The history of engagement rings is very extensive and goes back to ancient times. Some believe the Egyptians were the first to have engagement rings. In pretty much all eras and places the woman wore the engagement ring. It was a way of showing that the woman was taken for. Today engagement rings signify that a person is going to be married. A person will give their significant other an engagement ring when they want to be married to that person. If a person accepts then that is a sign there will be a marriage ceremony soon.
An engagement ring usually features a diamond but it can also have another type of gemstone in it. Also, engagement rings can be simple and not have any diamond or gemstone. There are also some places where partners will wear matching engagement rings. In the US and most other places, people wear their engagement ring on the left-hand ring finger but not every culture does this. There are some stories that say this started because someone said there is a vein in that finger that goes all the way to the heart.
In ancient Roman times, women wore two different rings. There was one ring made of iron that she only had on when she was at home and then another ring that was gold that she wore outside of the home.
An engagement ring can also be a wedding ring. However, if a person has an engagement ring and a wedding ring they will not wear the engagement ring to their wedding. During the wedding, only the wedding ring will be put on. After the ceremony, the engagement ring will be put back on the finger on top of their wedding ring. A lot of people will also get their wedding ring and engagement ring molded together after the wedding so it becomes one ring. Others will keep them separated so when they travel they just wear one of the rings.
In the US, a woman could actually sue her fiance if he broke up with her. This ended sometime in the 1930s. When they got rid of this law the demand for diamonds was much lower than the supply. Also, after the Great Depression in the US, engagement rings popularity went down quite a bit. This is also when an ad campaign came out focusing on diamonds. It basically stated that a diamond and how nice of a diamond a man picked out meant that is how much he loved his wife. The slogan of the ad campaign was “diamonds are forever”. This is why people keep their diamonds as family heirlooms. Also, another reason why you should always know where your ring is sourced from.
The cost of an engagement ring varies a lot. It depends on if it is a diamond and how nice of a diamond it is. Diamonds are measured by their clarity, cut, color and weight. Other gemstones are classified differently. If a person cannot afford a diamond there are options for stones that mimic diamonds such as cubic zirconia.