The History Of Wedding Rings

Posted on Wednesday, June 13th, 2018 at 8:49 am by Joey

As you’ve been browsing diamond wedding ring sets, gold wedding rings, and more, have you found yourself curious at all about the history of wedding rings? You’re not alone. Saying “I do” certainly has a ring to it, but just how do we have the tradition of wedding rings? Read our blog to find out, and make sure to shop with Skatell’s Jewelers in Greenville when you need wedding jewelry.

With all of this history, nothing is absolutely certain. However, there is a lot that archaeologists, historians, and researchers have deduced over the years.


It appears wedding rings originated in ancient Egypt about 4,800 years ago, though there weren’t any local jewelry stores for these love-struck Egyptians to visit. Reeds, rushes, and other plants were twisted and braided into rings worn by women. This material was substituted for leather, bone, or ivory so the rings would last longer. If the material was more expensive, it represented more love and wealth from the giver.

Egyptians believed the circle was a powerful symbol. It symbolized eternity, and the hole in the center represented a gateway or door to events or worlds both known and unknown.

The history of wearing wedding rings on the fourth finger of the left hand also dates back to ancient Egypt. Egyptians believed this finger had a special vein directly connected to the heart. The finger for wedding rings varied throughout time periods and cultures, but today most Westerners use the same finger the Egyptians did.


Romans adopted the tradition of wedding rings, but there were several key differences. These rings were eventually made of iron and represented strength, permanence, and ownership over the woman.

These rings began to be more personalized, often exhibiting carvings of the couple. They began to be associated with the marital dowry and with a promise of fidelity from each partner.


The wedding ring tradition evolved into common usage in Europe due to the Romans and Greeks. Modern ring exchanges can be traced back to this time in the Middle Ages and as part of Christendom. Christendom adapted the ancient customs and traditions and influenced wedding rings’ role in religion.

As the meaning of these rings turned once more into a symbol of love rather than ownership, Europeans made rings more ornate, intricate, and personal.

North America

At the time of early colonization, Puritans denounced wedding bands and all other jewelry as ungodly, and thus colonial Americans began to exchange thimbles instead of rings; thimbles were practical and would help women in their daily sewing. Over time, however, the tops of the thimbles were eliminated and the wedding ring returned.

For many years in the U.S., wedding rings were intended for only women and not men. Wedding rings became customary for both partners sometime during the 20th century, though the tradition grew greatly for men during World War II.

Much has changed over the years, but we still like to symbolize marriage with a ring today. Whether it’s an ornate diamond wedding band, a unique or classic engagement ring, or a custom wedding ring design, your ring represents you and your partner’s relationship. If you’re in the market for wedding jewelry, contact Skatell’s Jewelers in Greenville today. We’re happy to help you find the perfect ring.