The Russian Prince Urussoff was a worried man indeed. Whilst honeymooning on the Black Sea, his wife’s wedding ring slipped from her finger and vanished beneath the waves. Deeply distressed, the nobleman solemnly recalled the family superstition that the loss of a wedding ring would inevitably lead to the break-up of the marriage. What could he do to reverse such ill fortune?
After much deliberation, the Prince decided to purchase both shores of the Black Sea from several hundred owners. Despite paying approximately $40 million, he reasoned that if he owned the entire sea, he also laid claim to everything in it – which included his wife’s wedding ring.
It is small wonder that something as special as the wedding ring has become an object of mystery, intrigue and superstition. Rings have been utilised as potent symbols of alliances, oaths and matrimony since time immemorial. The ancient Egyptians venerated the ring as the sacred symbol of eternity. They chose to place a wedding band on the third finger as they believed this contained an artery which ran directly to the heart – a custom we continue to observe in modern times.
Superstitions associated with wedding rings vary through time and space. In parts of medieval Europe, dropping the ring during the ceremony was said to be a good omen which warded off evil spirits. However, in other cultures this was looked upon less favourably. If the ring was too tight, it was a warning that your partner would become overbearing and the marriage would fail. The inverse – a loose fitting wedding band -implied a very high probability of infidelity.
Incredibly, wedding rings are one of the few personal items inmates in prison are permitted to retain at all times. Such a demonstration of their power helps to maintain the universal superstition that the loss of a ring is a terrible omen indeed. But what of Prince Urussoff? Did he manage to outwit fate?
His marriage appears to have been successful and, what’s more, the loss of the ring proved to be extremely lucrative for his family. After the Prince died, his heirs sold the Black Sea for $80 million – securing a handsome profit.
The author of the article is David Fox. Visit his website at: David Fox Magic.