History of wedding rings
The history of wedding rings is rich in legendary lore
and of untold joy, sorrow, hope and tragedy. The gifting
of a ring to commemorate a union, betrothal or marriage
has been in vogue since ancient times, when it was a
method of formalizing and exchanging a contract of marriage.
The origin of rings can be traced back to the times
of the early Egyptians. Plant material such as hemp
or twine was twisted into rings and bracelets to signify
never-ending and immortal love. These rings were worn
on the fourth finger of the left hand, which we now
know as the ring finger as it was believed that this
finger contained a special vein that was directly connected
to the heart. The ancient Romans took a less romantic
approach. For them, the wedding ring was not a symbol
of love, but one of ownership. The Roman men would “claim”
or purchase their women with the exchange of these rings.
As with the Egyptians, the Romans also wore the rings
on the fourth finger of the left hand.
In Asia, puzzle rings were very popular. These rings
were a complex type of jewelry that was designed to
fall apart and come together again, provided one knew
how to do this. This trend was followed in the Middle
East, where sultans required each of their wives to
wear one at all times as a pledge of loyalty. If the
wife were to remove it while her husband was away, the
ring would fall apart, making it very difficult to put
Wedding rings or bands are special items of jewelry
that symbolize love, commitment, fidelity, eternity
and honor. There are many superstitions regarding wedding
rings. For example, it was considered unlucky for a
bride-to-be to go shopping for the wedding ring on a
Friday. It is also believed that neither the bride nor
the groom should wear the wedding ring before the wedding
ceremony. Thankfully, today’s wedding rings are
not made of hemp or twine, but of platinum, titanium,
white gold, gold sapphires, diamonds, rubies and emeralds.
A plain gold wedding band is the most popular design.
The engraving of wedding bands is also increasing in
popularity. In some countries, a common pattern consists
of three interwoven rings, which stand for faith, hope
Wedding customs pertaining to rings
The best man at a wedding is typically entrusted with
the duty of keeping the wedding ring and produce it
at the symbolic moment during the ceremony. In more
elaborate weddings, the ring bearer may assist in parading
the ring into the ceremony, often on a special cushion.
While in the earlier centuries, it was usually the
women who wore wedding rings this trend has changed.
The use of wedding rings for either partner or the double-ring
ceremony is a relatively recent innovation. There are
some who espouse the tradition that women should wear
the wedding ring below the engagement ring. Another
practice states that the wedding ring should be worn
above the engagement ring while there are still others
who believe that the wedding ring should be worn alone.