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Engagement Rings, Wedding Rings, Commitment Rings, Eternity Rings, Bridal Jewellery

Why Engagement Rings Are Given

It is believed that the ancient Romans began the practice of placing the engagement ring on the left ring finger, which they thought contained the “vena amoris” or vein of love which supposedly connected directly to the heart.   The Romans gave rings as a token of affection, and this may also have contributed to the act of giving an engagement or betrothal ring.  The Romans held that Marriage essentially transferred a woman from the authority of her father or male head of the family (pater familias) to the authority of her husband. In theory that control extended even to life and death, but in reality it was limited to economic matters.  Any dowry brought into the wedding was then the property of her husband, so a wedding, betrothal or engagement ring effectively "sealed" the bargain between the two parties.  A ring may also have formed part of a bridal price or dowry.

Other ancient cultures, including the Egyptians, also used the Roman symbolism of the left finger - and even today the tradition persists both with engagement rings and wedding bands. In fact, wedding bands are placed first on the left ring finger to be closest to the heart.

The first recorded diamond engagement ring was exchanged in 1477 when Archduke Maximillian presented the token to his betrothed Mary of Burgandy.  Prior to that event, engagement rings were either plain metal bands (iron for commoners, while gold and silver were used among royalty) or used less expensive gems.   Engagement rings are ultimately circles of metal, and the circle is a part of very sacred, symbolic geometry.  Circles have no beginning and no end and thus represent eternity, renewal, wholeness, and perfection. They are also symbolic of the sun, moon, and planets, bringing together all life just as an engagement ring brings together the lives of two people.

These days we formalise an engagement with the exchange of a ring.  Traditonally we might choose a solitare, but now there are lots of other choices - the world is your oyster when it comes to design and stone selection.  In fact the most difficult decision you'll need to make is deciding what beautiful ring you want to spend the rest of your life with !!





















































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