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The History of Men's Wedding Bands

THE HISTORY OF MEN'S WEDDING BANDS 1600 B.C. During the Golden Age of ancient Egypt from 1600 BC to 1100 BC, Pharaohs and other men of high status wear signet rings. These rings are symbols of their positions and power. Lower classes wear rings made of cheap materials to adorn themselves. No rings are exchanged to signify marriages. 753 B.C. Rome is founded in 753 BC. Emperors bestow gold rings on distinguished soldiers. Wealthy Romans also wear bands of gold. Lesser citizens wear silver bands. Slaves wear iron bands. However, only women wear wedding bands. They are first made of iron and called "betrothal rings." A betrothal ring signifies the transfer of property (the woman) from her family to her husband. 300 A.D. From 300 AD on, in European countries, Christians embrace the Roman pagan custom of giving the bride a wedding band during the wedding ceremony. Christian men still do not wear wedding bands. 610 A.D. Pope Boniface IV requires men of Episcopal authority to wear rings as symbols of their "betrothal" to the Church. These ecclesiastical rings were often made of gold and set with gemstones. 796 A.D. The Vikings thrive from 796 to 1066. Both Viking men and women wear wedding bands, exchanged on the hilts of their swords, during the marriage ceremony. In other European countries, it is still customary for the bride only to receive and wear a wedding ring. 1800 Ecclesiastical rings reach the pinnacle of their popularity and extravagance in the 19th century. Clergymen often wear multiple, elaborate rings to signify their high positfions in the Church and subsequent wealth. Signet rings are still worn as status symbols by men. With the exception of a few passing fads, the practice of wearing wedding bands is still a tradition for brides only. 1941 The U. S. enters wWII when Pearl Harbor is bombed on December 7, 1941. During wartime, U.S. soldiers begin to wear endearment rings and wedding bands to remind them of sweethearts waiting for them at home. 1945 The war ends with Germany's unconditional surrender in 1945. In the U. S., strong sentiments for wearing tokens of one's betrothal continue after the war ends. Both brides and grooms adopt the practice of wearing wedding bands. This custom becomes tradition in both the U.S. and Canada. In the United Kingdom and other European countries, the practice of grooms wearing wedding bands is optional rather than traditional. T) SOURCES Rings: Jewelry of Power, Love and Loyalty, by Diana Scarisbrick (2007). Thames & Hudson, Lid. London. Christian Dress & Adornment, by Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, Chapter 5: A Look at the Wedding Ring, The British Museum: Ancient Egyptian Timeline, PBS: Egypt's Golden Empire; Overview of the New Kingdom A Timeline of the Roman Empire by Piero Scaruffi: thp:// Viking Answer Lady: Courtship, Love and Marriage in Viking Scandinavia,

The History of Men's Wedding Bands

shared by Sammdata on Apr 11
Learn the history of when and how men began to wear wedding bands.




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