In nearly every wedding of today there is an exchange of wedding rings, but where does this tradition come from?
The oldest rings discovered are more than 21,000 years old, they were found in The Czech Republic and are made out of mammoth ivory. At that time rings were carried as symbols for rule or for showing which religion the carrier belonged to; they were also used as currency.
Later on they began to serve as ritual purposes. For example, for showing sorrow, to remember an event and also for showing that you are married.
The first wedding rings were worn in ancient times, but only women wore the wedding rings; it served to show other men that this woman was already in possession of a man. Today, both men and women wear the rings as a symbol of their togetherness.
How Rings Have Been Made and Designed over Time
In ancient times the rings were usually made ??of iron, but since 2 century BC yellow gold has often been used. Later on other materials were added too, like silver, white or rose gold, platinum or titanium. Some people who also want to show their connection to nature prefer to select natural materials like wood.
Because everybody wants to have an individual ring, you can also choose if you want to put a stone on the top of the ring. The different types of stone also have different meanings and make it possible to create a bigger statement with your personalised ring. A lot of couples choose diamonds to make their rings more luxurious and exclusive.
Wearing Wedding Rings
In most countries the ring is put on the left ring finger. This finger got the name “ring finger” because of this behaviour. This finger was chosen because people in ancient times thought there was a vein straight from the heart to this finger; this vein was called Vena Amoris or “love artery”.
Most countries continue this tradition to this day; exceptions include Germany, Austria, Norway, Poland, Bulgaria, Russia and Ukraine, where it is usual to use the ring finger of the right hand.
Wedding Rings in Religion
Since the 13th century the ring-ceremony began in church weddings for couples to symbolise loyalty to their partner.
This statement is often supported by an engraving in the ring. Earlier words from the bible were often chosen such as, “wear this ring as a sign of your loyalty”.
Today, it is customary to engrave the name of the partner and the date of the wedding in the ring. Many couples prefer this because it is more individual and personal to them.
In the Christian wedding ceremony the couple exchange the rings and they each place the ring on their partner’s finger, whereas in Jewish wedding ceremonies, the ring is only put on the bride’s forefinger during the wedding ceremony.
But in all religions where wedding rings are used, the meaning of the ring is the same.
Because of its circular shape, it is endless, like the marriage should be without an end. The material used is also often long-lasting too.
Choosing Your Wedding Rings
All in all, the wedding bands should express the desire for eternity and togetherness and should show the beauty and uniqueness of the relationship.
Because of this, you should take your time thinking about your relationship and how to visualise it in your wedding rings. Think about the material, the embellishments and the engraving to make sure that you still enjoy wearing your personal wedding ring in several years’ time, and that looking at the ring makes you smile and think of your beloved.