The history of the wedding ring

Image:© Oleksandr Moroz/ Fotolia

Where does the tradition of wearing a wedding ring come from

The tradition for wearing wedding rings occurred in Ancient Egypt. Then the ring served as a seal with which the pharaohs certified their orders. With time the Egyptian aristocracy began putting gold on their hands as well as silver, glass and clay jewelry – the less wealthy.

In Ancient Rome the rings determined the social status of the people – only the higher class was entitled to wear gold, the free citizens – silver and the slaves – iron. With the Romans occurred the ritual with the wedding ring – before the marriage the groom handed to the parents of the future bride a ring with which to prove that he undertook an engagement to marry their daughter and is able to take care of her. This ritual was more important than the wedding which was the closing of the promise.

In the end of the II century A.C. people started exchanging bronze rings, in the III-rd century golden and in the IV-th century the wedding rings became an important part of the wedding ceremony. They placed it on the ring finger on the left hand for the Catholics and on the right hand for the Orthodox, due to the belief that on this finger there is a “vain of love” which leads directly to the heart.

In Medieval France people believed that for a married woman to attract a younger man it is enough to put a handkerchief through her wedding ring and then hand it to her loved one. During the time of the wars between  the land owner baron Otto Klotzenbach ordered an armor of wedding rings given by his many lovers. The baron believed that the love of women in his armor will make him unbeatable to the weapons of the enemy. And yes he survived all his battles but fell in a pond dragged by his heavy armor and drowned.



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