The wedding ring is a finger band worn on the ring finger to indicate that you are married. The tradition of the wedding ring has been passed down since pagan times and is today one of the most prominent wedding traditions. The exchange of rings occurs at almost every wedding today, regardless of faith, religion, or nationality.
These rings are forged in metal, usually precious metals like gold, platinum, or silver, depending on the wearer’s choice. The value of this ring is to prove your complete faith and fidelity in your spouse; thus, married people of all genders tend to wear their rings day and night.
But there is always a standing question – why are rings exchanged at weddings? Where was this tradition born, and how did it spread to so many cultures worldwide? Simultaneously, how has the design of this piece of jewellery changed over the years?
Read ahead to gain an in-depth understanding of these topics and learn about the world of auspicious jewellery.
The History of Wedding Rings
The origin of wedding rings is pagan. A tradition born during the Egyptian civilisation and popularised by the Roman and Greek civilisations, the exchange of rings by the bride and the groom eventually evolved to be an essential part of Christian weddings.
This means that wedding rings have been in place as a jewellery type for over 3000 years. This system of indicating a marriage can also be seen in the Middle East, Nordic countries, Asian countries, and Eastern Europe, along with the entire western world.
What do wedding rings symbolise? Traditionally, the bride’s family would offer the wedding ring as a form of dowry to the groom’s family since they were made of precious metal. It was also a symbol of fidelity and love. In several customs, rings are exchanged during the engagement before the wedding. In such cases, the ring becomes a symbol of betrothal.
Why The Ring Finger?
People often wonder which finger to wear the wedding ring. Around the world, there remains a tradition of wearing the wedding band on the ring finger of your left hand. This is the third finger of the hand, not counting the thumb.
Usually, wedding rings are worn on the left hand. Only if the bride or the groom is left-handed would they shift the ring to their right hand. Why is the wedding ring on the ring finger? An old wives’ tale, born during Egyptian times, states that the fourth finger of your hand has a vein that directly connects to the heart. Thus, the lovers’ hearts would always be connected to the ring.
While the myth about this vein is not scientifically true, the heritage value of the belief still remains. Thus, you will always see the wedding ring tradition and history carried on in almost all weddings today.
Wedding Rings in India
Indian weddings are always sizable when it comes to jewellery, and wedding bands are no less significant. According to Indian wedding customs, the wedding ring must be made of gold for both the bride and the groom.
The use of 18 or 22-carat gold symbolises wealth, beauty, superiority, and attractiveness. The better the quality, the longer and purer the marriage will be.
On which hand is the wedding ring worn in India? While brides continue to wear their wedding rings on the fourth finger of their left hand, the groom wears his ring on the fourth finger of the right hand in many Indian cultures. This history of the wedding ring finger signifies a balance of energies – feminine and masculine – much like what is needed to make a marriage work.
The history of rings in marriage has kept its mark as one of the most common and popular wedding traditions across the world. In a broader sense, it is vital to note that jewellery and jewellery design will always be central to the wedding industry. It’s because the tradition of the wedding ring has existed for as long as one can remember!
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