Wedding rings symbolize the everlasting love between two people, and they are intended to last a lifetime and ultimately be passed down to future generations.
As well as being very meaningful on an individual level, there is a huge amount of historic and cultural significance to wedding rings that plenty of people may not know about.
To expand your understanding of all things related to wedding rings, here is a brief overview of the biggest talking points.
Marriage bands date back thousands of years, with citizens of ancient civilizations in Africa and Europe first wearing them millennia ago.
As time passed and Christianity emerged, they became widely adopted and integrated in the Western world. And while both halves of a married couple will wear one in the 21st century, it was originally only women who sported them.
Another recent addition to the wedding ring tradition is the use of diamonds. This was all down to a marketing campaign in the 20th century designed to sell more of this particular gem stone, and it was so successful that it changed expectations for good.
Ring styles and design options
While wedding rings may have been modernized in various ways over the years, there is still plenty of variety in terms of styling and aesthetics.
Indeed there are arguably more options to consider today than at any point in history, both for men and women alike.
Brides have a literally dazzling selection of stones and other adornments to consider, ranging from mined and lab-grown diamonds to semi-precious and more affordable alternatives like amethyst, tanzanite and even pearl.
The cut of the stone is also important; do you opt for a timeless round, oval or emerald cut, or do you go for a more up-to-date heart, pear or Princess cut?
Grooms, meanwhile, can opt for classic, unadulterated bands of gold or platinum, or push the boat out and choose a more outlandish design that will let them stand out from the crowd and also increase the uniqueness of their ring.
When it comes to wedding rings, price is often a sticking point, and if you have splashed out on a flashy engagement ring, the temptation to go for something simpler and more affordable may be greater.
The good news is that there is so much choice and competition available that there should be a ring to fit every taste as well as every budget.
If you are looking to make savings, a ring with a lower carat count, usually less than half a carat, is a good bet. Meanwhile semi-precious stones like those mentioned earlier can sparkle just as much as true diamonds, but at a fraction of the cost.
Ultimately the expense of the ring is not all that important when you consider the years of use it will receive and the enduring impact it is designed to have. Think more about the significance of the day itself and the bond that it represents, and finding the right ring will be simple.