THE BEGINNING OF FOREVER
FEBRUARY 21, 2014 by DOROTHY MURPHY
In every culture all over the world people get married as a sign of commitment and eternal love to one another. Just as there are differences in ceremonies, traditions and engagement rings there are differences in types and styles of wedding rings all over the world.
People tend to associate the first wedding jewellery with ancient Egyptians who were the first to wear wedding rings but in fact the wedding jewellery was worn as far back as Neanderthal times when brides wore bracelets and anklets made from materials such as twigs, rushes and grass which were believed not only to be a symbol of the couples bond but also was thought to have keep the soul intact and ensure the woman had a long and healthy life.
In ancient Egypt rings were crafted from materials that were easy to find including leather, bone and hemp. It was only in later years that they crafted wedding rings in metal which became known as money rings due to the fact that wearing the ring meant that you were entitled to a share of your husbands assets. Not very romantic! Similarly unromantic in early Asia the wedding ring was seen as the seal of a contract taking the form of a puzzle ring which if removed was nearly impossible to fit together again leading the man to believe his wife had been unfaithful if she removed the ring.
In Roman times the wedding ring took on a slightly more romantic meaning when it took the form of a key shaped ring representing that the woman held the key to her husbands heart.
Over the years the wedding ring has transformed into the ring that we are familiar with today. In medival times gold rings became the norm and gemstones began to be added, and although people associate diamonds with wedding rings this trend didn’t become fashionable until the 1940’s.
Men only began wearing wedding rings in World War Two as a reminder of the woman they loved in a time of uncertainty.
Have you any wedding ring traditions you’d like to share?