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Ring on Her Finger, and One through Her Nose

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Author: Vlady Peters

Article source: Used with author's permission.

Rings, as ornaments, have had a long history. Rings, as part and parcel of romantic history, not much shorter. Being so small, and yet so visible, it was inevitable that they should be seen as an external sign of affection, especially if they could also be judged as financially valuable.

Somewhere in the dim past, a man in the guise of a matchmaker, seeing a likely girl, would place a sort of down payment for his master's future bride, by placing a ring on her finger or possibly through her nose where no one was likely to miss it.

Of course ring makers, or merchants, were always on the lookout for extending their market by exciting a demand for their goods.

At one stage, there was a great push to having male engagement rings as well as female. Perhaps the time was not yet ripe, and a diamond for him just didn't make it. Today, however, with 'what's good for the goose is good for the gander' attitude, it could be that an engagement ring for him is just around the corner.

There were some cultures that, in fact, had both the man and the woman wear an engagement ring. But it was not your diamond or sapphire ring. This was the actual wedding band right from the start. When the man asked the question, and the woman said, 'I will,' he would place the ring on her left hand and she would place a ring on his left hand. When sometimes later the same question was asked by the minister, the groom would take the band off the left hand and place it on the right, and the bride would do the same. If subsequently the husband died, she would place his ring on her hand as well.

At the same time, there were those couples who liked to mark the occasion of the birth of their first son - daughters, being more plentiful, were never quite as valued - by having the wife add another wedding band to the one she already had. The eternity ring, which marks twelve months of marital bliss, took the place of that ring.

With so many marriages now involving children from former marriages, there is a desire to make the occasion memorable for them too. Rings haven't been spoken off as yet, though no doubt there are think-tanks around the world humming. However, tokens, such as a necklace and bracelets for the children, are beginning to appear.

Vlady is an Australian Civil Marriage Celebrant and author of 'The Complete Book of Australian Weddings', 'The Small Organisation Handbook' and 'Honeymoon! A Sizzle or a Fizzle' an e-book which you can find on Vlady's website

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