It’s intriguing to learn about the history of wedding rings. The custom of swapping rings stretches back 3000 years ago, and the first wedding band made of diamonds was mentioned in a widow’s bequest written in 1417. Why are bands, particularly diamond rings, the quintessential representation of love?
What material were the original wedding rings made of? —Wedding rings made in Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
The monarchs of ancient Egypt were the ones who originally utilized rings to symbolize eternity. This is so since a circular has no start or finish and mimics the form of the moon and sun which were sacred to the Egyptians. The Egyptians also believed that the gap in the center of a ring symbolized a doorway into the unfathomable. The ouroboros (oor-uh-boor-ros) rings of the Egyptians featured a snake suckling its tail as a representation of the unending cycle of events. The Greek word for the ouroboros, which translates to “tail devourer,” makes it among the oldest emblems in existence.
The snake in this contemporary ouroboros ring has emerald eyes and diamonds placed in its tail.
The Greeks acquired the custom of presenting rings to their beloved as a symbol of affection after Alexander the Great defeated the Egyptians. Numerous of these rings featured the god of love, Eros or Cupid. The Romans adopted this custom after conquering Greece and started utilizing iron and copper rings during wedding ceremonies. To signify that now the wife held control over the household possessions, the iron rings occasionally featured key symbols. But by the second century CE, most rings were made of gold.
Gold rings started to take on more opulent designs in the third and fourth centuries CE, showcasing the donor’s affluence. This was the era of the fede band, which featured two right hands joined together to signify friendship, collaboration, and marriage commitment. This pattern was created in gold and frequently engraved as intaglios into precious stones like amethyst, onyx, carnelian, or garnet. Even earlier, the Romans started etching their images onto their rings to personalize them.
The vena amoris, or “vein of love,” was thought to go through the ring finger or the 4th finger of said left hand, and into the heart by the ancient Egyptians. This idea was followed by the Romans, who started wearing wedding bands on one‘s ring fingers. Even though their belief is anatomically incorrect, even now, donning rings on the ring finger is customary.
Wedding bands have changed in recent years, becoming symbols of uniqueness and commitment worn by both sexes. Both wedding rings and engagement rings have been increasingly considered wedding essentials, not only in Western nations but in any nation where couples desire an outward expression of their affection and an increase in clothing dazzle.