The History Behind Wedding Rings

The History Behind Wedding Rings

After our blog post on The History of Engagement Rings, we just had to talk about the history of wedding rings, too. As with many traditions, wedding rings have a fascinating history behind them. In today’s blog post we’re going to be looking into how wedding rings came about.

The first instance of something similar to the wedding rings we know today is the Ancient Egyptians’ ‘ring of love’. These were rings made from beads and hemp and they were worn on the fourth finger of the left hand which was said to be home to the ‘vein of love’, running from that finger to the heart.

Much like our wedding rings now, the ‘ring of love’ was worn to show commitment to each other. They also saw the circle of the ring to symbolise the eternity of their love.

It wasn’t just the Ancient Egyptians that we may have to thank for the wedding rings we wear today, though. The Ancient Greeks and Romans wore rings made from materials such as bone, ivory, and leather. Then, metal rings started to be worn and those wealthy enough began to wear silver or gold wedding rings.

Shortly after, during the Byzantine Empire, wedding rings were engraved with the figures of the couple being wed, giving them a real personal touch. ‘Posie rings’ rose to popularity in the 15th Century, where a short verse or a personal message could be engraved on the inside of the band.

During medieval times, wedding rings would feature two clasped hands, but the most intricately designed wedding rings to date are Gimmel rings which came from the 15th-17th centuries. Gimmel rings are made up of a number of bands (usually 2-3) which fit together to make a complete ring. The first idea behind this was that the couple to be wed would wear a band for a day or so before the wedding and then complete the final ring on the day of the nuptials.

These days there are so many options when it comes to wedding rings and in-store and online at Leonard Dews we have a stunning collection of both engagement and wedding rings for you to choose from. To see our full collections, take a look around our website.