An Introduction To Engagement Rings

Engagement rings are worn by women who have accepted marriage proposals. These are presented to them by the men to whom they are betrothed. This indicates an agreement by the two to marry one another.

The Background Behind Engagement Rings

Engagement rings were introduced to society in 1215 by Pope Innocent III who declared that a waiting period before marriage should be observed. This is why those who decided to follow the pope's declaration decided to use these rings as an indication that this change in status was about to occur. Over time, this became the acceptable norm.

Today, most couples place their wedding rings on their left hand, which is called their ring finger. The finger is the one that is next to your middle finger. Throughout history this finger was believed to be the one that contained the vein of love. For this reason, a lot of men and women find the practice of placing these rings on their left ring finger to be both logical and romantic. Of course, some cultures have different beliefs as to why the ring is placed on the left culture. In fact, some people explain that the left hand is the weaker hand and that placing the ring on this hand indicates additional strength that will be gained through marriage when the "two become one."

The Customs In Different Countries

It is interesting to note how rings are worn and given in the different countries. While these engagement rings are usually given to a woman by a man, it is becoming a lot more common in the United States for a woman to give one of these rings to a man. In other countries such as Sweden, Finland, Germany, Norway and Denmark both the man and the woman wear engagement rings. However in these countries, the men's ring will also double as a wedding ring for him while the women will receive a diamond wedding ring. While it is rare, sometimes men will wear two rings; one for commemorating the engagement and one for commemorating the wedding.

In Germany, these rings are oftentimes made out of a plain gold band. As aforementioned, these are worn by both the men and women. These rings are then worn on the right hand throughout the engagement and then they are used as wedding rings on that special day when they are moved to the left hand.