Also known as Wedding band, stands as a symbol indicating that the couple wearing it are married. Wedding rings are mostly made of metals like gold, platinum, tungsten etc. It is often worn on the left ring finger but not always. Some cultures follow to wear it on the right ring finger. The practice of ring exchange differs from one culture to another. In Ancient Rome, the ring exchange formed the last session in a wedding. While Eastern Catholic Christians do not consider exchanging rings as a part of wedding service but they exchange rings at the betrothal. Likewise, there are different procedures for wedding rings according to different customs.
In Western Cultures, A person wearing an engagement ring is said to be engaged to marry. Only women wear the engagement ring in the Western countries. Engagement rings are often but not always made of metals, they are fancied and beautified by featuring diamonds or other gemstones. In most cultures other than the Western ones, both men and women wear the engagement ring. Some cultures consider engagement rings as wedding rings also.
Origin of Wedding Ring Tradition
It is believed that the wedding ring exchange tradition was started by the ancient Egyptians. Historians and archaeological discoveries reveal that this practice by the Egyptians dates back to more than 4000 years. Artefacts such as twisting and braiding papyrus into a ring for finger and other decorative bands were worn by women of that ancient culture. This society considered this tradition as a symbol of eternal love between the married couple. They practiced wearing these bands on the fourth finger of the left hand. From then, this finger was named as the ring finger. It was believed that this finger had a vein connected directly to the heart and this concept was then spread across different cultures. Fast forwarding many centuries, this vein was coined by the Latin term “Vena Amoris” meaning “Vein of Love”.
From being a symbol of love, the wedding rings also have a history by the name “Symbol of Possession”. The ancient Rome culture followed different types of marriages which were categorized by the society’s class. The well recognized marriages during the ancient Roman culture were the Usus, the Confarreatio and the Coemptio. The rings were made of metals like iron and also precious metals like gold, tungsten etc. Engraving the rings with creative designs, cutting the rings to bring to a desired shape was first done by the ancient Romans.
It is learned from histories that the wedding ring was considered as an exchange of valuables rather than the symbol of love. The eternal devotion and the love became an outdated object as time proceeded because marriage was merely considered as a contract between families but not individual lovers. Ensuring the economic safety of the married couple was considered as the main priority by the families.
The possession of wedding rings by both the men and women is a recent innovation which was started by people in United States. Marketers became aware and made use of this opportunity to raise their sales. During the late 19th century, the jewellery market started making marketing campaigns to encourage this practice. Shopkeepers started working eagerly to discover an innovative ad campaign for the sales of both men’s and women’s wedding bands. By 1950, double-ring ceremony was an integral part of a wedding in most cultures. Around 80% of the wedding ceremonies include exchange of rings between both the men and women. This trend is still going unchanged in United States but in other countries the percentage is still less. Even in the 21st century, we see frequently that only the bride wears the wedding ring. Increasing efforts are being made by the jewellery marketers to spread the double ring ceremony trend all over the world.
The Speciality and Importance
Generally, Rings are circle shaped. Circle has neither a beginning nor an end. Not only for the Egyptians but also for other ancient culture people, the circle was considered as the symbol of eternity. Thus the wedding rings obtained its importance of everlasting love. Not only the shape but also the hole in the centre of the ring had an important significance. The hole is not just a mere space, but it was considered as a door or a gateway leading to a heavenly and a happy life.
If one thinks about the biggest speciality in a wedding ring, then the answer is to be the finger on which it is worn. History has had so many phases like the human evolution, industrial revolution, etc. When it comes to the finger of the hand on which wedding ring is worn, wedding rings also have experienced several change of traditions.
Many cultures still follow wearing a ring on the fourth finger. But having been through different stages of history, wedding rings have been worn on different fingers and different hands. Some cultures even follow wearing wedding rings on the thumb.
A plausible fact is the theory followed by the Christians. An either reason for the ring to be worn on the left hand was found out by the practice of the early Christian betrothals. On the occasion of a Christian marriage, the Priest recites the traditional Catholic prayer. When the Priest says the phrases, he would take the ring and touch the thumb, the fore finger and the middle finger of the left hand. He ends up with the word “Amen” at the fourth finger and thus the ring finds its place at the fourth finger.
Another practical theory for wearing the wedding ring on the left hand is the fact that most people in the world are right-handed. Thus, any soft metal like gold doesn’t get as much damage if it is placed on the left hand than the right hand.
Why Metallic Rings?
As time passed by, people slowly started to realize about the importance of the material strength of a ring. Some materials did not last for a long time while the other precious metal rings like gold, platinum rings were impossible for middle and lower level people to afford. While elite class people chose expensive rings to show more love for the bride and demonstrate their wealth.
