Circling The Globe With The History Of Wedding Rings
Wedding rings have been used by cultures from around the world for centuries. Many historians speculate the tradition of wedding rings may have come from the shackles that were used to bind brides taken in captivity during early history. The oldest surviving record of the use of wedding rings occurred in ancient Egypt. When used in Roman times, the gift and acceptance of a ring to a woman was considered to be a legal contract. While Christians began utilizing wedding rings around 870
A: D, wedding rings were known to have been used by the Hebrews during biblical times. During the Elizabeth era wedding rings were worn on the thumb; however over the years wedding rings gradually evolved back into wear on the third finger of the left hand. Legend may have it this finger contains a vein that leads straight to the heart but the Puritans refused to wear wedding rings at all and attempted to do away with the practice. Double ring ceremonies became much more commonplace during the 1950's around the onset of the Korean War. Prior to that very few grooms received and wore wedding rings. Wide wedding bands which were once very popular and then fell out of trend are appearing once more. Wider wedding rings are beneficial for couples who wish to place an inscription on the inside of the ring. Celtic wedding rings, also known as Claddagh wedding rings, have also increased in popularity as more and more couples are making their ethnic and cultural backgrounds a key component in their wedding ceremonies. Celtic wedding rings feature symbols such as Celtic knotwork symbolizing two eternal connected lines; the Trinity knot and the Celtic spiral, just to name a few. It is believed the history of Claddagh wedding rings dates back to a small village in Galway. Over the years the rings became increasingly popular and it is rumored that Queen Victoria wore one. In Greece, it remains customary for the groom to receive a wedding ring of gold and the bride a wedding ring of silver. It is believed the more valuable gold of the husband's ring symbolizes his position within the home. Ancient Romans used iron to produce wedding rings because it was believed the strength of the metal would bring strength to the marriage. In northern Europe, it was a common practice to make a lover's knot from a strand of your intended's hair and use it for a wedding ring. Copper and brass were also popular materials for weddings throughout history. The Irish have historically insisted on gold wedding bands; contenting that weddings finalized with any other kind of ring was illegal. Throughout the history of wedding rings, gemstones other than diamonds have held the spotlight. Popular stones included rubies and sapphires. Pearls were thought to bring bad luck. Today wedding rings are constructed of a variety of materials including platinum, gold, white gold, silver and two tone.
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