In ancient times, Egyptians took pieces of hemp or other reedy plants and fashioned them into circles that would be worn by women as a symbol of marriage. No one knows exactly why the Egyptians decided to create these first wedding rings. Maybe they were romantics. After all, they believed the fourth finger contained a vena amoris – that is a vein of love that ran directly from the hand to the heart. And they worshiped the Sun and the Moon for their circular shapes, which were eternal by design.
The practice was later picked up by Sultans and Roman men to symbolize their ownership of the women they married. Hemp rings, which only lasted a year if the owner was lucky, gave way to longer lasting metal rings. Though, rust was a problem, and eventually gold and silver became the standard. During World War II, it became fashionable for men to also wear wedding rings, so as to better remember the wives they left behind. And now, thousands of years after the Egyptians designed those first symbols of marriage, wedding rings have become more popular than ever.