Wedding Ring History: The Symbol of Forever Love

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Exchanging wedding rings is an important part of any sacred union between two people. It is symbolic of the everlasting love that the couple intends on sharing. But what makes the wedding ring as special and enduring as it is today? Read on to learn about the history of the wedding ring and further understand this accessorial symbol of forever love.

Wedding Ring History: The Symbol of Forever Love

History of Wedding Rings

Historians believe that the exchange of wedding rings may date back to the ancient Egyptians. Certainly, these ancient rings being made of natural materials, such as hemp or reed, would have been different than those by Ethan Lord. However, the primitive tradition continued over time — changing from natural materials to iron to gold.

Ancient Egyptians believed the infinitely looping circle was the ultimate symbol of eternal love. With this logic and the understanding that the vein — known as the vein of love — in the left ring finger connects directly to the heart, the wedding ring concept is established.

Eventually, the tradition reached the Romans, who used betrothal rings made of leather, ivory, bone, and precious metals. Due to their lack of romance, the Romans married for culture and class status. Regardless of class, Roman rings symbolized property and ownership of women, not romantic love.

As time continued on, couples in the Renaissance era often exchanged rings that were like two puzzles that fit together. They featured two or three hoops that would fit together to make a single ring. This creative era also led to poetry-inscribed rings.

round modern crystal and brass chandelier by koket - roxy

Modern Wedding Rings

In the 1930s, the famous diamond company De Beers began selling diamond rings. They stated that a diamond is forever. This pitch made the public view diamond rings as special, unique, and luxurious. Before World War II, it was uncommon to see men wear wedding bands. However, during the war, many men would wear their wedding bands to remind them of their spouses back home. 

Today, people view a wedding ring as a symbol of eternal love. They recite vows while exchanging rings and stating that their love, like the ring, has no end. While Americans usually place rings on the left ring finger, people in other parts of the world wear them on the right ring finger or a completely different finger.

Wedding Ring Symbols

Today, it is possible to buy or customize any ring style that fits the enamored couple. With many companies offering an option to ‘make your own’ or to customise your wedding ring. There is the traditional route with diamonds and gold or the modern alternative, such as silicone rings. However, the meaning in the ring can be whatever the couple ascribes to it. 

The circle is the most apparent symbol for a wedding ring. It has a universal meaning of infinity and wholeness. Because diamonds are considered the hardest and longest-lasting mineral, a diamond represents strength and eternity.

Other gemstones have been added to the accessory over time. Each one has its own symbol of virtue. For example, sapphires represent faithfulness and rubies symbolize love. Gold and silver are both durable and beautiful, symbolizing the union of two people. Rings have also been engraved for years with poems, initials, and meaningful dates.

Exchanging wedding vows is likely to be one of the most important moments in anyone’s lifetime. Moreover, the exchanging of rings adds enduring symbolism to these already meaningful vows.  

Featured Image by Sandy Millar (@sandym10)

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