In ancient Rome and Greece wedding rings were first associated with marital dowry and later with a promote of fidelity. ‘Fede’ rings were given, a band consisting of two hands claps in betrothal.
The ‘poesy’ ring was a style of ring that was popular during the Renaissance era. It was a band of sterling silver romantically inscribed with a poem or “poesy” often in French the international language of love.
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries European husbands bestowed a ‘gemmil’ ring upon their wives. These are very like puzzle rings composed of two interlocking bands. The bride and groom would each wear one after their engagement, the rings being united at the wedding ceremony and worn afterwards by the bride, now wife.
In 1942 during the Second World War, British wartime restrictions on the manufacture of jewellery resulted in ‘utility’ wedding rings that were limited to a maximum mass of two pennyweights, being slightly heavier than 3 grams, and were forged of 9 carat gold rather than the traditional 22 carat. These rings, which guaranteed their gold content and compliance with the wartime regulations, were hallmarked with a special utility mark adjacent to the mark for the year on the inside of the band