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Wedding Bands are a Symbol of Fidelity

Jewlery and Jewelers

“With this ring, I thee wed.” So many wedding ceremonies contain these words. A ring is a circle, with no beginning and no end and, therefore, perfectly designed to represent the endless circle of life and the infinite love of a newly married couple.

But how did wedding bands become a symbol of fidelity?

Some experts date the wedding ring tradition back to ancient Egypt, more than 45 centuries ago. Egyptians fashioned wedding bands out of hemp or plants as a symbol of everlasting love. However, while the love may have lived on, the rings quickly frayed.

The ancient Romans used iron to manufacture wedding bands, and later moved to gold or silver because these metals didn’t rust. At this point, wedding bands began to last as long—or longer—than the marriages they represented.

Today, wedding bands remain a symbol of fidelity. A ring worn on the fourth finger of the left hand sends a message to people that the wearer is “taken.” Catholic nuns, too, wear wedding bands as a symbol of their commitment to God.

In the United States, we wear our wedding bands on the fourth finger of our left hand. The Egyptians and Romans believed a major vein ran from that finger to the heart and the tradition has endured. Before the wedding ceremony, the bride traditionally removes her engagement ring, so the wedding band can be placed on the finger first, and the engagement ring placed second, because the wedding band is supposed to be worn “closest to the heart.”

Some brides opt not to follow this tradition, because an engagement ring typically costs more (sometimes as much as ten times more) than a wedding ring and costs more to replace if it is lost.

Traditionally, brides and grooms wore gold, silver or platinum wedding bands but in recent years, titanium wedding bands have grown in popularity, as well, especially for men. Titanium rings are extremely durable, but cannot be inscribed or re-sized.

Wedding bands can feature exquisite scrollwork and designs, or even diamonds. Many contain a personalized inscription on the inside. Some ladies’ rings feature two bands that encase the engagement ring. Eternity bands, an extension of the concept of a wedding band as a symbol of eternal love, feature small diamonds around the entire circumference of the band.

Whatever your wedding bands look like, wearing them symbolizes the promise of your everlasting love.

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