An Infinite Promise: The History of the Wedding Ring

The History of the Wedding Ring

Photo by Gruber Photographer: Terry

It’s a beautiful thing to promise someone a love that has no end – just like a circle, or a ring – it represents an infinite promise.

People have been exchanging wedding rings for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians would weave together pieces of rushes and reeds to give to their beloved. Over the years plants were replaced with more durable materials, because love quickly outlasted the life of those rings.

The History of the Wedding Ring

Left: Mary of Burgundy wearing the first recorded diamond engagement ring. Right: Reed Wedding Band Ancient Egypt

The Romans fashioned wedding rings out of leather, ivory and bone, and eventually were skilled enough to work with precious metals.

When early Christians adopted rings into their wedding ceremonies, they were elaborately engraved with Biblical verses or pictures of Jesus Christ. The first recorded diamond engagement ring was given in 1477 by King Maximilian I of Germany to Mary of Burgundy. Since then, a diamond ring has been synonymous with a promise of love and marriage.

As to why wedding rings are worn on the “ring finger” – that’s up for debate.

One theory from the romantic school of thought says that the Romans (or some say the Egyptians) believed that there was a vein – the love vein – in the fourth finger on your left hand that was connected directly to the heart. While modern science has dismissed this notion, it’s still a romantic idea to keep the symbol of your love as close to the heart as possible.

The History of the Wedding Ring

All photos by Gruber Photographers

A more practical theory is that wedding rings are worn on the ring finger because they’re made of precious metals, which need to be protected. A majority of the world is right-handed, and besides your exposed pinky, the fourth finger is the least mobile of the five others. A wedding ring is forever, and the fourth finger on your left hand is the safest place to keep it.

No matter where the wedding ring is from or how we wear it, one thing has remained constant – it’s a true symbol of eternal love. It’s worn to remind you of the promise you made to your beloved, and a declaration to the world that you are forever linked to another person by a love that has no end.

The History of the Wedding Ring

Photo by Gruber Photographer: Jeremy

The History of the Wedding Ring

Photo by Gruber Photographer: Terry

The History of the Wedding Ring

Photo by Gruber Photographer: Maike

Share this content...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>