Then and Now: A History of Wedding Ring Design Trends


Since the dawn of time, brides have worn wedding rings or some version of them. But it’s only fairly recently that grooms have begun to do the same.

 

Some historians believe that ancient grooms bound the wrists and ankles of the bride with rope or grass. Some say it was to keep her soul from escaping, some say it was to keep the BRIDE from escaping...either way, it’s generally agreed that after the ceremony the grass or rope was removed from her wrists or ankles and tied around the bride’s finger to signify that she was taken.

 

Later grooms gifted their oh-so-lucky brides with metal rings that announced his ownership of her. Over time the tradition of wedding rings became more about romance and less about male dominance, but until the 20th century wedding bands were worn almost exclusively by women. Although men wore rings to convey their power, status, or wealth, it was not common for a man to wear a wedding or engagement ring.

 

In the short time that men’s wedding rings have been the norm, trends have come and gone. Jordan Jack takes you through the brief history of men’s wedding bands and their trends then and now.

 

History of  Gimmel Rings

One of the earliest iterations of a men’s wedding ring was the gimmel ring. Popular in the 16th and 17th centuries, gimmel rings were interlocking bands worn by men and women during their engagement. Upon their betrothal a gentleman would give his lady a ring and keep the other for himself.  On the wedding day the groom would take the ring off of his finger and put it on the finger of his bride, forming one ring that would serve as her wedding band. Gimmel rings often featured ornate details or inscriptions and some had hidden secrets that were only revealed when the rings were separated.

 

Gimmel Rings in 2021

Gimmel rings are hard to come by in modern times, but for a similar sentiment try matching wedding bands. It’s easy to find a wedding ring you both love and buy two of them. If you don’t love the idea of wearing identical bands you can also choose wedding rings that are the same style or metal or that have a cohesive look without matching. Engraving your wedding band is a lovely way to personalize your ring and honor the intent of gimmel ring inscriptions.

 

For a classic men’s wedding band that will never go out of style and can easily match or coordinate with other rings, try Jordan Jack’s 14kt Yellow Gold High Polished Milgrain Band

14KT Yellow Gold High Polished Milgrain Band, 5mm

 

History of Wedding Rings – World War I and II

The tradition of men’s wedding rings as we know them today began during World War One. Heartbroken over the prospect of being thousands of miles away from wives and lovers, soldiers began wearing special rings while away from home as a token of remembrance. These rings helped the men keep thoughts of their loved ones close by as they endured difficult conditions and frightening, lonely times. The trend took hold and gained momentum during World War Two, creating a tradition of wedding rings for men that endures to this day. At the time men’s wedding bands were commonly made of gold or platinum. In the early 1940s platinum was discontinued for use in jewelry as it was needed for the war effort. White gold and silver became favorable alternatives and they remain popular choices for wedding rings today.   

 

White Gold and Silver Wedding Ring Trends Today

White gold and silver rings for men are more in demand than ever. Like yellow gold, both metals are a timeless choice with limitless design potential for men’s rings. Silver and white gold are excellent for men who prefer tradition and a classic look. Those with more modern tastes also find a lot to love in these metals and there are ring styles to suit any taste.

 

This Sterling Silver High Polished Band harkens back to the dawn of men’s wedding rings. Its beauty lies in a simple, straightforward design that has endured over time.

Sterling Silver High Polished Band, 6mm

Our 14kt White Gold High Polished Milgrain Band adds an elegant touch with a delicately detailed edge on a comfort fit band.

14KT White Gold High Polished Milgrain Band, 5mm

 

History of Wedding Rings – The Korean War

During the Korean War wedding ring designs made specifically for men began to take off. Previously, men’s wedding bands were popular primarily among military men but the idea began to take footing among civilians and trend soon became solid tradition. In a very short time married men who wore wedding rings began to outnumber those who did not. Twisted or braided styles and those with curvy lines were common and the preferred metals for men’s wedding rings were silver and yellow gold.

 

Modern Twisted and Braided Wedding Rings

Twists and braids and curvy lines are still available choices in men’s rings, along with intricate details and even woven designs. Silver and yellow gold remain versatile in their design potential, but new materials and metals are making waves in the modern world of men’s wedding bands.

 

Jordan Jack’s Titanium Black Mesh Center Band features intricate detailing in the center band flanked by cool, smooth titanium that looks and feels fantastic on your finger.

Titanium Black Mesh Center Band, 8mm

 

History of Wedding Rings – The 70s and 80s

The 70s – the golden age of disco. Gold medallions rule the day and men’s rings are more popular than ever. Men’s wedding rings are gold, gold, gold...and did we mention gold

The 80s – the Dynasty era. Men’s wedding bands get flashier and matching wedding bands for men and women became the norm. Diamonds on men’s rings are en vogue. More is more in the 80s.

 

Gold and Flashy Men’s Wedding Rings of 2021

Gold is still hot whether it’s yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold, and diamonds aren’t just for the ladies. With designs that feature less flash and more class, gold and diamonds are utilized in new ways that help them to shine in just the right way in men’s wedding rings.

 

This Tungsten Black & Rose Natural Black Sapphire Band has no diamonds but gets a touch of elegant sparkle from the black sapphires that border its inside edge. A rose gold inner band pairs perfectly with a modern black outer band, giving this ring an overall brilliance that won’t be outshone.

Tungsten Black & Rose Natural Black Sapphire Band, 8MM

 

Diamonds don’t have to be big to make an impact. Our Tungsten .05ct Round Diamond Beveled Edge Fashion Band has all the sparkle you want without going overboard.

Tungsten .05 Ct Round Diamond Beveled Edge Fashion Band, 8mm

 

Wedding Rings for Today’s Man

Whether you prefer your ring to be steeped in tradition or you’re the epitome of the modern man, there are wedding band styles and materials to fit you just right. Today’s man has a world of options at his fingertips, from classic gold and silver to innovative materials like cobalt, stainless steel, and tungsten. Materials and designs of our time enjoy a fluidity that keeps things fresh; you can stick with the tried-and-true combos, try something completely new, or find the in-between of a timeless design made with a modern material. Men have never had more options in their choice of wedding rings than they do right now.

 

Wedding Bands for Men from Jordan Jack

Jordan Jack makes shopping for men’s rings easy and effortless. Our Home Try On service means you don’t have to deal with malls or pushy salespeople to find a wedding band you’ll love for a lifetime. The process is easy; choose your five favorite rings from our website and create your Home Try On box. Use our handy online ring sizer to order a few sizes to try out. When your rings arrive, you have three days to wear them and choose your favorite. Order your ring online, send the sample box back, then sit back, relax, and wait for your perfect ring to arrive at your doorstep.

 

Trends come and go, but hassle-free shopping with Jordan Jack is forever.

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