Jewish wedding bands refer to the wedding rings that the couple exchanges during the wedding ceremony. In the past, wedding rings were not a part of the Jewish ceremony but have been gradually integrated into the modern Jewish wedding ceremonies. Previously the groom would give anything of value to the bride as a gift, for example, a book, but nowadays, a groom can give the bride a ring as a gift. However, the couple cannot give each other any ring; there are several rules that make a ring acceptable for a Jewish wedding.
So, can a Jewish wedding band have diamonds? A Jewish wedding band cannot have any diamond or any other decorations attached to it. Customarily, the Jewish wedding ring is made of one single metal, either gold or silver, unadorned by diamonds or other precious stones. The ring has to be made from a single metal; the rabbi or cantor will not allow the groom to give the bride a wedding ring with any attachments or decorations.
In many religious weddings, rings are a symbol of commitment to one another; hence, the need to make the ring special. Jewish traditions prefer the wedding ring to be bare, believing that the precious stones make the ring impure. Read on to find out more about why Jewish wedding bands do not have diamonds on them and if one can have their Jewish wedding bands engraved.
Should a Jewish Wedding Have Decorations Like Diamonds?
As a Jewish wedding tradition, the groom has to give the bride something of value under the chuppah. The groom is allowed to provide the bride with anything of value from a valuable coin to a title deed to a property. The groom has to own this particular item before he can give it to the bride.
Nowadays, Jewish people have accepted the modern tradition of couples exchanging wedding rings. However, only the groom can give the bride a ring under the chuppah; the bride can give the wedding ring to the groom after the wedding ceremony. The groom has to own the ring; if it is an heirloom ring, he has to pay the owner before giving it to the bride.
There are rules on how the wedding rings should appear. One of them is that the wedding ring should be a full circle, not perforated or damaged in any way. The circle represents a perfect shape, something that does not have any imperfections. Giving the bride symbolizes the acceptance of a marriage that is going to be perfect without any problems.
The wedding band should also be made from one single metal and should not be coated. It is important for the bride to note the exact value of the ring easily. The single metal makes it easy for the bride to know the value of the ring. The coating of the wedding band is prohibited because it will trick the bride from thinking the ring is more valuable than it is.
The ring is usually made from gold, but sometimes the groom can buy one made from silver. A pure gold ring does not attract dirt easily and is difficult to tarnish. These properties symbolize the hope that the marriage shall be beautiful and will last long without having any blemishes. The groom should discuss with the rabbi or cantor which ring to get before they purchase one.
No adornments are allowed on the Jewish wedding bands to ensure that the value of the rings is apparent. Adding a diamond or any other precious metals will distort the value of the rings. The bride should quickly note the ring’s value by looking at it or measuring its weight.
A wedding band made from a single metal represents honesty and purity in the marriage. The bride and groom will want their marriage to be pure and honest. They expect to be truthful with one another on every issue concerning the marriage. A wedding ring without any adornments signifies the start of pure and honest marriage.
A common misunderstanding is that the wedding ring given to the bride is an exchange for her. The reason why a groom gives something of value to the bride is to show appreciation. It does not mean that he now owns her. The ring’s perfect circle symbolizes equality; the couple has the same role in the marriage. The bride accepting the wedding ring shows her consent to enter the union.
Can Jewish Wedding Bands Be Engraved?
A couple can have their wedding bands engraved. Engraving a wedding ring is a custom adopted from medieval Europe, and modern Jewish couples use it to personalize the wedding ring. According to the kabbalah, a wedding band should be pure metal and completely unadorned to make its value apparent, but since engraving does not affect the value, the Jewish traditions allow it.
The couple usually uses Hebrew phrases as engravings along the wedding ring. The most popular engraving among Jewish couples is the verse from the book of Song of Songs that states, “oni l’dodi v’dodo li,” which means “I am beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” The couple can also engrave personal messages to their spouse, but they have to consult with the rabbi or cantor to determine if it is appropriate for the wedding ceremony. They can also engrave with it with each other’s names.
When engraving the wedding bands, the engraving must not go through the ring at any point. The words should be the surface of the wedding band. Jewish traditions require that the wedding band be whole. If the engraving has made holes through the wedding bands, the wedding bands shall not be considered whole.
Engraving can be by cutting away to leave raised letters on the outsides of the wedding ring. One should be careful not to cut too much material from the wedding band that holes become visible. Engraving can also be on the inside of the wedding ring.
The couple should consult with their rabbi or cantor on how the wedding ring should appear. The rabbi or cantor will tell you what is allowed on a Jewish wedding ring and what is not allowed. The groom gives the wedding ring to the bride under the chuppah, a significant event in a Jewish wedding. Hence the wedding ring needs to be acceptable under Jewish traditions.
One should be careful when having their wedding rings engraved. Write down the message or phrase correctly to avoid any confusion. Check the engraving to make sure that it is correct. You do not want to give a wedding ring with errors on it to your bride; it brings down the wedding ring’s value.
During the wedding ceremony, the bride’s gift from the groom has to be of significant value to the groom. To make sure that this tradition is upheld in the modern time, the wedding bands have to be of value too. Hence, the rules set on the appearance of the wedding bands to maintain their value.
Jewish customs require that wedding bands should be made from a single metal, that is, pure gold, silver, bronze etc. Therefore, if unsure, it is better for the couple to consult a rabbi before they purchase a wedding ring.
Currently, there are some businesses that are familiar with Jewish rules on wedding rings, making it easier for them to make wedding rings that are compliant with the Jewish traditions. If you are in need of Jewish weddings, you can always visit such establishments for the best services.