It’s just the right time to talk about the engagement ring. Today we will tell you a little about rules, traditions and curiosities about the most awaited and most appreciated gift:
The first to give an engagement ring as we understand it today was Maximilian we of Habsburg. It was the year 1477, and the lucky recipient of the jewel was Maria of Burgundy.
The Galateo would like the woman to reciprocate the gift of the ring with a watch or a pair of cufflinks. But this does not always happen; it depends on the areas and customs.
The most classic model foresees the diamond, the hardest stone, the symbol of a strong and indissoluble bond. They are not uncommon. However, rings topped with sapphires, rubies, emeralds or other gemstones.
Stone Cut Option
As for the stone cut, the most classic is the brilliant cut: the round one for the solitaire. Equally fascinating alternatives are the drop cut, the oval cut, the marquise, the emerald cut (typical of greenstone), the heart cut, the princess.
There are four criteria for evaluating a diamond, the famous 4C
Carat, that is, the weight measured in carats
Cut, which indicates the cut of the stone
Colour, classifying from the lightest (and most precious) D and going down towards E, F, G
Clarity, an internal characteristic that indicates purity (the most expensive are IF, i.e. inclusion frees, without additions).
Although in the last decade, more and more couples have decided to marry together, the tradition of the marriage proposal has not yet passed away. Once we put on the engagement ring, something changes in us. In essence, wedding favours become one of our primary concerns. We start writing the list of people to send the wedding invitation to and even do tests in the mirror for the hairstyle wedding. But let’s take a step back and know better the tradition of the gift of the ring.
A little history
The first evidence of the engagement ring can be traced back to ancient Rome: it is thought that the boy donated this to the future bride during the spousal, the consideration for our engagement party. The first diamond engagement ring appeared in the middle Ages: it was in fact commissioned in 1477 by the Archduke of Austria Maximilian we as a gift for Mary of Burgundy. At the same time, the first ideas of wedding favour appeared.
After centuries of unpopularity, the engagement ring only became popular again in the 1940s. In the United States, to establish itself definitively as a symbol of the compromise between two lovers.
Why ring finger?
It is believed that the tradition of wearing the engagement ring to the ring finger of the left hand, as it will be for the wedding ring, comes from ancient Rome. In the past it was thought, in fact, that precisely for this finger the vena amoris passed, a vein connected directly to the heart. Other theories trace this custom back to the Chinese philosophy that wants each finger to represent the different people we care about: the ring finger would be the finger of our life partner. Although the ring finger remains the ring finger, in some countries, the solitaire is carried to the right hand, as in Greece, Austria and Venezuela.
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Traditions in the world
Although the gift of the engagement ring is the great protagonist of the marriage proposal, there are other customs around the world related to this moment. In Spain, for example, once the solitaire has been received, the woman can return the gift with a wristwatch, perhaps embellished with an engraved love phrase. In the Nordic countries, however, the ring is worn by both men and women. Finally, in the United States, it is increasingly common for women to give men an engagement ring.
During and after the wedding
On the day of the wedding, during the ceremony, the moment of the exchange of the wedding rings will come. Just like the engagement ring, faith also has to be traditionally worn on the ring finger of the left hand. How to behave then? Generally, the problem is solved by wearing the solitaire in the right hand only for the wedding day. Starting from the next day, however, you can put it back on the left together with the faith, but nobody forbids you to keep it on your right hand if it is more comfortable for you. Many women prefer instead not to wear it every day so as not to risk losing it, showing it off only on important evenings, perhaps with an elegant formal dress.
The most famous engagement rings
Some rings have remained in history for their beauty, the size of the precious stone or their originality. Some examples? A ring that certainly has not gone unnoticed is the 10-carat diamond that Brad Pitt had designed for Angelina Jolie, also remembered for her original and straightforward wedding dress, with designs made by her children on the tail and veil. There is no shortage of other precious stones, such as Lady Diana’s blue sapphire or Jaqueline Kennedy’s emerald. The most expensive? It is probably the diamond that Elizabeth Taylor received from Richard Burton, of 33 carats.