How to Choose a Wedding Ring that Symbolizes Meaning
A wedding ring or wedding band generally is a small finger ring which typically symbolizes that its wearer is engaged. It’s usually made of metal and in many cases is forged of platinum or another valuable metal. In Western cultures, wedding rings are worn as engagement rings; while, in most Eastern cultures, they’re worn for a lifetime. These days it’s quite common to see both men and women wearing wedding rings.
Wedding rings, also called wedding bands, have been used for centuries to symbolize the institution of marriage. Traditionally, a ring which was gifted on its own accord to an unmarried female was used as a means of establishing marriage. And in some cultures, a ring which was gifted to an already married couple was used as a symbol of an agreed union between them. These rings were crafted with gemstones and often contained herbs, seeds, pine cones or other decor which were associated with fertility, marriage and the harvest. The veins that are visible in some modern rings can be traced back to these traditions and can represent the deep, interwoven relationship which the couple had.
Over the years, rings have evolved from their original meaning. In early times, a ring was a small stone, or sometimes just a wedge shaped piece of wood with a little wedge shaped emblem carved into it. This was often done with symbols from the zodiac, or Greek or Roman gods and goddesses. This was done so that even though the ring was no longer being worn by the person being married, the symbolism would still be deeply engraved within their flesh. As time passed, this became the norm, although not nearly to the extent that it once was. Rings at this point typically featured stones cut in gold or silver, along with intricate inscriptions which either symbolized or expressed the person’s personality and beliefs.
Modern wedding bands do not incorporate the same symbols which were worn in early times, but they do still utilize many of the same types of stones and designs. Many modern couples choose bands that incorporate the birthstone of their loved one, as well as other symbols of love or personal meaning. Many religious groups also have their own interpretation of what makes a perfect ring for their wedding ceremony. The tradition of wearing a ring during a marriage ceremony began in ancient Egypt, where it was thought to ease the transitions into adulthood. The ancient Greeks also believed that it signified the union between two souls and was often worn by those going into battle.
Wearing an engagement ring became popular in Western culture after World War II. The advent of the female consumer market made it easier to shop for engagement and wedding bands, which increased sales immensely. During this period, many men were also becoming interested in wearing engagement and wedding bands, as evidenced by the surge of “pave your wedding ring” trends. Many men would also wear a matching band after marriage, which was also meant to honor the commitment that the couple had made together. Modern wedding bands also incorporate a style known as “dongles”, which allow women to easily insert a normal size engagement ring.
Choosing a ring that represents the meaning that you want to convey can be difficult, but choosing the right ring is not impossible. The wedding symbolize throughout history have been closely linked with the different eras and cultures throughout the years. Rings have also been used to symbolize love and affection throughout history. No matter the symbolism that you choose for your wedding ring, you will be able to use it for a lifetime and pass it down from generation to generation.