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The Wedding Band

The Wedding Band


The wedding band serves a dual purpose: it is a permanent symbol of the couple's love and commitment for each other; the ring -- a smooth gold band, free of engraving or gems, a simple unbroken circle -- alluding to a marriage unmarred by conflict or distraction. But it also plays a very important role in the wedding ceremony, serving as the object through which the betrothal is effected (see Kiddushin -- Betrothal). Thus following the technical requirements pertaining to the wedding band is crucial.

A simple unbroken circle alludes to a marriage unmarred by conflict or distractionThe wedding band must belong exclusively to the groom—it is his gift to his bride. Often, the parents of the groom or bride purchase the band. In such an instance it must be ascertained that the band was given to the groom as an unconditional gift before the chupah.

According to kabbalah and Jewish tradition, the wedding band should be pure gold and totally unadorned. In certain circles, it is customary to use a silver ring. It should not be set with a stone, nor should it contain any inscription. (A diamond ring can be given to the bride later; many do so in the Yichud Room.)

The bride must not give the groom a ring beneath the chupah. If they so wish, this may be done at a later time. See Is a "double ring" wedding ceremony okay?

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg is a writer, editor and director of the curriculum department at the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute. Rabbi Silberberg resides in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Chaya Mushka, and their three children.
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Jack LA November 12, 2017

Is it ok if the ring given to the bride under the Chuppah is hammered? Meaning that it is 14K gold, without any engraving or stone, but hammered style? Reply Staff January 23, 2017

How many Karats should the ring be? A standard 14k gold ring is fine. Reply

Anonymous Greenville January 18, 2017

Gold Wedding Ring It says the ring has to be pure gold but what does that translate to? 10k, 14k, 28k? Reply

Anonymous June 17, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

Pure gold is 24k but is very soft and malleable at that state. The lower the karat the more alternative metal it has. White gold contains nickel and should not be used for anyone who may have allergies or sensitivities. It also has to be recoated with rhodium once a year to maintain its color otherwise it returns to its semi yellow color. Rose gold gets its color from copper added to yellow gold. Reply

Eliezer Zalmanov for September 8, 2016

Re: Is the groom allowed adornments or engravings on his ring if it is not given under the Chupah? There are no rules regarding a groom's ring, because it plays no role in the wedding ceremony. However, it should be noted that it is customary for the groom to not wear any jewelry at all, even a watch, during the chupah. Reply

Anonymous London September 8, 2016

Is the groom allowed adornments or engravings on his ring if it is not given under the Chupah? Is the groom allowed adornments or engravings on his ring if it is not given under the Chupah? Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for November 9, 2015

Re: Rose gold While based on various reasons, some opt specifically for yellow or white gold. Any gold is acceptable. What is crucial from a halachik perspective is that the bride know exactly what it is that she is getting. For example, if it is your family custom to use silver instead of gold (see article), then the bride needs to know that it is a silver ring and not white gold. Reply

Anonymous November 3, 2015

Is rose gold considered acceptable? Reply

Eliezer Zalmanov for June 29, 2015

Re: Adding diamonds Once the wedding ceremony is over, you may do whatever you'd like to the ring. It is no longer of any ritual significance. Reply

Anonymous June 27, 2015

Can I add diamonds to my wedding band after the wedding? Reply

Yisroel Cotlar Cary NC May 26, 2015

It is only at the wedding itself that it must be a simple gold band. This is where the ring is used as the mechanism in "kedushin."

If you wanted to add something to it afterwards that afterwards that is fine. I should note that many people get a separate diamond ring from the wedding band.


Rachel May 20, 2015

wedding ring Can I add diamonds or an inscription to my wedding ring after the ceremony? Reply

Anonymous kadima June 19, 2014

My wedding ring has the hebrew wedding date inscribed on the inside. Does this make it invalid? Reply

Anonymous January 6, 2014

Origine Where did the custom of the ring originate Reply

Anonymous California July 8, 2013

Is white gold allowed according to tradition?
Also what about the shape of the ring, can it have any ornament? Reply

Menachem Posner Montreal October 12, 2012

To Edith The ring must belong exclusively to the groom, and when he places it on her finger, it then is the possession of the bride. Customarily he places it on the index finger of her right hand. Reply

Edith October 11, 2012

Wedding ceremony Who is in possession of the ring for the ceremony and what hand and finger is it placed on? Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for August 5, 2011

Re: Ring weight Chabad custom (as well as the more widely followed custom) is to use a simple, round ring. However, some do indeed have the custom to use a ring that is rounded on the outside and squarish on the inside. I am not aware of any special customs with regards to its weight. Reply

Yossi Athens, Greece via August 3, 2011

Ring weight Except pure gold are there any characteristics that the wedding ring should have?
i.e. weight,
100% round or could be squarish? Reply

a london July 27, 2011

ring weight Is there a minimum weight of the gold wedding band? Reply

Ben Vancouver, BC March 4, 2010

Kabbalistic significance of gold Thank you for this useful article. I am considering for a wedding band a metal other than gold, but I would like to first know more about the kabbalistic significance of gold. I tried to look online, but can only find sites filled with gaudy jewelry. Thank you. Reply

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