The wedding ring is a constant reminder of the commitment a couple has made to each other. It is also a symbol of the eternal love and union that is at the heart of every marriage. It is a symbol that has been passed down through the generations, from the oldest known rings to modern ones. Those rings have been shaped by thousands of years of tradition and are worn by millions of people around the world.
The first wedding rings were probably made of leather or ivory in ancient Rome. When metal became more popular, they were often elaborately carved with designs and decorated with gemstones. The rings became a universal symbol of love and marriage in the Middle Ages, when they were given by both men and women as part of the ceremony at their marriage. In the late 19th century, jewelers began embedding diamonds in the rings to create the iconic style that is still used today.
It wasn’t until after WWII that men began to wear wedding rings, too. Many of those who were separated from their spouses during the war began to wear them in order to carry with them a physical reminder of their loved ones even though they didn’t know when or if they would be reunited.
While men’s wedding bands have become more common, they are not required to match the design of a bride’s ring. In fact, they are now available in a wide variety of styles to suit any personality or taste. They are made of a number of different metals including platinum, palladium and titanium, as well as silver, gold and tungsten.
Among the more unusual wedding rings are those that feature gems such as rubies, sapphires and emeralds. These types of stones were once considered to be extremely precious but are now more affordable and widely available, thanks to advances in mining techniques. Many people who choose a colorful stone prefer the idea of wearing a ring that is unique and individual.
When choosing a ring, you will need to consider the width of the band. This can range from very thin to quite wide, depending on how much you want the ring to stand out. You will also need to decide if you want any diamonds on the ring and, if so, what type of setting they will be in.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want, bring your ideas to a custom jeweler. They will be able to show you examples and help you find the perfect ring for your partner and yourself.
David Gibson is a former staff writer and longtime editor of Origins, CNS Documentary Service. He holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from St. John’s University in Minnesota and an M.A. in religious education from The Catholic University of America. He and his wife have three adult daughters. They live in Washington, DC. He has served as a member of the National Board of Review and is currently a columnist for The Washington Post.