The History and Origin of Men's Wedding & Engagement Rings
Have you ever wondered why we wear wedding bands or if guys get engagement rings? As civilizations developed, so did the traditions and ceremonies that accompanied marriage. One such tradition is the exchange of rings between husband and wife. However, when it comes to the history of wedding rings, the history of mens' wedding rings is a bit more sparse. Wedding bands have become more widely adopted in the 1900s but the history goes back centuries. And when it comes to the actual wedding rings, the options for men are far more limited than they are for women. While women can choose from various styles and designs, men’s wedding rings are typically much more simple and classic. This doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways to make them just as special however!
What Is a Wedding Band?
A wedding band can sometimes be known as a wedding ring. It is a ring worn on the fourth finger of your left hand to symbolize that you are married. It is not the same as an engagement ring in several aspects. The main difference between the two is that a wedding band is worn by both individuals, while an engagement ring is typically worn just by the person who was proposed to.
A wedding band signifies the special commitment that two individuals have. While it is important to understand the history and meaning of a wedding band, it is as significant to understand what it means to you and your relationship as it is a ring presented to the bride and groom during the wedding ceremony to represent togetherness.
What Is the History of Men's Wedding Rings?
While wedding rings date back to 5,000 years ago, men began wearing them to symbolize their marital status in the mid-twentieth century. This was a product of generations of wartime perceptions, consumer capitalism, and various other social, economic, and historical concerns.
During World War I, many men on the frontline began wearing wedding rings in memory of their wives and families back home. Men's wedding bands gained importance in the 1950s, following the continuation of that tradition during World War II. These rings were meant to symbolize men's responsibility and commitment.
After the 1950s, the men's wedding ring became a lasting tradition and was often linked to married status. Today, thousands of years after its inception, the tradition of the wedding ring is still going strong. While it remains true to its symbolic meaning for most couples, men's wedding rings are now also seen as a fashionable accessory.
When Did Wedding Rings Start?
Archeologists & historians have found that the first wedding rings were exchanged by the Ancient Egyptians, who used bands made of braided straw and grass to symbolize their marital status. They put these rings on the fourth finger of the left hand because they believed there was a vein of love that traveled directly from this finger to your heart. It has been suggested that this practice started at least 5,000 years ago.
It is similar to what we have now and was worn to symbolize devotion to one another. The circle being an infinite loop was seen as a strong symbol by the Egyptians, thought to represent a promise of eternity. Egyptians later developed metal versions that included hoops made from silver or gold. The Romans also had a tradition of wearing rings made out of metal as both men and women would wear these types of rings.
Do Men Wear Engagement and Wedding Rings?
Though rings have been worn for centuries, men did not start wearing engagement rings until much later. Early on, rings became popular as a way to signify wealth, power & land ownership as well as used to seal important documents and correspondences. As time progressed, rings became a way to easily identify married couples. The idea behind an engagement ring being that the person wearing it was “called for”, or “off the market” if you will. The idea of men receiving rings did not take hold until the 1990s when it became more common for women to get them after proposing or at least give them both wedding rings at the time of their vows.
Many people think that men never wear engagement rings. However, there are no rules that state they can not. If a man and/or woman wants to symbolize their devotion for one another, there’s nothing stopping them. A ring is a symbolic gesture and should be worn only if the person wants to.
Aside from marriage, men can also wear a ring like a signet ring to signify their identity or add a little bit more personality to the standard band. Signet rings can be either plain or be given ornamentation in the form of a stone or carving. While rings for men are becoming more popular, the space for men’s jewelry is a very new one with plenty of room for self expression.
Which Finger Does A Man Wear His Wedding Ring?
When a man gets married, it is a tradition to wear a wedding ring. The ring was placed on the fourth finger of the right hand of the man because it was believed that there was a vein in the finger which ran directly to the heart.
Rings were seen to have many symbols; that is why there are different meanings given to the wearing of a ring on different fingers.
It is important to consider that an engagement and wedding ring is only one reason to wear a ring and depending on your personal style or status you can find a variety of other types/purposes to wear more rings. Wedding and engagement rings are beautiful examples of your love and devotion to your spouse and can be used as a personal expression of that love and your personal style. Take a moment to see what variations are out there and if you have thoughts and ideas on ways to make yours special, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d love to help you make something special!