“With this ring, I thee wed”. How many times have you heard this expression? Or, you are getting ready to say it yourself at your wedding ceremony?
Exchanging rings as a symbol of eternal love is an ancient tradition in many cultures around the world. But do you know, exactly, why this tiny object was chosen to represent the promise of undying love?
Read on to discover four of the most interesting and surprising facts about the history of wedding rings.
1. As Ancient As… Ancient Egypt
Our history of wedding rings begins thousands of years ago. Egyptians, Greeks, or Romans: which of these ancient cultures pioneered the use of the wedding ring? According to some studies, it was the Egyptians who chose the ring as a symbol of love.
This is because rings have round shapes, reminiscent of the sun and the moon, which ancient Egyptians used to worship. The open space in the middle of the ring was also thought to symbolize the gateway to the unknown.
2. Gold and Diamond
When talking about wedding rings, we tend to picture gold rings, sometimes embellished with diamond features. Do you think that this is coincidental? Think again.
Gold has long been the metal of choice for wedding bands. This is because it is believed to represent the wealth of the giver, as well as the promise of a pure, prosperous future together. As for the precious gemstones, they became very popular during the reign of Queen Victoria, herself a huge lover of diamonds.
3. Love and Money
Exchanging rings is one of the most romantic, emotional, and memorable parts of a wedding ceremony. However, love and romance weren’t always at the forefront, especially during Medieval times in Europe.
Back then, the exchange of rings didn’t symbolize the eternal love between the couple. It acted more like the closure of a deal, a financial contract between the family of the groom and the family of the bride.
4. Wedding… Toe Ring?
In many countries and cultures, the spouses wear their wedding band on the ring finger of their left hand. This is because the finger is believed to have a direct connection with the person’s heart, and because most people write and sign their wedding vows with their right hand, leaving the left one free.
However, in certain parts of India, couples do things a little bit differently. Brides wear a ring on their toe, instead of the traditional wedding ring.
Interesting Facts about the History of Wedding Rings
The history of wedding rings is full of curious, little-known facts, and these are just some of the most interesting. The ring-exchanging tradition is so ancient, and its interpretations so varied, that it is not surprising to uncover a huge range of peculiarities.
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