One of the most significant symbols coming from the past time to our time is the circle. It was adapted by all cultures from ancient to present. Circle symbolizes perfections, unity, peace, holiness, endlessness because of its no beginning and no end. People in the Ancient Europe used hair knots as circle rings and it was a symbol of love, faith, friendship. Rings made from materials like iron, copper, silver and gold became popular during Medieval period.
Christians started to use rings for their wedding ceremonies in 8th century. As a symbol of love, wedding rings were first documented in second century by the Roman poet Plautus. Use of wedding rings, are known from the recorded marriage contracts signed in the presence of the Emperor’s image.
Until the 15th Century only Kings wore diamonds as a symbol of strength, courage and invincibility. Over the centuries, the faceted diamonds acquired their unique status as the ultimate gift of love. The Greeks believed the fire in the diamond reflected the constant flame of love.
In 1477 when Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy, the diamond wedding ring was introduced.
Already in 12th century the marriage started to be celebrated in church and the ceremonies included wedding rings. In Persia, a bridegroom would give a ring to every one, who attended the wedding ceremony. Queen Victoria of Great Britain at wedding ceremony with Prince Albert gave out 60 rings, engraved with queen’s profile.
A remarkable story is known about claddagh ring in Ireland. Richard Joyce, after being captured on a fish boat, during his slavery, made a ring with a heart for love, a crown for loyalty, and two hands. When escaped capture, he returned to his village Claddagh and was overjoyed to see his love again and to know she was waiting for him to marry her. He gave her the ring, he created, that has become known as the Claddagh ring. If the ring is worn on the right hand with the crown inward, the heart is not yet committed. If worn on the right hand with the crown turned outward the wearer is committed to someone. If worn on the left hand with the crow outward it means “Let our love and friendship reign forever, never to be separated”.
Men started wearing wedding bands after World War II to show their love and commitment to their wives back home. Some of the most popular forms of wedding bands are bands for men made of titanium, platinum or gold. Despite this diversity, many couples want to keep the symbolism of the wedding ring simple, and have simple matching gold bands that they both wear.
Rings can be of the simplest design like solitaire ring settings or something as intricate and sophisticated as filigree and pave.