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A brief history on engagement rings,tradition and etiquette

Since ancient times, a ring has been the symbol of love and marriage, and a bond between two people. On weddings rings were first given only to a woman, and besides marriage, they symbolized the husbands ownership over his wife. Nowadays both men and women exchange rings with vows of love, fidelity and respect. The tradition of giving engagement rings did not begin until the middle ages, when they were known as posie rings, but they were not expensive, just simple gold or silver bands with engravings of poetry or love messages. In the thirteenth century, Pope Innocent III introduced a waiting period between the betrothal and the marriage ceremony. The rings signified the devotion of the couple to one another during this period. The trend of giving diamond engagement rings began in Vienna in 1477, when the Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave his fiancé a diamond engagement ring. From then on, and with the discovery of diamond mines in Africa, the higher social classes and the wealthy started giving diamond rings.

The evolution of ‘the engagement ring’
Rings for engagement before the 20th century were far from the beautiful and very popular princess cut diamond engagement rings of today. A typical betrothal gift used to be a sewing thimble; women used to cut off the thimbles tip and wear it like a ring. It wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that engagement rings were considered a norm, and even then diamonds only became more present in the 1930s. Today, nothing less than a diamond is expected when giving a marriage proposal. Some men even propose without a ring, so that his fiancé can choose the ring herself Diamond Ring.

Ring etiquette
A hundred years ago, if a man broke off an engagement, he was usually sued for breach of promise. The law gave the young woman and her family the right to do this. This meant that the cold footed groom would have to pay a great deal of money in compensation for hurting the reputation of the young woman. Sometime before World War II this law was amended, and was limited and less strict. That is why so many women insisted on expensive rings for their engagement, as a sort of insurance for a broken engagement, and the social and financial repercussions it would entail. The woman was expected to keep the ring in the event of the man breaking the engagement, or if she broke it due to the actions of her fiancé. However, if the woman broke the engagement, through no fault of his, the man had the right to ask for the ring to be returned. Today this tradition is subject to interpretation and in the event of a dispute the entire relationship and breakup is analyzed to constitute whether the ring was given as a gift or not Diamond Engagement Rings.

Engagement ring vs. wedding ring
The unwritten rule is that the ring for the engagement should be more expensive than the one for the wedding. Diamond wedding rings are not that popular, and cannot be paired with, for example platinum engagement rings with no precious stones Diamond Engagement Ring.