If you’re a history buff like me and you love to study the origins of popular culture, then you may find yourself pondering every little thing we do.  For example, why do we drive on the right side of the road, and why does Thanksgiving have to be on a Thursday?  Why do we wear a wedding ring on the left ring finger?   Not long ago, the answers to these questions might have remained a mystery indefinitely, but thanks to the Internet it’s now possible to find answers to these questions and many more.  You may end up a storehouse of useless “trivia”, but you never know when someone might ask you to explain the evolution of wedding bands for men.

A brief history of men’s wedding rings

We have such short attention spans in modern society that it may be hard to imagine what life was like 100 years ago, but there was a time when men’s wedding bands didn’t exist.  Women in many cultures have been wearing wedding rings for centuries, but men never wore a visible symbol of marriage until about a hundred years ago.  So how did wedding bands for men become so commonplace in such a short period of time?  It may seem like any man born after the 1940s just started wearing a wedding ring, but it’s not quite that simple.

Like all events in history, the evolution of the wedding band was the result of a few important events that occurred in succession.  One was the draft, when newly married soldiers were called to serve their country in World War I and World War II.  Women wanted their husbands to wear a symbol of their love, an ever-present reminder that she was waiting faithfully back home.  But I’m sure she also liked the fact that he was visibly unavailable.  The second event was the Equal Rights movement, which came about after the end of World War II. Before long it was just assumed that men would wear a wedding band after marriage.

Men’s Wedding Bands – then and now

Back then, the traditional wedding band for men was fashioned from yellow gold.  Over the years, the wedding band has changed quite significantly, with many more styles and metals being used by contemporary designers.  Instead of using precious metals like gold and platinum, many of the top designers have launched complete collections of tungsten rings, titanium rings and cobalt chrome wedding bands.  Men find these rings to be much more durable and easy to care for, while also being a lot less expensive.  Instead of getting scratched and banged up, these industrial metals are strong enough to withstand the rigors of daily wear.  Other metals that are gaining in popularity include palladium, stainless steel and black titanium, all of which are harder than gold and very scratch resistant.

The only excuse that a married man has today for not wearing a wedding ring is when his old ring no longer fits.  If that is the case with your ring, then perhaps your finger has evolved faster than your ring, but it may have been time for a new wedding band anyway. If you’re ready to start shopping, then skip the trip to the jeweler and drive your mouse to the best online source for wedding rings – Mens-Wedding-Rings.com.