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Engagement Ring Little Known Facts

History of engagement rings

Where Does the Engagement Ring Idea Come From?

The engagement ring has been around in one form or another for hundreds of years, but not exactly like we know it today. The Egyptians, Greeks and the people of Europe all used them for various reasons.

An Engagement Ring in Ancient Times

Probably not the best of times for women, it has been reported that cavemen would tie their intended’s wrists, ankles and waist in order to make their spirit as one with his. It is difficult to tell if this is actually true, who are you going to ask? But, it does sound about right when you look at some cultures that have a version of this in their tying the knot ceremonies.

A little closer to home, like 5,000 years ago, the Egyptians would weave a ring out of reed or some other plant material to give to their betrothed. Aww, cute, but that probably didn’t hold up very well. Likely it was used just ceremonially and not worn all day, every day like today.

By the time the Romans got a hold of this idea of engagement rings, they decided they were best made of metal. In the second century B.C.E. the ring was gold but that one was to be worn in public. For home, there was a more durable, iron version. For all Roman citizens, they wore their gold rings in public and an iron version at home, it wasn’t just brides.

Which Finger to Use for an Engagement Ring

It seems rather traditional from recent times to back to hundreds of years ago that the fourth finger on the left hand was the popular spot to park an engagement ring. The reason being, this finger was believed to be connected to the heart via the “vena amoris” or vein of love.

There are some exceptions to the fourth finger rule. In Poland many women wear their ring on their right hand. In Germany the engagement ring will start out on the left hand, but after the wedding it is moved to the right hand. In Jewish traditions, any gift is acceptable when getting engaged. It doesn’t have to be a ring. So, traditions vary, but overall a ring is usually given and worn on the fourth finger of the left hand.

Engagement Rings Today

Of course, today a woman is going to expect gold or platinum usually and a pretty, sparkly stone she can show to all her friends. The more it makes her girlfriends jealous, the happier the bride to be is going to be, of course! If a man thinks he’s going to get away with weaving a ring of reeds as a permanent engagement ring, he would be mistaken. Although, during a proposal it would be considered one of the most romantic things a guy could do during an impromptu popping of the question.

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