"With this ring, I thee wed"

Dating as far back as the Egyptians, wedding rings were exchanged. The materials that they were made out of changed throughout time as a variety of materials became available. The earliest wedding bands were said to be made of grass or straw. Leather, bone and stone were also used. Today you have only your imagination and a good jeweler to help with the limitless possibilities for your commitment rings.

The ring is said to be a symbol of eternity, life, happiness and never ending love. It's a wonderful way to have an outward display of your commitment to one another. Even before commitment ceremonies and civil unions, gay and lesbian couples used the exchange of rings to symbolize their love for on another. Today the tradition continues. How lovely that couples can now walk into gay friendly jewelry stores and go through all the drama of picking out the rings together!

  Today we don't see many straw or leather rings given - most people opt for silver or gold rings. Sounds simple, right? Oh no - nothing is ever that simple. Jewelry is a very personal thing and therefore much thought is usually put into the style of the rings.

Of course you can always use the mail order ads and web sites in just about any gay publication to find commitment rings, but why not use the many gay owned and gay friendly jewelers listed in this guide and other local resources? Now many couples decide on simple gold bands in a variety of widths - but why stop there? There are endless numbers of beautiful designs to choose from, as well as the idea of adding gemstones to the mix. And one great thing about a good jeweler, if you don't see what you want - they can usually make a custom design for you.

 The diamond is still the most popular choice when adding stones into the ring - but if diamonds aren't your thing, consider the many options open to you. Below are listed a few of the more common gemstones and their meanings:

DIAMOND - innocence, success, conjugal affection, unshakable faith and the ever popular proposal of marriage
AMETHYST - sexual fulfillment, sincerity
AQUAMARINE - success in all endeavors
EMERALD - bright future, love, success
JASPER - happy omen for success and love
LAPIS LAZULI - faithful love
ONYX - happy marriage
OPAL - great wealth and success, hope
RUBY - lucky in love, contentment
PEARL - health and longevity
PERIDOT - married happiness
TOPEZ - fidelity

Many people choose gems because they may like the color, it's their birthstone, or for a variety of other reasons. It is often said that gem stones have a magical purpose. The legend says that many protective qualities and the prospect of good fortune were bestowed upon those that wore them. What ever your choice, the rings you choose should be a reflection of the love that you share with one another. And while you're at it, think about having them engraved; it's a nice little touch that will warm your hearts in years to come.

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