Wedding ring customs that originated in long ago history.
The first wedding rings can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians when they exchanged rings made from braided reeds and hemp. The tradition of exchanging rings dates back 3,000 years. The first diamond wedding ring was recorded in the will of a widow who died in 1417. The ancient Egyptians believed in the vena amoris, literally the “vein of love” that runs directly from the heart to the fourth finger on the left hand. For the Ancient Greeks, the engagement ring was symbolized with a plain gold band worn on the left hand and at the marriage the same band was shifted to the right hand.
An engagement ring is given at a proposal or when a couple decides to get married whereas a wedding ring is exchanged at the wedding ceremony and represents the official bond of marriage and the binding pledge between spouses. Wedding rings symbolise eternal love and commitment within a relationship and are worn to show the world they are married. During the wedding service, the couple will say their vows to each other while exchanging rings.
Is a wedding ring biblical? : The use of wedding ring is not commanded in the Bible, and there is no indication that it was ever practised in the New Testament. The use of finger ring in the Bible was as a symbol of authority.
Betrothal ring: An old Roman custom confirming that the marriage contract would be carried out. It was the first part of a dowry given, and meant the woman was no longer for sale as the first part of the monetary settlement had been paid. The first betrothal, or engagement, rings were given because there was often a long time between betrothals and weddings. These were usually simple bands of gold, silver, or iron as on royalty or very wealthy people could afford gemstones and diamonds. In 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy, and many of the European aristocracy and nobility followed his lead.
Wedding ring: Many primitive peoples who believed in magic used a rope around the waist or the hand and feet, and later a ring, to symbolise that the bride was captured and spoken for, and also to ward off any evil spirits hovering around the bride and ensure marital bliss.
The ring hand: A symbol of the humiliating tradition of the man as the master – the right hand of the family – and the woman being the slave . The right hand stood for power and authority while the left hand expressed submission and serfdom.
The ring finger : Ancient Greek and Roman anatomists believed a vein, the vena amoris or the “vein of love”, or a nerve led from the heart to the third finger, the healing finger , so they romantically linked this finger to the heart. Now we know that this is not true and there is no vein that runs from our ring fingers to our hearts. There are also some more practical reasons the third finger continues to be used. It’s the most prominent for displaying a ring and it cannot be extended to its full length on its own and usually remains slightly bent, preventing the ring slipping off.
The Wedding Ring: Also goes on the left ring finger because it is the only finger with a vein that connects to the heart although some countries, such as India, Germany, Spain, Norway, and Russia traditionally wear their wedding rings on their right hand.
Viking Wedding Rings: These were mostly made of silver and bronze and rarely of gold with the designs inspired by Norse Gods, geometric shapes, runes, and animal totems
Gimmel Rings: In the 16th and 17th centuries, European husbands gave their bride a gimmel ring with two interlocking bands. The bride and groom both wore one after their engagement and during the wedding ceremony the rings were joined and the wife wore the ring.
World Wars: During the first World War, many men on the front began wearing wedding rings as a remembrance of their wives and families at home. That custom carried through to World War Two so in the 1950s wedding rings for men became common practice.
Tri-Gold Rings: Gold is the traditional ring metal but some people prefer a mix of colors. Yellow gold represents fidelity, rose gold romantic love, and white gold friendship, so a tri-gold ring symbolizes your shared past, present, and future path. ding ring to symbolize all three, as well as your shared past, present, and future path.
Black Wedding Rings: Some couples choose black wedding bands because they represent everlasting commitment and the color can also mean power, strength and sophistication.
Anniversary or Push Ring: Given on the birth of a first child or an anniversary, usually an important one such as the first, five-year or 10-year anniversary.