This week we’re reflecting on the meaning and origins of wedding rings. We’ve devoted a lot of time this year learning the correct way to do things like set stones and carve rings. Now it’s time to think about what these precious objects are for and where they came from.
The earliest known wedding rings date back to ancient Egypt. For the ancient Egyptians, the ring was a symbol of eternity with no beginning or end. The hole in the center symbolized a portal to an unknown future that the wedded couple crossed through upon entering into wedded bliss. These early symbols of betrothal were fashioned out of woven grass. Over time, more permanent materials were used, like leather bone and ivory. More expensive materials were meant to show a greater love. These early rings were places on the “ring finger” of the left hand, because it was believed that there was a prominent vein that connected the ring finger to the heart called the Vena Amoris. There is of course no such thing, but it’s kind of a nice idea.
The early Christians favored rings that were plain and gold. A simple symbol to memorialize the union of 2 hearts in god. I like the plain gold ring and agree that there is a level of design virtue in simplicity as well. One of my favorite songs is Plain Gold Ring by Nina Simone.
Another great wedding ring design was the snake ring presented to Queen Victoria by her consort Albert in 1840. The Ouroboros Snake ring was a symbol of eternal love. We’ve been offering our version of the ouroboros snake ring for a few years now. It’s been spotted on the likes of singer Lana Del Ray. We’ve recently been commissioned to make a custom gold version for a wedding ring. The brass and silver versions are available here.
For my own wedding ring, Pete and I went to McCarran Park in Brooklyn and found some twigs on the ground and had them cast in 14kt Gold. Pete’s first twig was too thick for our budget, so I sent him back out to find another one. I cast my ring in bronze, brass, and silver as well and it’s been one of our top sellers ever since. It’s available for sale here.
We’re starting a new collection in 2018 that will include some new wedding ring styles. I’m keeping in mind some heirloom type pieces while making designs on the future. We hope to come up with some treasures that are worthy of your eternal love.