Wedding Rings

A discussion of lore and superstition surrounding wedding rings.

Superstition:   The lore and symbolism surrounding wedding rings.

Origins:   In


Western society, the wedding ring is a deeply significant item, its never-ending circlet of gold symbolizing a love without end. It is placed on the third finger of the left hand because ancient Greek physicians were convinced a vein ran from that finger straight to the heart.

To lose or break the wedding ring is to foreshadow the end of the marriage through the loss of the husband. He will die, be unfaithful, or some unforeseen disaster will befall him.

A lost wedding ring should be replaced as soon as possible, preferably with an accompanying renewal of


It is deemed unlucky to remove the wedding band once it has been placed on the hand of the bride by her groom. If it falls off or is accidentally removed, her husband must be the one to restore it to its proper place. Some say it is safe to remove it once the first child has arrived, but not all hold with that belief.

Dropping the ring before or during the ceremony is a very bad sign. Whichever of the bridal pair drops it will be the first to die. If it rolls away from the altar, the omen is extremely bad, and if it comes to rest on a gravestone embedded in the floor of the church, it foretells an early death for one of the pair; the bride if the grave belongs to a woman, the groom if its inhabitant is a man.

Barbara “ask not whom the ring rolls” Mikkelson

Last updated:   27 June 2005

  Sources Sources:

    Hole, Christina.   The Encyclopedia of Superstitions.
    New York: Barnes & Noble, 1996.   ISBN 0-76070-228-4.
    Opie, Iona and Moira Tatem.   A Dictionary of Superstitions.
    Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.   ISBN 0-19-282-916-5.
    Pickering, David.   Dictionary of Superstitions.
    London: Cassell, 1995.   ISBN 0-304-345350.
    Tuleja, Tad.   Curious Customs.
    New York: Harmony Books, 1987.   ISBN 0-517-56654-0.
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