The wedding ring is perhaps the most recognized symbol internationally. Indeed, it is an ancient symbol, dating back to the early Egyptian civilization, in North Africa, along the shores of the River Nile.
These being flood plains, they were also fertile ground for plants and reeds that inspired all manner of ornament fabrication. These were intertwined, twisted and braided to form necklaces, pendants, bracelets and rings.
Due to its shape, the ring, or circle, has long been a symbol of eternity. Like time, it has no beginning and no end. Even its empty center has significance; it represents not a void, but rather a doorway or portal. Thus the significance of the ring as an ornament that symbolizes, and in fact seals, the union of two individuals who, through their public wedding vows, embark on a sacred, eternal journey.
Ancient texts and artifacts confirm that rings made of plant materials were placed on the third finger of the left hand at the time of matrimonial ceremonies. This is not by happenstance, for common belief stated that the vein of that finger traveled from the heart directly.
These ring wore out over time and needed to be replaced. This changed dramatically with the advent of metallurgy.