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    Wedding Jewellery A Brief History of Wedding Bands

    So we have just had a post about choosing an engagement ring but what about wedding rings? Where did the tradition to exchange rings come from? What does it mean? How does it differ in different times and cultures? Today we are sharing a brief history of wedding bands, so some of these questions can be answered.

    Wedding rings are one of the most important and most universal parts of a marriage ceremony. This has been true across history as well. Marriage has changed a lot over the years, but wedding rings have been prominent for a long, long time.

    Wedding Jewellery A Brief History of Wedding Bands

    Ancient Times

    Some of the earliest known evidence for wedding rings comes from as long as 3,000 years ago. At this time, historians believe that the Ancient Egyptians were making wedding rings from materials such as reeds, help, and papyrus. These soon gave way to more durable materials such as bone and ivory. Later precious metals became common. At the same time, other ancient civilisations such as the Romans also started to adopt wedding rings.

    Wedding Jewellery A Brief History of Wedding Bands gold matching wedding rings Preview Changes

    Even as long ago as this, much of the symbolism associated with wedding rings would be recognisable to us today. The shape of the ring represented a love with no beginning and end, symbolising eternity. The hole was also seen as a symbol; a gateway into the couple’s new life of marriage.

    Through History

    Wedding rings have endured pretty consistently down the ages. In all the centuries between the Ancient Egyptians and the modern age, there have been relatively few major changes. Some times and places have given birth to their own little twists on the tradition. For example, in many parts of sixteenth century Europe, husbands-to-be would give their fiancees a “Gimmel” ring – two gold rings that interlocked. This would be both engagement and wedding rings; the couple would wear one ring each until they were married, after which the wife would wear both together.

    Wedding Jewellery A Brief History of Wedding Bands gimmel ring

    Another reasonably major change happened during the renaissance. This was when it became particularly fashionable to wear rings with an inscription, either a line of poetry or some declaration of love. Such rings had existed before, but the renaissance was when they caught on in a way that sees them remain popular to this day.

    The Modern Age

    For a long time, wedding rings had been traditionally a plain band, or else a band with nothing more than an inscription. It was in the Victorian era that more ornate wedding rings with jewels and more elaborate shapes started to become popular. This trend continued into the twentieth century during the Art Deco period. This is an approach that has now come into fashion again, and wedding rings that are actually from these periods or simply made in the same style are becoming sought-after.

    Wedding Jewellery A Brief History of Wedding Bands diamond wedding band

    Another big change came in the 1940s. Traditionally, it had usually been only the woman who had worn a wedding ring. In the ’40s, however, the male wedding ring started to become popular and rapidly went from a novel idea to something that was (and still is) more or less the norm. Considering that one interpretation of the wedding ring had been a symbol of ownership, the change to both halves of the relationship wearing a ring instead of just the bride was perhaps a reflection of more enlightened times!

    Wedding Jewellery A Brief History of Wedding Bands rings on a tray

    Author Bio
    Jollys Jewellers are a family run jewellery business, established since the 1830s.

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