Wedding rings are a symbol of marriage. It shows commitment between a couple, as they vow to spend the rest of their lives together. It shows others that they are no longer available. They are "off the market." The ring symbolizes the meeting of two lives as they are joined together.
That being said, men haven't always worn wedding rings. However, they have worn rings for other reasons.
The History Of Men’s Wedding Rings
Men started out wearing rings for other reasons. They may have worn them to celebrate certain milestones. They may have also worn them to show wealth and the power that they had.
Ancient Egypt (1600 BC to 1100BC)
Pharaohs and men who were important wore signet rings. These were worn on their right hand to symbolize their social status, authoritative positions, and power in society. People who were deemed lower class, only wore rings that we cheaply made.
Nobody, not even women, wore wedding bands during this time.
In Rome, emperors gave gifts of gold rings to the best soldiers. Wealthy Romans wore gold rings, while lower classes wore silver rings. Slaves were required to wear rings made of iron.
During this time, women would receive wedding bands from their husbands. These rings, called 'betrothal' rings, symbolized a woman's new family with her husband.
300 AD (and on)
Wedding bands became popular during this time. Christian men gave their brides a ring, yet they didn't wear any themselves.
When Pope Boniface IV took reign, men wore rings as a way to celebrate their church. They wore gold rings with gemstones in the band.
The Vikings were the first group to exchange wedding bands. Both men and women got rings when they were wed. No other cultures did this at this time.
The 19th Century
Ecclesiastical rings were popular during this time. Many important men wore multiple rings to show others how important and wealthy they were.
Women were the only ones who wore wedding rings at this time.
World War I And II
The tradition of wedding rings for men became important during the World Wars. Soldiers often wore rings in order to remember that they were married.
After The World Wars
After the wars were over, most men decided to start wearing wedding rings to symbolize their marriage. This continues today.
Though you may have thought that wedding rings were around forever, the truth is that rings used to only be given to the women. However, during the World Wars (and after), rings were celebrated, just as they are today!