The History Of The Wedding Ring


The wedding ring is a recognizable symbol of love that represents the coming together of a man and a woman in marriage. The history of the wedding ring has long been attached to a lot of mystery and uncertainty. It is widely thought that the wedding ring’s history can be traced back to North Africa and more specifically to Egypt. It is thought that the wedding ring was first fashioned in the flood plains of the River Nile.


Initially, these wedding rings were made from plants like reeds, sledges and rushes that grew on the banks of River Nile. The circular shape of the wedding ring was a symbol of eternity for the Egyptians as was the case in many cultures. The hole at the centre also had some significance; it was a symbol of a gateway or door that lead to things that are known and those that are yet to be discovered.


Even back then, the wedding ring was worn on the third finger of the left hand. The reason as to why the ring is worn on that finger also has a part to play in the history of the wedding ring. It is said that the ring was initially worn on the third finger of the left hand because that finger travelled directly from the heart.


Owing to the fact that these rings were made from materials such as reeds and sledges, they did not last very long. Most rings would last for only about a year and they would become impossible to keep because of wear and tear. This then brought up the need for a more long lasting material for making wedding rings. Some of the alternatives back then were hemp, ivory, and bones among others.


Eventually, the art of metallurgy took over and the rings began to be made from metal. The problem was that the rings were not even as they were often clumsily made. During this period, adorning jewelry was more for show and they were an expression of wealth. Iron was used mostly in making wedding rings in Rome but the problem was that they would soon rust and lose their luster and therefore their appeal.


Giving and accepting the wedding ring was considered to be legally binding; it is the part of the history of the wedding ring that has been passed down to present generations. Accepting the wedding ring tied to woman and she became the property of the man.


Gold and silver rings were only issued as a sign of trust for the bride to be. Silver rings were more popular in the Seventeenth Century in Europe. The Irish were the first to propagate the myth that it was bad luck to be married in a ring that was made of anything other than gold. There are also other myths attached to the wedding ring like the ring should be a perfect fit failure to which meant doom for the marriage.


Present Christians widely accept the use of the wedding ring. While most religions accept that there the ring be worn on the left hand, there are parts of Continental Europe where the ring was worn and continues to be worn on the right hand.

Published: 07/13/2010 by Wedding Jewelry


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