The Tradition of engagement rings

Engagement Ring Traditions

First comes love, then comes the engagement ring. The engagement ring is a tradition that has stood the test of time. Even in the worst of times, people are still getting engaged. According to several articles, engagement ring sales have gone up in 2020. I guess after months of quarantine, couples are asking themselves, “Why not?” Of course, we hope it’s more romantic than that, but engagement rings have not always been a symbol of love. The tradition has changed over the centuries of its existence. Time, culture, superstitions, and genius marketing campaigns have all impacted the story of the engagement ring. 

Here are Five Fascinating Facts about Engagement Rings:

  1. The engagement ring started in ancient Rome as a symbol of ownership, not love. It is believed the engagement ring signified the woman’s legal and binding agreement to the man’s ownership of her. 
  2. Proposing with a pearl engagement ring is supposed to be bad luck because it looks like a tear.  This might be a marketing trick to encourage grooms-to-be to spend more money on a diamond, but to be safe – buy the diamond ring and save the pearls for earrings or a necklace.
  3. If the fiancé-to-be doesn’t want a diamond, consider a sapphire. The sapphire symbolizes loyalty, faithfulness, and trust – all qualities you want in a healthy marriage.   
  4. Wearing your engagement ring on the left hand is not a worldwide practice. In India, Russia, Norway, and Germany engagement rings are worn on the right hand. Apparently “left” means “sinister” in Latin, which made people believe the left hand was unlucky. 
  5. Engagement rings rarely contained diamonds until the “Diamonds are Forever” campaign was launched by the N.W. Ayer & Son ad agency on behalf of the De Beers diamond company in the mid-1900s. You could say it was a success.

The engagement ring has a long history. However, modern couples are starting to prioritize traditions by keeping the ones they like and skipping others.  When it comes to the engagement ring, I suggest deciding what fits you as a couple and to making sure the bride loves it. You do not have to buy an expensive princess-cut diamond ring from Tiffany’s (but it’s not a bad option).

Here are Three Alternative Options to Buying a Diamond Engagement Ring:

  1. Antique Shopping – Vintage rings will always be in style. This is a great option for a future fiancé that loves a bit of history or doesn’t want the same ring as everyone else. From Art Deco to Victorian, there are gorgeous options from every era. 
  2. Family Heirloom – A meaningful way to start your marriage is with a family heirloom ring. You will have a piece of family history as you build your own. 
  3. Build Your Own – Many companies offer a “Design Your Own Engagement Ring” service. You can choose the stone, the setting, and the style. This is a perfect option for your one-of-a-kind future spouse.

After the engagement, comes the wedding planning. Download my Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide or contact me for guidance!

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