LE GRAMME, with its radically contemporary, ethereal rings in 750 white, yellow and red gold, takes a look at the origins of the ultimate symbol of love – the wedding ring.
To marry is to form an alliance with another person, a lifelong commitment to live and grow stronger together… The French word for wedding ring is alliance – an appropriate name for the object that symbolises the promise of true love.
A circle with no beginning and no end, the first shape drawn by humans; two circles next to each other form a figure of eight, the infinity symbol, and when intertwined create a space for two to become one. A circle ultimately representing the cycle of life that one is to share with another.
Six thousand years ago, the Ancient Egyptians wore a wedding ring, usually made from gold; they considered the circle to be a symbol of eternity and the space in the middle represented a gateway to things known and unknown, the beginning of the journey with another. Choosing to wear it on the third finger was related to their belief – which has since been debunked – that a vein ran from this finger straight to the heart, a concept that was taken up by the Romans who named it the Vena Amoris, or vein of love. It was the Romans who first had their wedding rings engraved although they viewed this practice more as a means of signifying ownership than an expression of love!
In China, the wedding ring is also worn on the ring finger, which represents the spouse. It is the only finger that does not move when you put your palms together with the middle fingers tucked in towards each other and try to separate the other pairs of fingers; the parents (thumbs), children (pinkie) and siblings (index) live, or will live independently.
Some cultures have more exotic customs surrounding the wearing of wedding rings; Hindu couples, for example, wear a toe ring on the second toe.
Christians have worn wedding rings only since the 9th century, as a symbol of a shared presence that endures until death and beyond; the ring therefore represents God’s covenant with humanity.
All over the world, throughout history the wedding ring has always been the universal symbol of two people who decide to look in the same direction rather than at one another.
The material from which the wedding ring was made was always an indicator of social class since not everyone could afford precious metals – a thorny issue in 15th-century Ireland since a marriage consecrated with rings not made of gold was not legally valid. Since then, gold has become more affordable – which is good news for couples. At LE GRAMME it is made into rings of three different profiles (court, D-shape and flat) of varying widths and thicknesses, then given a slick or guilloché finish, sometimes set with diamonds.
LE GRAMME offers a collection of wedding rings with its characteristic pure, universal forms, in which each will see themselves reflected, reveal their love for the other, express or not their beliefs or rituals: a marriage proposal only on odd days of the week (Russia), a hole in the groom’s sock on the big day (Denmark), getting drunk with one’s future father-in-law on the eve of the wedding (Lapland), a female yak as a dowry (Tibet), seven leaps around the fire (India), three sips of sake from three different cups (Japan) or even one-hour group weeping sessions for thirty days in a row (Tujia people/China)... Whether the custom is to throw rice or peas (Czech Republic), the wedding ring will always be a symbol of love.
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