Any bride- or groom-to-be will know that picking the right engagement or wedding ring can feel almost as overwhelming as planning the actual wedding itself. Between designs and deeper meanings, it’s both a romantic and symbolic token that lasts even long after the wedding party. Thereby, it becomes highly important to do your research and get things right (you’re only doing this once, right?), and find the perfect ring.
As we begin to drift into the wedding season, we did our fair share of investigating, and dug a little deeper to uncover a few myths and facts pertaining to this eternal symbol of love. Consider these if you’re looking to propose, be proposed to, or simply do some sweet dreaming.
[Hero image credit: Graff]
Snakes are very misunderstood creatures
Though most commonly known as the ‘Satan’ in the Bible, the serpent is also believed to have a dual personality of both good and evil, and therefore can also have positive associations such as wisdom and good luck. In terms of jewellery, snake rings, especially ones with ruby eyes, were actually very popular wedding bands in Victorian England, all due to the emerald serpent ring Prince Albert used to propose to Queen Victoria. The Queen believed that the coils, which wind into a circle, symbolise eternal love, and will ensure a true ‘happily ever after’.
Pictured: Bulgari’s Serpenti Viper ring (approx. THB 82,5000)
Diamonds were once reserved for royals only
Diamonds weren’t always a necessary requirement for engagement rings. In fact, the first recorded use of diamond engagement rings was in 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy. However, the gem was so rare that it remained exclusive to the rich and powerful, and wasn’t accessible to the public until 400 years later, when the diamond mines in South Africa were discovered.
Pictured: Graff’s ‘Promise’ pear shape diamond ring (price on request)
Blue represents marital harmony
Jewels come in all kinds of colours, and each often has their own symbolic meaning. For engagement and wedding rings, it is believed that those set with a blue sapphire or aquamarine will ensure a long and happy marriage for its representation of faithfulness and sincerity.
Pictured: Van Cleef & Arpels’ ‘Boucle’ ring (price on request)
The earliest wedding rings were braided from plants
The old tradition of exchanging wedding rings is thought to be originated from ancient Egypt over 4,800 years ago. Lovebirds at the time would take the famous papyrus, and then braid them into rings along with twisted sedges, rushes or reeds.
Pictured: De Beers’ Adonis Rose yellow gold band (approx. THB 134,795)
The vein of love that might or might not exist
Why are engagement and wedding rings traditionally worn on the fourth finger of the left hand? Because according to a belief that dates back to ancient Greece, it contains a special vein (a.k.a. the vena amoris, or the ‘vein of love’) that leads directly to the heart. Though it’s already been proven to be scientifically incorrect, it’s still one of the favourite myths told today.
Pictured: Boucheron’s ‘Quatre’ radiant edition wedding band (price on request)
This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong.