What is the history of wedding rings?

What is the history of wedding rings?

Wedding rings have long been a symbol of eternal love and commitment, a tradition that spans cultures and years. But where did all of this come from, and become the symbol we know today? We delve into the fascinating history of wedding rings, tracing their journey from ancient rituals to contemporary ceremonies. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or just in the market for a timeless piece of jewellery, read our guide to the history of wedding rings.

The ancient beginnings of wedding rings

The tradition of exchanging wedding rings can be traced back over 4,000 years to ancient Egypt. The Egyptians believed in the “vein of love,” a mythical vein they thought ran directly from the fourth finger on the left hand to the heart. Rings, made from braided hemp or reeds, were exchanged as symbols of love – the infinite circle meaning eternity.

The Roman contribution

The Romans adopted and adapted the tradition from the Egyptians, introducing metal rings as a symbol of the marital ‘contract’, which marked a shift from love to legality. However, the rings still had the romantic sentiment behind them.

The Christian influence

By the 9th century, the Christian church had adopted the wedding ring as a part of the marriage ceremony, giving it a new religious significance. The ring was often highly decorated, featuring engraved crosses or doves, but in the 13th century, the church advocated for simpler designs, leading to the more understated bands common today (in comparison to engagement rings).

Wedding rings today

Today, wedding rings come in a vast array of styles, materials, and designs, which reflects the diversity of modern love. From classic gold bands to innovative designs, from plain to diamond or gemstone, the modern-day wedding ring might look different from its humble beginnings – but the meaning of love and commitment stays the same.

Looking for your dream wedding ring?

The history of wedding rings shows how deeply rooted the bands are as symbols of love and commitment. Start your love story and find your dream wedding band, here.