Family & Relationships Weddings

Meaning of Engagement Rings

    Origins

    • One of the most common theories is that the first engagement ring was given as a down-payment of sorts. This gift was the groom's way of showing his commitment to financially take care of his future wife. Prior to the nineteenth century, women could not own property and it was common for them to collect pieces of jewelry as an investment for the future. If need be, a woman could sell her jewelry in bad times.

    Customs

    • In the United States and much of Europe, men give their bride-to-be a ring when they propose. However, in some countries, such as Australia, both men and women exchange engagement rings.

    Symbolism

    • The engagement ring symbolizes a man's desire and commitment toward his bride-to-be. The use of diamonds, some of the hardest stones available, indicates the strength of the man's love.

    Costs

    • Diamond engagement rings are expensive. The general rule for creating a engagement ring budget is to spend the equivalent of 2 months' salary.

    Considerations

    • Engagement rings are very personal items of jewelry. Pick a ring that matches the bride-to-be's personality and body. A slender woman with long, thin hands can carry off a slender ring with smaller diamonds better that her larger counterpart. Most of all, choose a ring that will withstand the test of time.

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