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Wedding Rings - Interesting Facts

Updated on December 27, 2012

The interesting details behind Wedding RIngs

I had some fun digging up some information on wedding rings. It was interesting to read about the different types of engagement and wedding rings out there. Furthermore it was fun reading and learning about how different cultures and societies have their traditions and ceremonies that go along with the rings. So I've compiled a list of interesting and unique facts for your reading enjoyment.

Did you know?

  • Did you know that the smallest engagement ring ever given was to Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII? She was only 2 years old!

How much gold is used for wedding rings?

  • In the United States alone, 17 tons of gold is made into wedding/engagement rings each year!

When was the first diamond wedding ring given?

  • 1477 to be exact!
  • The first recorded diamond wedding ring was given in 1477 to Mary of Burgundy by King Maximilian I. It was offered to Mary of Burgundy to seal his vow to her.
  • Now men know who to blame!

Wedding rings worn on the right hand.
Wedding rings worn on the right hand.

What countries is the wedding ring worn on the right hand instead of the left?

Quite a few actually!

Countries such as:

Norway, Russia, Greece, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Austria, Germany, Portugal and Spain.

Jewish ceremonies invovle the groom placing the wedding ring on the index finger of the bride. Not the ring finger
Jewish ceremonies invovle the groom placing the wedding ring on the index finger of the bride. Not the ring finger

How the Jewish do it!

In the Jewish tradition, the groom actually places the ring on the brides index finger and not the ring finger at all!

Egypt?

It could be said that the oldest recorded exchange of wedding rings was 4800 years ago in Ancient Egypt!

Before the tradition of the ring was made, the women of that time period used Sedges, Rushes and Reeds that grew along side the well known papyrus. They would either twist or braid them and they wore them as their wedding rings or other forms of adornments.

Leather, bone, Ivory and Hemp wedding rings
Leather, bone, Ivory and Hemp wedding rings

Movin on UP

  1. Eventually rings were made of leather, bone or ivory. Because other materials that were being used at the time weren't as long lasting.
  2. It was to be said that "the more expensive the ring, the more love shown to the receiver"
  3. The value of the ring also demonstrated the wealth and power of a giver.

The Romans gave wedding rings like this!

When a Roman man gave a Roman woman an engagement ring or wedding ring, it wasn't show as a symbol of love, but of "ownership" or "claim".

Eventually the Romans gave rings made of Iron and named them "Anulus Pronubus" symbolizing strength and permanence. (These rings eventually had a problem with rusting)

The Romans were believed to be the first to actually engrave their rings as well.

Wedding rings in Christian ceremonies

Christians didn't use a ring as a symbol of marriage until about the year 860. These rings came highly decorated with engraved doves, lyros, or two linked hands.

Around the 13th century The Church discouraged the giving of such highly decorated rings. Calling them heathenish. The wedding rings were eventually simplified into the ornate gold bands we see today. They were said to give off a more "spiritual appeal"

When did men begin wearing wedding rings?

Believe it or not, popularity of the wedding rings didn't surface until the 1930's (Great Depression)

By the 1940's tho 80% of men were wearing wedding rings.

When WWII broke out women were giving their men rings as a symbol of their unbroken connection while they were away at war.

In Hindu tradition....not on the finger at all!

In the Hindu tradition women aren't given engagement rings to wear on the finger. They are given to be worn on the toe.

Knows as a "toe ring" in our culture they are called Bichiya in Hindu.

Some women wear as many as 5 bichiya on one foot.

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