The History Of Wedding Rings

Worn throughout history and in cultures and countries all around the world, the wedding ring is perhaps one of the most universally recognizable symbols of marriage. While most people recognize wedding bands as a symbol of marriage, not many people know the history of wedding bands and how their meaning came to be.

While the exact origins aren’t known, but it is thought that wearing rings dates back over 3000 years ago to ancient Egypt when women would make them from hemp and reeds. Based on translations of hieroglyphics from the period, historians believe rings may have had very similar meaning as they do now. Being a circle, the ring has become a symbol for eternity because it has no beginning and no end.  Similarly, the ring seems to have been a token of love and an everlasting bond between a man and a woman at that time.
The hieroglyphics also show rings were worn on the third finger of the left hand, commonly referred to now as the ring finger, the same way that many cultures often do today. This practice was also used by other ancient civilizations, such as the Romans. It was widely believed that there was a vein that ran from the ring finger on the left hand directly to the heart. Wearing a band on that finger was a connection to the heart.
Giving a ring to your bride-to-be, or wife, has not always been the symbol of love that is was in ancient Egypt and that it is today. In ancient Rome, for example, a man gave a woman a ring as a symbol of possession. She now belonged to him. Although the Roman ideal of a husband having ownership of his wife has long been forgotten, the custom of rings being made of metal came about during this period and continues to be the tradition even today. They are no longer made from iron, like the rings worn by Roman wives, but wedding bands are still fashioned from metals, such as gold or platinum.
Throughout history, rings have been formed out of all different kinds of materials, everything from reeds to leather, hemp, iron and gold. In parts of Colonial America, jewelry was often considered frivolous and wasteful. It was common for Puritan men, especially, to give women thimbles, instead of rings. But it was popular for women to remove part of the thimble and turn it into a ring they could wear.
Men have been giving women rings as symbols of their love and commitment for centuries, but it wasn’t until much more recently that men also began wearing wedding bands. During World War II men started to wear rings to remind them of their wives at home. The practice continued to be popular during the Korean War.  Eventually bands for both husbands and wives became customary, whether involved with the military, or not.
Wedding bands have a long and rich history, just like marriage itself. Their meaning and composition have undergone changes over the course of time, but one thing has remained the same, rings have been given as a token of the lifelong bond between husband and wife. As you prepare for your nuptials, think about the meaning of the wedding ring and how it has come to be such a widespread icon of love and marriage.

! Have a Fabulous Day ! – Jenny at Dapperhouse