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Engagement Rings & Things: History of Wedding Rings - the wedding ring origin, wedding ring meaning and more about wedding rings, weddings and things.

 History of Wedding Rings

The Wedding Ring, Its History and Meaning

The circle has always had significance from ancient cultures to the present as a symbol of wholeness and perfection. Its endlessness is the perfect symbol of oneness and unity - no beginning, no end. It is also the symbol of the sun, earth and universe, and represents holiness, perfection and peace.

Early on, the caveman bound himself to his mate with a cord of woven rushes as a symbol that their spirits were one.

Ancient European Northerns believed that a lover's knot was a symbol of love, faith, and friendship. The knot was formed out of the hair of the beloved, woven into a knot that was then worn as a ring.

The significance of the wedding ring was defined in the 7th century by the bishop Isidore of Seville (c. 560-636):
"It was given by the spouser to the espoused whether for a sign of mutual fidelity or still more to join their hearts to this pledge and that therefore the ring is placed on the fourth finger because a certain vein is said to flow from thence to the heart."
The ring came into use in Christian ceremonies about 870, authorities state, and was in use in biblical times by the Hebrews. Rings date back several millennia, but ones given as tokens of love were first documented by the comic Roman poet Plautus in the 2nd century BC. Wedding rings are known because of interior inscriptions recording the marriage contracts signed in the presence of the Emperor's image.

The habit of wearing the wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand is based upon a Grecian fable that the artery from that finger flows directly to the heart.

The wedding ring was also used as a symbol in Egyptian culture. The wedding band is mentioned in the hieroglyphics on walls of tombs interpreted by archeologists. Egyptian bands are usually heavy metal, encrusted with precious or semi-precious stones. In contrast, the average Roman citizen is reputed to have found "ugly metal bands" to suffice.

In the 12th century Pope Innocent the Third ordained that marriages must be celebrated in the church, and that the ceremony must include a marriage ring. In Persia, it was customary for a bridegroom to give a ring to everyone who attended the wedding ceremony. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert gave out six dozen rings, each engraved with the queen's profile, at their wedding ceremony. (Queen Victoria's engagement ring was in the form of a serpent - believed to be a symbol of good luck.)

With the outbreak of World War II, the double ring ceremony increased to 6O per cent. With the Korean war the number rose to 70 per cent.

Today a large selection of traditional and non-traditional wedding bands abound, in every from plain to bedecked with gems. >>>

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Engagement Rings & Things: History of Wedding Rings - the wedding ring origin, wedding ring meaning and more about wedding rings, weddings and things.