance their appeal.
The ring signifies commitment and loyalty to a marital partner and is more commonly women who wear this symbol, but due to the rise in popularity of alternative metals for rings, men are now fast approaching acceptance of wearing a ring also.
Engraving the inside of a ring is a tradition encouraged to personalise the band and to help cement the relationship also adding sentimentality. Normal inscriptions include the name of the partner together with the wedding date on the inside of the wedding ring, although it is not unusual to engrave lines from meaningful songs and weird messages known only to the couple.
Plain flat or domed rings are the two most popular styles. Another style commonly known as a “Russian” wedding ring is of three fine rings woven together to make one. The three rings symbolise, love, hope and faith.
Some cultures favour puzzle rings – interlocking wedding rings assembled in order to form one ring and Celtic style bands are increasingly popular in English speaking countries – the Celtic knot symbolises oneness and continuity.