Jewellery has a history going back millennia. Ever since humanity learned to work metal jewellery has been an intrinsic part of our fashion sense, our pride and our boastfulness. Some of the only remaining artefacts from ancient civilisations are the buildings, their weapons, their pottery, their bones and their jewellery. Across civilisations ranging from the Irish Celts, to the Ancient Egyptians and numerous Eastern cultures we have learned a vast amount of our current knowledge from the jewellery that these peoples were buried with.
One of iconic pieces of modern jewellery is the wedding ring. There are few occasions in life for a celebration as large and important as a wedding. A wedding represents a commitment between two people for life and memories of that day are treasured for a life time. One of the on-going, daily reminders of a wedding and the loved one you commit to is a wedding ring. It was placed on your finger on your big day, and it sits on your ring finger showing your faith in your relationship, or at least that is how the theory goes.
For many people, mostly men, a wedding ring was something worn for one day, seen in pictures and then taken off and consigned to a drawer. This was a matter of practicality for most. A man wearing a wedding ring was a sign that they had a sedentary life; that he didn’t work for their living. If you worked on a farm or in a mine, if you spent your day building wooden roofs or worked with metal and stone then a ring was a danger. There are many people to this day who should not wear a ring for their and others safety: people working with food or with machinery. A ring poses a risk when it can get caught onto something and trapped.
While not wearing a ring was a matter of practicality for many people there were still those who just refused to wear one without any explicit reason. This could be because their own father didn’t wear one, because they want to hide their office based work life or simply because they do not see themselves as the type of person to wear a ring.
Society has changed. A simple gold band was the enduring symbol of a wedding for many decades (even if it was not worn) and many people do not buy into that tradition. Many more even see marriage as an archaic and irrelevant institution, however those opinions are suffering against a modern reality: weddings are cool again. Across the world debates are raging and parliaments and presidents are signing into law the right for any couple to marry: straight or gay. Research has shown that a new enthusiasm for marriage has sprung up. Across the world people are seeing how important marriage is as a sign of love and commitment. It is no longer something for previous generations, there is a freedom to it, an openly embraced dedication between two people. And with this new freedom wedding rings are becoming more and more significant and the traditional gold band is now a choice. Wedding rings are being personalised. Individual designs with significance to the people dedicating their life to each other are popular: whether that significance is with a traditional gold band or very personal design.
Weddings and wedding rings have been modernised, they have lost the decades old stigma, and showing that you have dedicated your life to someone is a thing to be celebrated.