In celebration of National Proposal Day today, we thought it fitting to take you back to the the very origin of the Wedding band to inspire our brides and Grooms-to-be when choosing bands with sentiment and personality. Majesty Diamonds presents a historical timeline of the wedding band! From the traditions of its exchange as a timeless symbol of commitment, to the desire for bespoke yet organic designs into high quality materials that will stand the test of time. The wedding Band to this day remains an imperative ritual and consideration of personality, where beauty and quality is paramount. Here we share with you how the ritual of the wedding band as we know it, has evolved and from where it was created..
Tradition and symbolism
Throughout human history, the act of marriage has evolved but historically the tradition of the wedding ring has been around for thousands of years! It is believed, that even as far back as 3, 000 years ago Egyptians were braiding and exchanging rings twisted of hemp, reeds and papyrus for the woman’s finger and other decorative ornaments worn for the purpose of the occasion.
- However, naturally these organic materials had little or no longevity and were quickly replaced with better lasting rings of leather,bone and Ivory. Over the centuries, the style of wedding bands have evolved to be fashioned for permanence and durability. Developments in craft after the Egyptians and the Romans, saw Albeit crude materials like welded metals and plain inscribed bands made from unpolished silver and gold.
- The use of the circular band originated from not just the Egyptians but other ancient cultures. A belief that the circle symbolised eternity, bearing no beginning and no end. The hole of the ring was also believed to be symbolic of a gateway that would lead the couple into events both known as unknown as they both enter marriage together.
Giving and receiving of rings
In terms of tradition for presenting the ring to the bride-to-be, during the 1500s it was customary that European husbands would present their wives with what was known as a Gimmel ring.The Gimmel ring consisted of two interlocking gold rings. Both the man and the woman would wear one of the rings until their actual wedding day, where the two rings would then be reunited and the woman would wear the combined set from that day forward.
- During the Renaissance, we saw the creation of the poesy ring. Traditionally inscribed with typography in the form of a line of poetry or another written expression of love personal to the couple.
The male wedding band
Up until the 1940’s, wives were generally the only party that wore a wedding band.It was not until during WWII that we saw the trend of both men and women wearing rings start to take effect. With being separated for long periods of time, wearing rings was a way for couples to remember one another during the time they were separated.
- Today it is common practice that both husband and wife wear a wedding band and it’s not only women that have options when it comes to the style of their ring. In the last five years, the marketplace has seen a huge spike in terms of the design options for men’s bands. Just like women’s, men’s bands now come in every shape, color and design.
Design and detail
During the Victorian and Art Deco periods there was a noticeable transformation in women’s wedding bands. Not only were the bands becoming more ornate in style, but there was also the inclusion of diamonds and patterns within the design. Jump ahead to present day and the style of these time periods are now sought after by many brides. This ornate style is now referred to as vintage, and is certainly having a comeback with many modern brides for obvious reason.The designs of the past were elaborate and intricate in a way the traditional and classic styles of the late 20th and early 21st century were not.
- It wasn’t until the late 20th century that women started to gravitate towards more stylish and bejewelled wedding bands. By 21st century standards, the wedding band is still not as intricately designed as the engagement ring but there are certainly more style options made available to brides than ever before. Even if a bride opts for a more simplistic wedding ring, she can now choose from white, yellow or rose gold and/or platinum to craft her band. She also has the choice of adding white or black diamonds or an expansive range of gemstones.Many modern brides choose to mix and match in terms of their bridal sets, and with so many options the marketplace has seen a noticeable surge in tri-colour wedding bands.
Perhaps the most distinct change in wedding band practice is that in our current day and age we’ve seen the symbolism of love attached to the wedding ring equal the desire for a higher value point. Except for the period during WWII where rings had to be made from 9 carat gold rather than the standard 22 carat gold, there has been an increasing desire to use better quality materials in the design of our wedding bands.There is a need for perfection, and so the gold is always polished and the quality of metals and diamonds are heavily taken into consideration before purchasing a wedding band.
- Modern couples are now also in a position to have matching or complementary bands – not only are they able to buy matching sets, but they are also in a position to have their wedding bands custom made. When it comes to design and quality, the possibilities are truly endless!
Thinking about proposing on National proposal day this year? Take a peak here at just a few of the beautifully finished engagement and wedding bands designed for Majesty Diamonds…
Have a look at Majesty Diamonds full collection of inspired cuts and designs for timeless wedding jewellery!