History of Wedding Bands


No wedding would seem complete without the romantic exchanging of rings. No engagement would be as magical without the that crucial moment : when one presents a ring to a beloved, asking for their hand in marriage. 
But why a ring, and how did this beautiful tradition around the world come about? The humble ring was said to have its humble beginnings in ancient Egypt, where the circle was the symbol of eternity. 
As with other ancient cultures, the shape of the circle was heralded for its representation of the Sun and the Moon. People used to twist and braid papyrus strands and reeds into rings for fingers. The ring and the gift of the ring came to be associated with love, and the union of eternity. 
This was a legend eventually taken up by the Greeks who conquered Egypt, and then passed on to the Romans. They called it 'vena amoris' or 'the vein of love' in Latin. This led to the Roman betrothal rite, in which a man gave a ring to his proposed wife at their wedding ceremony. Reeds and papyrus were eventually, of course, over taken by improvements in the art of metallurgy, where metal rings were even accompanied by precious and semi-precious gems. 
In other ancient states other materials were used in their choice of rings. Eventually this turned into the act of giving gold or silver rings, to show that the groom trusted his betrothed with his valuable property. It was said sometimes the ring was shaped as a key rather than a normal circular band. 
In other cultures, rings were also given between married couples, such as puzzle rings in Asia and the Middle East to ensure the wife's fidelity (they were difficult to remove), and the Poesy Ring offered in Europe as a pledge or promise ring, symbolising love.In Colonial America, a practical thimble was a token of love and pledge of eternity, but once they were married, the women tended to remove the bottom of their engagement thimble to form a type of ring.
With the modern age, rings are still the symbol of love, eternity and fidelity, treasured by men and women the world over. Even though wedding bands for men are a fairly recent innovation, it became fashionable for men to wear wedding bands to remind them of loving wives waiting back home for them.
These days husbands and wives the world over treasure their rings as a sign of their union, devotion and love.
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