Monday, October 9, 2017
THE HISTORY OF THE WEDDING BAND
Marriage is one of humanity’s oldest institutions, and symbolizes the love and commitment between two people who wish to stay together for the rest of their lives. Joining together in matrimony is a statement to the world that you consider each other life partners spiritually, physically, and legally for the remainder of your days.
When two people are to be married, tradition dictates that a wedding band is given to symbolize their love and promise to each other – but where did this tradition come from? The more we learn about the history of the wedding band, the more we come to realize just how wonderful it is.
An ancient tradition
Although the tradition of publicly displaying the promise of marriage likely dates back far earlier than we can trace, the first instances of wedding bands date back to Ancient Egypt. It wasn’t until the discovery of metal crafting, however, that they really became popular. We have the Romans to thank for that. They traditionally gave bands of gold or silver to new brides as they crossed the threshold. They believed that the eternity of a circle stood for the never ending love that they had for each other. It really is beautiful to know that you are continuing this age-old tradition when you slip that ring on your loved one’s finger.
Medieval times and later
Fast forward to Medieval Europe, and things begin to become more lavish. The betrothed would exchange gold bands, and would sometimes even add in gem stones. It was also common during later years to give “gimmel” or puzzle rings. These were interlocking bands that the bride and groom would each have separately, and then combine at the ceremony for the wife to wear. Perhaps the most romantic of the bunch was the “poesy” rings trend of the Renaissance. These sterling silver bands were engraved with an expression of love such as a poem – which is a great idea for a custom ring, even today.
These days, the wedding band is often used in conjunction with an engagement ring, and double-ring ceremonies are common in North America. While it was common only for the bride to have the band in the past, both the bride and groom now receive one in the vast majority of cases. This is mainly due to changing attitudes of equality between the sexes, and marketing campaigns of the early 20th century. These days, rings can come in many different colors and sizes, and metals. The variety of designs and extras that can be easily added to a ring makes now the best time to be buying a wedding band that is truly unique – the days of the wedding band as an afterthought in wedding planning are gone.
It doesn’t matter how people celebrate love between each other, who gives the ring to whom, or how much it costs, the only thing that really matters in the love that is behind it. Throughout history, people have symbolized their promise of eternal love to each other with beautiful wedding bands and rings. We are certain that this wonderful tradition will continue well into the future, too. If you are looking for the perfect wedding band, look no further than the Gold Mine. We can help make your dreams come true.
'til next time,
Bill Warren, Owner/Gemologist
The Gold Mine 828-726-1009