Many nations of the world think that a circle is a symbol of eternity, as this shape has neither start, nor end. So that, love of the two sweethearts must be eternal too. But there is another interpretation of the ring shape: the two halves united spiritually in one inseparable, unbreakable whole. Besides symbolism, a circle was believed to have mystical properties: the Eastern Dragon holds its own tail between teeth – the symbol of indestructible universe; shamans and sorcerers draw a circle to make themselves safe against devil spirits.
In mythology of many nations a circle embodies the Sun or even the Universe. Exactly these ideas made our forefathers choose a ring as a token of endless love and faithfulness. Moreover, an engagement ring protects the “significant other” against misfortunes, as the circle frame does not let the evil angels influence the beloved.
Initially, people used bracelets to protect their spouses, and were worn on legs and wrists. It is thought, that engagement rings originate from bracelets.
Engagement rings in Roman Empire
Romans were the first in the world to wear rings, but their tradition has nothing to do with the modern one of a marriage! An engagement ring with a pattern was put on a finger of a woman and compressed so hard, that a woman could never take it off! Usually, the pattern consisted of the husband’s differential signs. Hereby, such jewellery was a mark of one person belonging to another, simply speaking it was the sign of slavery! Do you think it was barbarity? Nothing of the kind! A girl with such a ring became unattainable for other brutal males, so that, she was out of danger.
Due to the process of cultural assimilation, which was happening between conquerors and the subdued nations, the custom to wear an engagement ring spread all over the world, though it underwent some alterations. For instance, the eastern men made up a sophisticated ring construction, which presented some kind of a puzzle. A woman could not take this ring off, as she had to know a combination of secret twists. The slightest wrong movement made the accessory break completely apart, and the woman was accused of adultery and was severely punished.
Ancient Jews changed their tradition of giving an iron coin to the chosen one in a token of seriousness and prosperity for a wedding ring too.
Engagement rings for men have appeared relatively recently. This jewellery gained its popularity during the World War I, when soldiers wore them as a reminder of family. After the war, this accessory obtained the status of a permanent men’s decoration for the married.
Engagement rings in modern life
Actually, nowadays wedding rings have not lost their mysterious meaning. Their round shape is a symbol of endless unity, eternal love and faithfulness. Gold as a noble metal means purity of intensions and virginity. The modern design of engagement rings differs much from the one of the earlier times. Today, couples prefer custom engagement rings of unique, luxurious design with precious stones, unusual metal and colour combinations. Golden rings are still popular, but more often young people give up stereotypes and buy engagement rings made of titanium, carbide, tungsten or even pottery! The designs of wedding rings are amazing too: the “Star Wars” theme, a screw-bolt, twisted ropes, a crown or rings with diamonds inlaid inside! So, there is no problem to customize an engagement ring of your dream, modern goldsmiths can satisfy any whim.