Why do we wear wedding rings?
Today, wedding rings are a worn symbol of your commitment to another and any nuptials would seem incomplete without them. It’s not always been this way, however!
The origin began with Egyptian beliefs in the vena amores or ‘vein of love’ running from you heart to the fourth finger on the left hand, aka your ‘ring finger’. Wedding rings were worn as a sign of a binding pledge. The circular nature of a ring symbolises eternity with no beginning or end and the central space representing a gateway to the unknown.
When Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, the Greeks adopted this tradition of giving rings a symbol of devotion. When the Romans then conquered Greece, they picked up this tradition and began using iron and copper rings in marriage ceremonies. Gold rings then became more luxurious and sought after, showing the wealth of the giver.
In Medieval Europe, rubies were set into the gold to symbolise passion, sapphires symbolised the heavens and diamonds symbolised steadfast strength. The first recorded diamond wedding ring dated back to the early 1400’s when it was left by an English widow in her will.
A wedding used to become official just at the exchange of the rings, which made them the official symbol and marker of your marital status. Men’s wedding rings however, are more recent. They only started to catch on in WWII, worn by British and American Soldiers to remember their wives back home.
Now, wedding rings come in a plethora of styles, metals and sizes with white gold plain and diamond-set bands being our most popular options. They have evolved past simply a symbol betrothal with bespoke craftsmanship, wedding rings in shapes to fit around the engagement ring. Style, individuality and and partnership are the current representations in western countries, being a staple at any ceremony whilst adding some extra sparkle to your wardrobe.