This betrothal or wedding band, also called "fede" ring, takes the form of a pair of joined hands. Its name cornes from the Italian saying "mani in fede", which literally means "hands in trust". This type of ring goes back to the Roman period and it symbolised the closing of a contract.
The same type of object existed as far back as the early days of Christianity and was used in betrothal or wedding ceremonies. These engagement rings belong to an uninterrupted tradition of symbolism involving rings, though we have no examples from the ''Dark Ages''.
In Medieval times, "love bands" were exchanged even between lovers. This type of ring reappeared as early as the 12th century, but no continuity has been established between its use in Classical Antiquity and in the Middle Ages.
This motif was popular in the north of Europe as much as in the south, in the North, it was mounted as an emblem on the ring or on gold or silver brooches. In Italy, a popular model of ring had the "fede" on the back of the band and a circular setting with the representation of the head of a woman in niello. Rings of this kind are still worn throughout Europe, with or without special inscriptions.
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