Do you ever sit down and wonder where the culture of men wearing rings came from? Of course you know the meaning of having a ring on your finger but many men do not know where it all came from or began. But did you know that only women wore wedding bands and men wore nothing at all?
For a start, the culture of men wearing rings is way younger than what many of us think. It is no wonder that in 1960 only 10% of men wore rings for their weddings. But as young as it may be, the tradition of men wedding rings has some facts that you need to be armed with.
When did it begin for men to wear rings?
Do you have pictures of married couples back in the 17th and 18th centuries? Look keenly into them and you will see only women had rings on their fingers. Men never used to wear rings back then. Rings were only given to women as proposal for marriage. It was not until the 20th century that men started to wear rings for engagement and marriage. This practice was popularized during the world wars when men put on the wedding rings to remember their wives and girlfriends back at home.
Then came the Korean War and this was the time when wedding rings for men acquired the romantic meaning as being a vow and commitment to love. The demand for rings ballooned and many of the designs you see today were hatched at around this time.
Customs attached to wearing of the ring
Wedding rings are always put on the ring finger. There is no any variance in culture relating to where the ring has to be worn. The finger is less active of all the rest thus preventing the ring from constant pressure as one uses their hands to work. However, when it comes to the hands, different cultures have different views and beliefs. Conventionally and as practiced by a majority of communities, the right hand is used to symbolize commitment and the acceptance to behold matrimony vow (as you may already know, right hand is widely used for taking oaths).
In some other quarters, the wedding bands go into the left hand. One of the reasons for this choice is that the vein associated with love-vena amoris- flows over the left hand. There is also a wide belief that the left hand is less active than the right and hence the ring will be less likely to have scratches and dents (but this is not true when it comes to left handed people).
How to select perfect rings for men
It is not every ring that will suit the needs for men; there are some crucial considerations to be made and it has been so since the beginning. Here are the factors considered before picking up a ring for a man;
- Occupation: traditionally, men do harder jobs than ladies. Their rings had to be plain to prevent them from collecting dirt. They also had to be from the strongest metals to ensure that they could withstand constant exposure to forces as men did their jobs.
- Type of metal: at first, silver was the most suitable metal for making men’s wedding bands. That was later to be replaced with tungsten and titanium, which were far better in terms of strength and malleability. The choice of metal was based on how long the ring would last. The strongest metal would last for years without even a single scratch and that is the kind of a ring every man wanted.
- Designs: time has passed when men had to do tedious and dirty work. They can now sit in office for an entire day and only use their hands to type. Such a change has also impacted on the choice of rings they wear. They have moved from the plain pieces to more intricate rings. You will see all varieties of designs on men rings as it is now down to what one prefers as opposed to the past when the choice of a ring was dictated by inevitable circumstances.
Honestly, the history of men rings has come a long way. It has grown from a simple expression of love to a commitment symbol. There are more designs coming in everyday and that is not about to stop any time soon.