The promise of enduring love that encircles the finger of your ‘one and only’ dates back to antiquity. If you journey back to ancient Egyptian customs, men braided reeds and other natural materials into endless circles, which represented the love and the union of marriage. Legend has it that the Egyptians later believed in vena amoris (translating from Latin into vein of love)—the vein that runs from the fourth finger on the left hand straight to the heart. Early Romans believed in this theory as well, yet formed their bond with a more durable material –iron rings which then they bestowed on their betrothed. This theory carried over into Western cultures, thanks to King Edward VI when he deemed the left hand finger the official choice for wedding bands—the ring finger in most Western cultures. Prior to this, England’s couples wore their bands on their thumb.
In today’s day and age, there are certain Easters and Western cultures that wear their rings on their right hand finger—but for the most part, we are united in bands that we place on our left hand ‘ring finger’.
When we talk about the history of wedding rings, there are certain styles that define the periods in which they were made as well as influence the rings we wear today. One of our favorite rings of the 16th and 17th century are Gimmel rings (with two or three hoops or links that fit together to form one complete ring. These were often designed so the interlocking rings would come apart. The charm of these rings was that they were imbued with significance—the bride and groom-to-be each wore one of the rings throughout their engagement. During the wedding, the groom would transfer his ring to his beloved’s finger and interlock it back into its original state just as they were locked in love.
The forerunner to the simple gold wedding band, Posy (Poetry) rings were popular from the Renaissance through the Georgian period, which carried into the early 19th century. The earlier versions were ornate with symbols of love and fidelity—(hearts and ivy leaves for example or hearts and cupid’s quiver) engraved and enameled on the outside of the ring and a sentimental motto on the inside. As time went on, plain high-karat bands replaced the more ornate ones, with romantic bon mots and verses engraved on the inside in Latin, French and Old English. During this time, feelings of love could not be openly expressed; therefor the rings spoke of the emotions and intentions and the proposal of a live together.
In the early 20th century through today, gold and platinum wedding bands took some influence from the posy rings, creating more modern significance in dates and initials of the couple, even some sayings. on the inside of the ring. The more ornate rings of the early 20th century were designed during the Art Deco period. Piercing work, engraving and other intricate details decorated the rings which were accented by diamond. These rings were most often designed in platinum. The eternity bands which first appeared in silver-topped gold ring with small flat cut gemstones and rose cut diamonds in the 19th century were rejuvenated in different styles of settings and diamonds and the ‘big three gems’ in the Deco period These rings included engraved shanks with baguette diamond in channel setting, round diamonds in pave and prong settings, and ruby, sapphire or emerald princess or French cut stones alternating with round stones in a chamnel settings.
During WWII and the Korean War soldiers would demonstrate their commitment to their wives by wearing a matching band. These translated into wedding sets after the wars and continued to be popular throughout the mid-20th century.
Individuality became the buzzword by t the end of the 20th century and well into the new millennium and is still going strong.
Let’s check out some of our rings which exude charm and character, that are inspired by rings from the past that have the endurance to be worn now and handed down in the future.
The braided detail of the 14K gold solid wedding band reminds us of the rings crafted from wheat by the ancient Egyptians
A band that fits together like a wide puzzle of stackable rings—modern, sophisticated and a strong design for the woman who prefers one ring rather than an engagement and wedding band Diamond Ring
This 14K white gold ring is reminiscent of the details found in late Edwardian and early Art Deco rings with engraved detail and diamonds sparkling all-around of the center of the band
A 14K white gold channel set diamond and baguette sapphire ring reflects something old and something blue, something borrowed from the 1930s and something new—the way in which we have updated this style with princess cuts instead of round diamonds.
The perfect graceful stacked look in a 14K white gold princess cut diamond band with two outer thin round diamond rings and a center of luscious fancy cuts.
Baguettes are also a timeless style, here in 14K gold we mix the in a bezel setting with round diamonds for a geometric look.