The Original Skinny Wedding Band ~ The Gimmel Ring

The original "skinny" wedding band. This ring dates back to 1824 and the couple were married on January 27 in Paris, France.

It is a known fact that history repeats itself. We see this pattern of repetition in politics, fashion and especially jewelry design. We are currently seeing a repeat trend of the extremely “skinny” yellow gold wedding band. This trend was extremely popular in 18th century France. The most popular form of thin band was called the Gimmel Ring and it consisted of two separate bands that are constructed so that the hoops can be united and worn as a single ring forming a puzzle ring.These thin bands were excellent for stacking and carried a secret message engraved on the inside of the ring. The word “gimmel” comes from the latin “gemellus” meaning “two”.

Originally, these rings dated back to the Middle Ages and were given as a token of friendship. It wasn’t until the 16th century in England and Germany that couples began seeing these rings as tokens of love and betrothal. They were sometimes separated and worn by each member of the betrothed couple only to be reunited as one ring on the bride’s hand. Similar to today’s wedding bands, gimmel rings were inscribed with the couple’s name, a wedding date, the geographical location of the wedding or some other inscription referring to the sanctity of their union. Fast forward to the 21st century and these rings can still be worn as wedding bands or as stackable mother’s rings with the names and birthdates of children engraved on the inside.

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The original "skinny" wedding band. A view of how the Gimmel ring fits together.

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A closed view of the Gimmel ring that dates back to 1824 in Paris, France.

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