Your wedding ring is symbolic of the most important day of your life. It represents enduring love, trust and companionship and a bond that should last forever. So isn't it worth making sure that your ring stands the test of time too?
History of the wedding ring
The use of rings to symbolise marriage and eternal love can be traced back as far as the ancient Egyptians. These Egyptian rings were fashioned from reeds and rushes, and had to be frequently replaced, as they would quickly decay. However, since the Egyptians were usually polygamous, the wedding ring didn't necessarily signify faithfulness, as it does today. The ancient Romans too used rings to signify betrothal, but like the Egyptian reed bands, these differed in meaning from our modern rings. In the eyes of Roman men, wives were seen as possessions - and the rings were predominantly used to signify ownership. Some traditions surrounding the wedding ring still survive from ancient times. The ring finger - the third finger of the left hand - was given special significance by these ancient peoples as it was believed that the finger contained a vein that went directly to the heart. And although it's not necessarily explicit in modern marriage ceremonies, the shape of the wedding ring is significant, as it was to many earlier cultures across the world. The circle has no end and no beginning, signifying eternity. And it also reflects the shape of the sun and the moon, which were worshipped by many ancient peoples. There's even a remnant of the earlier Roman idea of rings representing ownership. After all, part of the reason that we wear rings is to signify to potential suitors that we're already 'taken'. The traditions surrounding weddings and special jewellery continue to evolve today. For example, it only became customary for men to wear wedding rings during the Second World War, when soldiers would wear them to remind themselves of their wives back home. As the wedding ceremony changes through time, though, we can be quite certain that the wedding ring - and all the symbolism that comes with it - will endure for many years to come.