Most people will understand the importance of buying the right engagement ring, where they should buy one from and how to buy one. However, not as many people are aware of the history and facts behind them. Have you ever thought about where the concept of engagement rings originated, or why they are worn on the third finger on your left hand?
Have a look below at some of the fun facts you may not know about engagement rings:
- Giving and receiving engagement rings started as early as the Ancient Egyptian period, in 3000BC. It’s said that the rings were made by braiding and twisting papyrus reeds or hemp together. They were designed round to symbolise eternity.
- It’s a well-known fact that engagement rings are traditionally worn on the third finger of the left hand but not all will know that this is because the Ancient Egyptian’s believed that it contained a vein which led to the heart.
- Rings have been a long-standing symbol of union and commitment which can be traced back to pre-history. Cavemen would create chords of braided grass to tie around the waist, wrists and ankles of their chosen mates.
- Engagement rings were largely given as a sign of financial commitment. It was the way that a man could show a woman that they were capable of supporting them financially.
- An engagement ring was usually given with an accompanying bag of gold to reinforce the wealthiness of the man.
- Although it’s rumoured that you should spend a year’s wages on your engagement ring, this isn’t the case. It used to be standard for men to spend between one and three months’ salary on an engagement ring. Now, research suggests that the average cost of an engagement ring is now equivalent to around three weeks salary.
- It’s not custom to pick and choose a ring in a rush, it’s actually recommended and normal for someone to spend around three months choosing the right band to propose with. People will on average visit four retailers and view 27 rings before making a purchase.
- December is by far the most popular month for buying engagement rings, it’s said that approximately 15% of couples getting engaged during the festive season.
- Other big proposal day’s include Thanksgiving, New Years and, of course, Valentine’s day. However, more and more people find it a little bit cliché to propose on Valentines Day.
- The most commonly selected style of engagement ring is a round cut diamond ring, which is then closely followed by a princess cut. You will find that white gold and platinum are the most popular metals. If you’re choosing a ring for someone then it’s definitely worth finding out what style and material they would prefer. Some people have allergies to certain metals.
- It’s becoming much more common for contemporary couples to shop and choose engagement rings together, even if it just window shopping, it definitely gives the person who’s buying the best idea for choosing the right one. It could be a nice touch to speak to your other half, even if you don’t plan on going shopping together, it’s useful to understand their preferences.
- Not many people are aware that wedding and engagement rings can be purchased as a set. This is to help ensure the best possible match when they are put together. This works particularly well if you are buying a ring that isn’t completely round, you do come across rings that have an indent perfect for a set.
- Some brides choose to have their wedding ring and engagement ring soldered together, this forms one band which is meant to signify their entire commitment. You can also get eternity rings that match in these types of sets.
- Hotel heiress Paris Hilton was given one of the world’s most expensive engagement rings. It was worth an estimated $4.7 million. The centrepiece of the ring was a huge 24 carat, canary yellow, emerald cut diamond.
- In recent studies, it was revealed that 28% of women would possibly turn down a proposal if they didn’t like the ring! This may seem rather extreme, however, it is important to remember that the ring should suit the couple’s unique style and taste, after all, its purpose is for it to work for a lifetime.
- Many believe the first-ever recorded diamond engagement ring was given by Archduke Maximilian of Austria when he proposed to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. The ring was set with flat, thin diamonds in the shape of an ‘M’.
- In the 18th Century, it became popular for a man to present a ‘posy’ ring, which is a simple gold band inscribed with a line of rhyming verse. These would often also be given as a sign of friendship and loyalty, or as something to remember.
- In the Victorian era, you were likely to receive a snake ring, it was believed that they symbolised eternity. Certainly very different from what we have come to know now.
- It’s becoming more and more popular for people to design their own ring. With so many options out there it’s not surprising that you may find it difficult to find the perfect one. Designing your own ring gives you the flexibility to pick and choose you cut, stones and metals and even include things like carvings and personal messages.
- It’s now no longer just men that are buying the engagement rings, women are now stepping it up and proposing too. You might want to check that your other half isn’t more on the traditional before you go buying a ring though.
For many, the proposal is bigger than their actual wedding day. And the ring that you have symbolises the love and commitment between two people for a lifetime. When you’re thinking about taking that next step and proposing to your loved one, take into consideration these fun facts, they’re not only interesting and different but you’re loved one will appreciate the time you have taken to understand and learn about the histories of engagement rings across the years.