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Wedding Ring History

Wedding rings are exchanged to symbolize the bond of marriage. A person wearing a wedding ring indicates that the person is married. This ring is usually worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, which is also termed as the ring finger. The wedding ring carries deep sentimental value with it. It also represents the tie that binds a man and a woman through marriage. According to some Grecian fable, it is believed that an artery from the ring finger connects to the heart. But it is only restricted to the fables as medical science does not support this fact.

The tradition of gifting and wearing wedding rings is nothing new rather its reference is found in ancient history. This is a customary ritual in many cultures but its origin is still not clear. Reference to wedding symbols is found in hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt. Sometimes the circlet is associated to the fetters that were worn by women of the medieval era. The circlets were generally made from metals and designed with precious or semi precious stone. But from the time of Shakespeare, the golden wedding rings started to be crafted with sophisticated designs. The use of wedding rings became prevalent in Christian weddings from near about 870. It has been also used by Hebrews during the Biblical times. With changing trend, the wedding bands became narrower but the gypsy communities continued with their tradition. They believe that a bigger size and heavy weight of a circlet strengthens the bond of the wedded couple.

In both Celtic and Pan Hellenic times use of silver as well as plain gold rings were prevalent. The Celtic wedding rings massively depicted vegetative foliage and woven patterns. In ancient Rome iron, wedding rings were crafted. In the wedding ring the symbol of ouroboros which is of a serpent consuming its own tail has been depicted. This ancient symbol in the wedding ring represented oneness. Though nowadays wedding rings are crafted in precious metals but traditionally gold is used for this purpose as this metal is often referred as the metal of the Sun. In present times during a Christian marriage, the minister or priest blesses the wedding ring as they are exchanged.

A wedding ring represents a number of aspects. It has close association to ceremonial aspect while it has symbolic connotation and related to communal aspects of marriage. It is an amalgamation of the art of a jeweler and symbol of love and partnership. The continuous love is represented through the circle of a wedding ring and it also reminds one of the renewed vows taken by the married couple. In some of the countries of Europe, an engagement ring changes its status or by change of the hand after the marriage, vows are taken. If the engagement ring and the wedding rings are different then the bride can continue to wear the engagement ring even after marriage. The engagement ring can continue wearing it on her ring finger along with the wedding ring or may start wearing it on right hand after marriage.

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