In the United States, the toe ring is often nothing more than a stylish summer accessory for those pedicured, sandaled feet. But for the people of India, the toe ring is not just another piece of jewelry — it’s an important cultural symbol of commitment.
The history of the toe ring traces back hundreds of years in India. There, the toe ring goes by the name of “bichchiya” and is a piece of wedding jewelry. In the Indian marriage ceremony, the groom gives his bride toe rings as a symbol of matrimony. The bride usually wears a silver toe ring on the second toe of each foot. For many years, only married women wore toe rings in India; modern times, toe rings in various styles have become a fashion accessory for unmarried women as well.
In the 1970s, toe rings became fashionable in the United States, popularized by Marjorie Borell, the founder of Toerings Ltd. in New York. Today, you can find toe rings in some accessory stores as well as at many craft fairs and beach-side shops. Silver remains the most popular metal choice, but you can also find toe rings made of gold or peppered with beads and faux gems.
References and ResourcesJewelrymaking Through History: An Encyclopedia; Rayner W. Hesse
Hindustan Times: Toe Rings, the Latest Fashion Fad
Working Women; MacDonald Communications Corporation