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Traditions Surrounding the Wedding Band

Platinum wedding rings are a potent symbol of eternal love, unity and partnership, which send out the signal that you are wholly committed to another person. Couples may take the giving and exchange of wedding rings for granted, without ever thinking about the rich history and symbolism behind the tradition of wedding rings. So what’s the story behind the most important piece of jewellery you’ll ever wear?

The tradition of giving and wearing wedding rings goes back to the ancient Romans and Egyptians, who worshipped the precious metals of gold and silver and believed the circle of the ring represented endless love and unbreakable bond. According to some customs, possibly also Roman in origin, wedding rings are a culmination in a series of gifts, including the engagement ring, given to symbolize betrothal. Now, more gifts are given that precede and follow the exchange of wedding rings include the giving of a pre-engagement ring to mark the start of serious “courting”, the eternity ring to celebrate the ongoing nature of a marriage (sometimes given after the first-born’s birth), and the trilogy ring with three round brilliant-cut diamonds to symbolise the past, present and future of an enduring partnership and commitment.

Wedding rings are round to represent the eternal love with no beginning and no end between a committed man and woman, and wedding rings are traditionally worn on the third finger of the left hand because of the Greeks’ idea of anatomy in the third century BC. Greek physicians believed that a vein – the vena amoris (or vein of love), ran directly from the third finger of the left hand to the heart, so the placing of wedding rings on this finger holds to this romantic ideal. There is an idea that wedding rings also come from an old idea of women being “property”, and the wearing of a wedding band is an obvious sign that she is “taken”.

Many ancient customs and traditions have helped to make wedding rings what they are today, but whatever the history and symbolism behind wedding rings, to many couples today they still remain a simple and beautiful symbol of their everlasting love and partnership.