Wedding bands have a long and rich history that goes back thousands of years to the time of the pyramids. Since the earliest of times wedding bands have stood for love, commitment, fidelity, eternity, and honor. According to legend wedding bands originated in ancient Egypt on the banks of the Nile River. Plant stems were fashioned in circles, the symbols of eternity. These rings represented immortal and undying love. The rings were placed on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was believed a vein ran from that finger directly to the heart. While modern science has proved otherwise it’s a tradition that is still carried on 2000 years later. When the Romans came to power they spread the symbolism of the wedding ring and ring finger across all of the lands they had conquered. Some of the meaning behind the ring changed as Romans believed wives were possessions belonging to husbands and the rings symbolized ownership. In Asia and Arabian countries the wedding band became a way for husbands to assure their wives fidelity. Artisans crafted complex and intricate puzzle rings. Husbands were the only ones who understood the “trick” involved in reassembling the ring. If a wife removed the ring while her husband was traveling he would learn of her infidelity. In early Europe the wedding ring started to regain its original intent as a symbolism of love. They were known as Posey Rings and symbolized vows of eternal love and devotion. In colonial America there was no need for ornamental jewelry. When a man asked for a woman’s hand in marriage he gave her a sewing thimble. Over the years however colonial wives got in the habit of removing the bottom of the thimbles and wearing the remaining band like a wedding ring.
Today wedding rings come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and styles that will fit everyone’s budget range. The meaning today is similar to that of the ancient Egyptians, love, commitment, fidelity for eternity.