The history of wedding rings

Wedding rings are an important symbol of marriage and as such it is important that you choose a high quality piece of jewellery that you can wear comfortably for the years to come.

The History Of Wedding Rings

In today’s society, exchanging wedding rings is very popular amongst Christian weddings, weddings of a variety of different religions and indeed also non-religious services. However, did you know that there is no biblical scripture that instructs people to wear wedding rings?

So where did the tradition of exchanging wedding rings originate? Why did Christians start to exchange rings? Some suggest that Christian ceremonies started to exchange wedding rings around the 9th century AD/CE, however where did this tradition start? How far back does the practice of exchanging wedding rings go?

Ancient Rome

The tradition of exchanging wedding rings can be traced back to ancient Rome. However, unlike the exchange of rings in today’s marriage ceremonies, rings were not exchanged between partners as they get married. Instead Roman men would present a ring to the bride’s father as a symbol of purchase.

However, this practice changed by the second century BC/BCE and instead the bride was given a gold ring that she wore in public to demonstrate the trust placed in her by the groom; the ring symbolised the groom trusted his bride with his property. [Source]

So Why Is The Ring, A Pagan Symbol Used In Christian Marriages?

Many question why pagan symbolism is present in Christian ceremonies. For many years the wedding ring was considered heathen by Christians.

During the 9th century when the Christians adopted the wedding ring for marriage ceremonies, it was not a simple plain band as many people choose today. A wedding ring was a very decorative piece, sometimes with engraved doves and perhaps linked hands. At the time, the church discouraged this practice however, during the 13th century, rings become significantly more simplified in design and a Bishop considered the exchange of rings a “symbol of the union of hearts”. [Source]

What Finger Should A Wedding Ring Be Worn On?

Wedding rings have been worn on numerous different fingers throughout history including the ring finger on both the left and right hands and the thumb.

The tradition of wearing a wedding ring on the left hand’s ring finger is believed to originate from a myth from the Roman times. It is thought that the Romans believed that the ring finger on the left hand contained a vein that was connected directly to the heart. This vein was known as the Vena Amoris which is Latin for ‘Vein of Love’.

However, there is another theory regarding why many people choose to wear their wedding rings on the left hand’s ring finger. During early Christian marriages, the wedding ring was worn on what they called ‘the third finger’. The priest would say “in the name of the father, son and holy spirit” touching the thumb, index finger, middle finger and then as he said the word “Amen” he would place the ring on the finger. [Source]

However, Today I Found Out also offers an alternative theory. The theory suggests that the reason why the left hand is chosen for the ring is because most of the world is right handed.

Should You Wear A Wedding Ring?

This is an incredibly personal question, just like an engagement ring there is no right or wrong answer. However, if you decide that you wish to wear a wedding ring, you can browse a fantastic selection of wedding rings in Birmingham from the jewellers SP Green.

We have lots of wonderful wedding rings to choose from for both brides and grooms and a selection of rings in different shapes including d shape, flat court, slight court and diamond set.

However, when searching for wedding rings, it is important that you give yourself lots of time to find your ideal wedding ring. Make sure that you find a ring that is comfortable for daily wear so you can wear it every day, and make sure that it is in a style that you enjoy.

Additionally, it is a great idea to shop for your wedding rings as a couple, this way if you want to purchase wedding rings that match, you can do so. You can also give each other feedback on how different styles of wedding ring look.

More Information About Wedding Rings

If you would like more advice about purchasing a wedding ring, you can find lots of useful information by visiting the SP Green blog.

So, if you would like more information regarding wedding rings, you could read our blog titled, “8 tips to help you choose your wedding ring”. Alternatively, you could visit our team of experts in one of our three stores in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter and ask your questions to us in person. As a team of independent family jewellers and diamond experts, you can trust the expert advice from our fully qualified gemologists and diamond graders. 

Searching For Wedding Rings In Birmingham? See Our Collection Today! 

If you’re searching for wedding rings, visit one of our three stores in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, which are located on Warstone Lane and browse our wonderful collection of wedding jewellery. 

However, if you cannot find the rings that you are looking for in our collection of wedding rings, you could instead choose to create unique rings using our bespoke jewellery service. You can find more information regarding our service for bespoke jewellery by visiting our website or asking a member of staff in one of our three stores. 

So, if you have any questions regarding wedding rings in Birmingham or any of the other items of jewellery that are available on our website, please feel free to contact our friendly and dedicated team. 

  • To contact our team by telephone please call, 0121 212 0370
  • To contact our team by email, please send an email to

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