Gold and platinum rings found their place in most of the wedding ceremonies. The value of these rings increased year by year. Some rings don’t have the strength to retain its shape after many years. Similarly, many faced problems in their rings like scratches, re-polishing, expenses and allergic issues. The research for strong in composition but less in cost rings begun at that point. This analysis led to the kick start of titanium and tungsten rings. Both the Titanium and tungsten rings were very much affordable for all. Be it strength, hardness, metal compositions, resistance to scratch, allergic issues etc. these rings are too good to tackle them.
At present, Tungsten carbide rings and titanium rings are two of the most popular contemporary rings in the jewelry market. Previously, tungsten rings were considered only for men because of its rugged and tough nature. Off late, innovations for designing and crafting of tungsten rings came on the line. Tungsten ring manufacturers started concentrating on women’s rings. Exclusive designer rings like brushed rings, polished rings, semi gold plated rings became more popular. The fact that these ring consisted the strength of tungsten carbide and the beauty of gold, these rings were very attractive and also affordable.
Most Popular Wedding Ring Styles
Not all people in the world are billionaires. Not every wedding takes place in the most coveted area of all. People select the wedding destinations, party, foods etc. according to their budget. If there is one thing which the people do not choose depending on budget, then it has to be the wedding ring. For a married couple, nothing is more precious than a wedding ring. No matter how higher the cost is, people buy the best ring for their partner. Such is the importance of this sublime element. Well, let us discuss about some rings which have their names engraved on people’s hearts because of their beauty and importance.
1. Heart Cut Shaped Wedding Ring
There is no other gift in the world which you can present to your loved one other than this heart cut shaped ring. You pledge your heart to your bride in the form of a ring and place it on the fourth finger. As the history suggests, the vein in the fourth finger links the heart to your wife’s heart. Diamond cut heart shaped rings or diamond studded rings are more popular because of their attractive look. Not only for its sentimental symbol but also the shine of this ring is simply suave.
2. Solitaire Wedding Ring
This wedding ring is undoubtedly a classic engagement ring. The solitaire represents the single diamond which is stud on the band. From the start of its invention, it has never gone out of fashion till date. It stands as a graceful and an elegant ring for any woman. The price of the band depends on its composition and quality. This ring looks very pretty if made with platinum metal even though it has a big price tag. Gold or white gold solitaire bands also look so beautiful and are less expensive than the platinum ones.
3. Platinum and Gold Wedding Ring
A classic wedding ring is a plain gold or platinum wedding ring. Rings do not contain any designs and they are not embedded with diamond or other gemstones. Made of none other than gold/platinum, these rings possess a mirror like sheen and are sophistically classic rings. Plain metal bands are one of the most popular wedding bands in the world. Due to its overwhelming cost, a recent trend followed is the plating of high quality (Usually 18 or 22 carat) over tungsten or titanium rings. With the permanent life which tungsten gives and the everlasting glitter of gold, these rings does not require a heavy spending.
4. Fancy Shape and Coloured Wedding Rings
When it comes to fancy, there is no limit for it among the people. Youngsters always get stuck to the limitless fashion and are ready to go after pop colours or styles. If classic wedding bands are not of your taste, then do not hesitate to custom make a ring of your choice. Custom Make rings are gaining popularity recently because you can decide a ring of your choice, impart a gem according to your likes and implement as much styles as you wish. Tungsten rings serves to be one of the best for implementing designer cuts and embedding attractive gemstones. A traditional stone which is put on a ring is diamond but there aren’t any rules for not using other coloured rings. A ring which is evenly coloured as that of the stone will appear bright.
5. Polished Tungsten Wedding Ring
If anyone ever wished to possess an urban styled as well as a traditionally charming ring, then the polished tungsten rings must be your best choice. Made by the sparkling tungsten carbide and carbon fiber combined with cubic zirconia, this ring looks undoubtedly supreme for anyone. If this ring was to be explained in one line, then it is defined as “A classic stylish ring for a royal wedding”.
6. Brushed Tungsten Wedding Ring
These rings come with a surprising brush matte finish. They come as a plain and simple ring, but they are also made by featuring gold plated stripes or gems. With plenty of bling, this ring will definitely meet the classic dignity of true love and admiration. These rings comes with an indefinite choice of colours such as black tungsten rings, silver tungsten rings etc.
Choosing the Best Wedding Ring
Increasing costs of gold and platinum, rising prices of other materials has alerted everyone to save their bucks for a safety and economical future. It needs wise thinking for planning your wedding budget. As rings form the most important part of a wedding, you need to look for a budgetary and an honourable ring. From all the things we learnt above, it is ideal to go for tungsten rings given its affordability and versatility. Without a shadow of a doubt, you will definitely enjoy your tungsten wedding ring because it is made to last.