Ring Like an Egyptian
The Egyptians believed the ring finger had a special vein that connected directly to the heart, and the circular ring was a symbol of eternity. Early relics reflect how the Egyptians then passed the custom through Rome and Greece to Europe. Early Christians felt the ring was a promise of fidelity.
In the early 16th and 17th centuries in Europe, betrothed couples each wore a gimmel ring, or interlocking rings. At the time of marriage, the pieces were joined and the wife wore the joined rings.
In the Middle East, brides were given rings that, once put on the finger, were very difficult to remove. The custom exists so the husband would know if the ring were missing.
Scholars report there is little said in the Bible about wedding rings. However, it was common for early Jews and Gentiles to wear multiple rings on their fingers as a symbol of wealth. In parts of Europe rings were used as part of the wedding dowry, along with money, to help the young couple become established. In this case, the ring was a gift to the couple from someone, and not one they chose themselves.
The Fair Renaissance
During the Renaissance, brides were given posey rings. The posey ring had poems from the groom engraved on them. It is not unusual to find engravings on today’s rings. The names of the couple, the dates of their marriage or some phrase that has special meaning to them may be found on one or both rings.
Put a Ring on It
In Western nations today, rings are typically made of precious metals such as rose, white, or yellow gold, palladium, platinum, silver, or, more recently, silicone. The permanence of the metals symbolizes the strength and permanence of the marriage. Today’s couples may be sensitive about political or cultural practices in parts of the world where metal or diamonds are mined. Therefore, they may choose gemstones or lab-created stones to decorate their rings.
Custom jewelry in Michigan and elsewhere is created by jewelers who are skilled and ready to create rings that any couple would cherish, whatever culture or custom it is developed from.