Engagement rings are a sign of love, promise, and most of all future marriage. However, engagement rings have an interesting tale to them. The tradition of giving a betrothed a ring began in 1477 when Maximilian of Austria gifted his fiancee, Mary of Burgundy, a ring in the promise of marriage.
Since the engagement ring’s introduction in 1477, cultures around the world have shaped it according to their heritage and history. The following are some interesting facts about engagement rings around the world. How many facts about this fine jewelry do you know?
- In West Bengal, India iron bangle bracelets are worn as symbols of engagement rather than rings.
- The Irish use the Claddagh ring to symbolize various meanings depending on which hand the ring is worn on and which direction the heart on the ring is facing. To indicate engagement, the wearer (man or woman), must wear the ring on their left hand with the heart turned inward.
- In France, diamonds aren’t the preferred choice of soon-to-be brides. The women prefer semi-precious stones.
- In Chile, both men and women receive engagement rings when they’re to be married and wear them on their right hands. During the ceremony, the couple then places the rings from their right hands to their left.
- Engagement rings are typically worn on the left hand in England, France, Canada, and the United States. In Russia, India, Norway, and Germany the engagement ring is worn on the right hand.
- In Argentina, rings are exchanged among couples during engagement, but wedding rings are not exchanged during the wedding ceremony.
- In China, many couples don’t engage engagement rings at all. Instead, they often exchange money and other betrothal gifts.
- While the engagement ring is associated with Austria, the wedding band was first seen in Egypt where rings were sometimes worn as a symbol of a contract in marriage. The circle was a sign of eternity.
There are many types of wedding rings and engagement rings in the world and just as many ways to wear them. Culture is passed down through generations and influences us every day. Consider your own heritage and how it may influence how you wear your engagement ring.