Engagement Ring Tradition - Interesting History and Information

Here, you will learn briefly about the engagement ring tradition.

Have you ever wondered where the tradition of giving an engagement ring stems from? We tend to follow certain traditions without really thinking of their origins, but in some cases, the origins might actually make the tradition more meaningful.

An engagement ring in Western cultures signifies the betrothal of a woman to a man. Usually, the rings are worn by the women and consist of a gemstone. The diamond is the most popular choice. However, in other cultures, both men and women wear rings to signify that they are about to get married.

The tradition of wearing something to signify betrothal dates back a long time. The items have changed over the years, however. At one point, it was common for a woman to wear a certain color of gloves to a social event, usually church, if she decided to accept the proposal of a man. Today, the engagement ring tradition - accepting the ring and wearing it, is more conventional.

So where and when did the engagement ring tradition begin?

Engagement rings became popular in the medieval times, when Pope Innocent III made it mandatory for couples to have a waiting period before they got married. The ring was a symbol of the betrothal while the couples had to wait.

There is evidence, however, that the Romans also wore a type of engagement ring, and some people speculate that they got the idea from the Egyptians. Although not every person wore a ring, those that did often had them engraved.

During the Victorian times, engagement rings were not limited to diamonds and often spelled out words such as "Love." Some rings even had small areas that could hold the lock of one's hair.

What are some other details of the engagement ring tradition?

In the United States and United Kingdom, the engagement ring is worn on the ring finger of the left hand. In other countries, though, it is sometimes worn on the left hand while the person is engaged and is then moved over to the right hand once they are married. The significance of that ring finger on the left hand is that it was once believed that the vein in that finger led straight to the heart.

Most people purchase only those rings that they can afford. However, etiquette once dictated that the man spend at least 2 months' salary on the engagement ring. This stems from a marketing campaign that De Beers diamonds sent out in the 20th century, however, and really doesn't have anything to do with engagement ring traditions.

Most engagement rings have solitary stones. However, some have 3 gemstones and are referred to as trilogy rings. These traditionally represent the couple's past, present, and future, although they could also have religious symbolism as well.

Diamonds are the most popular stone to include in engagement ring settings. Although diamonds are typically considered to be high quality stones, and expensive, they were first used because they were strong and clear, which were good forms of symbolism for the couple's union.

Today, diamonds have become popular due to the De Beer's campaign, the Marilyn Monroe movie "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", in which she sings about diamonds being a "girl's best friend", and tradition itself.

Do you now have a better understanding of engagement ring tradition?

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