Throughout the ages, a wedding ring has been a symbol of love, commitment and harmony between two people; it says that they will always love and cherish each other.
The circle as symbol
A circle is endless; it has no beginning or end. Circle-shaped wedding rings therefore symbolize the infinity of love between the two people who are getting married.
Origins of the ring
History has it that the ring has its origin in Egypt. Rings were plaited from plant fibres and regarded as a symbol of eternal love. Rings were worn on the ring finger of the left hand because Egyptians believed that a special vein connected this finger directly to the heart, hence the Latin term vena amoris, which means “vein of love”. However, in some European countries, the ring is worn on the right hand. In the Roman era, most rings were made of iron.
These rings later evolved into wedding rings. In the Middle East, men gave their wives more than one wedding band. The wedding bands interlocked like a puzzle when put on her finger and could never be removed again – truly forever and a day!
The Gimmel ring was another design consisting of interlocking bands and was popular in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s. The ring was regarded as a symbol of unity. In the Renaissance era, engraved sterling silver rings were popular. A love poem or inscription was engraved on the ring. It is still often doen these days.
In earlier time, the material used for the rings and the choice of a gemstone were regarded as a good indication of a person’s status, for instance, whether the person was a member of the aristocracy. Today, these choices are rather an indication of the couple’s taste and personal preferences.
Choosing design elements
Platinum remains a popular choice for wedding rings because it is regarded as a durable and sought-after material.
Other metals such as titanium and tungsten carbide are nowadays often chosen by men who still want to wear the symbol of eternal love but prefer trends that are more fashionable.
Rings made of these metals are sometimes decorated with wooden inlays. Such rings are affordable and strong and can even be changed according to the occasion. Rose gold is currently one of the most popular metals. This metal’s colour gives the ring a vintage look and creates a sense of durability and permanence – of love that will last forever. It remains popular to set a gemstone in a wedding ring.
The diamond, purportedly a girl’s best friend, is still generally chosen because it is rare and exquisite.
It is also the hardest and strongest mineral and is almost indestructible – thus literally for ever!
A good alternative these days is moissanite. It is manufactured in a laboratory and therefore more affordable for people whose budget is tight and who would still like a beautiful stone.
Gemstones can be chosen for sentimental reasons. Birthstones are popular, such as morganites, rubies and sapphires, to name a few.
An eternal commitment
The choice and design is a personal matter, but it still symbolizes a declaration of eternal love.The rings says: I not only wear you in my heart but on my finger as well so that all may know we are one!