Today I was just browsing though the jewelry section and wanted to share some of my favorite wedding bands on the site (click on the photo to see the listing). While I was at it, I did a little research on wedding bands and where the tradition comes from. So feast your eyes below on some beautiful rings and read on if you’d like to learn more about why we wear bling on our left hand.
Wedding bands are thought to have their origins in ancient times, possibly as far back as ancient Egypt. Egyptians twisted plant material (such as hemp) into rings and bracelets. The circle has symbolized eternity for many cultures throughout the millennia, and so it did for the Egyptians. With no beginning or end, just as time, and returning onto itself, just like life. The shape of the circle was therefore revered and adored.
In Roman times, the tradition of wearing a ring on the third finger of the left hand was started. They believed that an artery extended directly from the heart to the third finger, they called this vein the vena amoris (love vein). The wearing of this ring symbolized the capture of one’s heart.
n antiquity, wedding bands or rings were made from different materials such as leather or wood. As metallurgy advanced, so also did the rings and bracelets began to be made of iron, brass, silver, and gold.
Although today we’re used to the tradition of exchanging rings at a wedding ceremony, in Roman times, and also in other cultures and ages, rings were given as symbols of eternal love when the married couple entered their home for the first time. These rings were not necessarily simple bands like today’s, but, especially in medieval times, were quite ornate.
Silver was quite popular as the metal of choice for wedding bands during the Renaissance, especially in Italy. Its popularity later spread to France and England. Gold eventually became more popular, and silver was relegated for rings of engagement. The Irish believed it to be bad luck for wedding bands to be made from anything other than gold.
Today wedding bands come in all shapes and materials. Traditions remain, but people choose anything from traditional golden rings – usually engraved with their partner’s name and wedding date, to silver or copper or brass rings, to tattoos!
However, the tradition of exchanging a token symbolizing eternal love has not, and is unlikely to disappear, much to the relief of wedding vendors everywhere.