Exchanging wedding rings is a tradition followed since several centuries. The custom and symbolism of exchanging wedding rings is rooted in several cultures. People in Egypt during the ancient times used to exchange some form of ring which they called “rings of love”. This culture of exchanging wedding ring is prevalent even today.
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During earlier days, Romans and Greeks preferred to use signet rings in the form of personal jewellery which was called as “fede” ring. This used to be a symbol of love. These rings became an inspiration for gifting engagement rings in Rome.
Later, Romans began customizing wedding rings by putting some of their own personal symbols. Few lovers featured their ring heads with the carvings of couple’s faces. Some also carved full figures of bride and groom.
After the Empire declared Christianity as its official religion, there were little changes incorporated. The carvings used to feature the picture of the couple along with Jesus or a cross behind them.
Fede rings have been popular in the Europe for last 1000 years and with times its designs changed. Irish people still continue to wear a wedding band that is known as Claddagh ring. Here there will be two hands that will come together for holding a heart with crown.
Such ring was created after 13 centuries when Rome introduced Fede rings.
Another ring known as posy ring which is also called as posie became quite common during the 15th century. All this started with bold designs that were featuring words engraved in the outside of the wedding band.
Gimmel wedding ring was also called as puzzle-style wedding rings which became popular during the 15th century. Gimmel ring was created by using few goldsmith techniques on the posy rings. They used to have 2 or 3 interlocking bands.
In Jewish traditions too, rings used to symbolize everlasting marriage. They wore bands with no stones or any signs as a symbol of strong marriage.
History of Jewish wedding rings can be traced back to the 10th century. Till 19th century they were still popular.
Nowadays, diamond wedding rings are very commonly used as a wedding or engagement ring. First diamond ring can be traced back to 100s AD in the Roman history.