My hubby’s wedding ring split in the back last week. He has been wearing it for the last 27 years and the metal finally gave out from all the wear and tear it has gone through. I need to get him a new one and we talked about replacing my set as well. We where much younger and had no money when the first set was bought. In fact we paid $300 for all three rings and had to make payments for that. Anyway, all this talk about our rings it got me to wondering about the history of the wedding ring and how it came about.
It seems that the ancient Egyptians who lived along the plains of the Nile River would use the rushes, reeds and papyrus to create braided rings. These rings were symbolic to the culture because of the round shape such as the sun and moon. It had no beginning and no end and returned to itself just like life. And so the ring was associated with love and commitment as well.
The finger the ring is worn on is important as well. There are several different theories out there. One is that the Egyptians believe that the 3rd finger on the left hand was important because of the belief that the vein of that finger directly traveled from the heart. The Romans adopted this belief and called it the vena amoris or vein of love. During the middle ages in England the groom would take the left hand of the bride and slip the ring part way up the thumb, then the first and middle finger reciting “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost” as he touched each one then placing the ring on the next finger.
Materials for the wedding ring changed much since the first papyrus ring was made. From bone to leather and then whatever type of metal was available with gold seeming to be the most popular. In the beginning of making rings out of metal the end result was not that successful so they put small jewels in them to hide the imperfections, rubies and sapphires with diamond being the favorite were used. Also, a man wearing a wedding ring is a recent event with most men not wearing a ring until the 2nd world war. Because of home sickness and missing their loved ones it became a popular item for men as well.
So, there are a few facts that I learned about the wedding ring. A wedding ring becomes an extension of you, a friend that is with you through the years. My hubby needs a new one but even though I don’t have a big diamond or any other valuable jewel in my ring. It has been with me as I have taken care of my family and it has stood the test of time for my marriage. I’m just not sure I’m willing to part with something that is as precious as that.