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Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.
A finger ring that is given upon marriage (usually as a part of the wedding ceremony) by a man to the bride, and sometimes also her to the groom.
In Roman days and the Middle Ages the wedding ring was indistinguishable from a betrothal ring or an engagement ring, but since the 16th century it has become customary to use a simple gold (or recently platinum or palladium) band, albeit in recent years some have been engraved on the outside or inside with a sentimental inscription or names, or have been decorated with faceting, diamond-milling, or several varicoloured metals, or occasionally (for the bride) set with gemstones, usually a band of small diamonds.
A recent development is a matching engagement ring and wedding ring. A wedding ring has conventionally been placed since Roman days on the left hand, except for a short interval in the Middle Ages when it was placed on the right hand.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson