10 Interesting Facts About Engagement Rings
Think you know all about engagement rings? There are probably at least ten things you never knew.
We all know what an engagement ring is. It’s a token gesture that symbolises that two loved-up are ready to commit to marrying one another.
And when we see it glisten for the first time as our partner bends down on one knee and opens a cute little box to reveal it, our heart flutters a thousand times.
We all know where to buy an engagement ring, too.
But do you know the real history behind the engagement ring?
As it turns out, there are many interesting and fun stories behind the origins of this most romantic of rings. If you want to find out more, let’s take a look at 10 interesting facts about engagement rings.
It’s A Very Old Custom
In our capitalist society where it seems as though everything has been appropriated by businesses so that they can turn a huge profit (see love and those tacky hallmark cards that get sold on Valentine’s Day), few people would be surprised to find out that the engagement ring was adopted by an industrious entrepreneur who saw the potential to make some money.
But although engagement rings get sold for thousands and thousand of pounds, the custom of giving these rings is actually old and pre-dates entrepreneurs looking to “cash in” on love.
Like, really old.
It goes all the way back to Ancient Egypt. Back then, the male would slot an engagement ring on the fourth finger of his fiancé’s left hand. This was because they believed that the fourth finger contained a vein which traced a line all the way to the heart.
Those romantic ol’ Egyptians!!
Although The Cavemen Kinda Kicked Things Off
Long before Cleopatra said “I do” to any man, the cavemen were already inventing ways of showing their cave women how much they loved them.
Back then, the cave dudes would create chords of grass that they would then tie around their chosen cave gals’ ankles, wrists or waists.
Aww. Don’t you just want your own cute caveman?
Love Is In The Year In December
You’d think that most people got engaged on Valentine’s Day.
But you’d be wrong.
As it turns out, more men pop the question in December than at any other time of the year.
Engagement Rings Used To Symbolise Money
Today, when a man offers an engagement ring to his darling girlfriend, he is showing her that he is ready to commit his whole life and soul to her. She is the one for him, and by offering her a ring, he is hoping that she reciprocates.
In the olden days, engagement rings actually signified financial stability more than anything else. A man who could afford to buy an engagement ring and offer it to the finger of his intended was a man who clearly had a successful career and could afford to look after his woman.
This was important back then. When considering potential suitors, a woman’s mom and dad had to be sure that her fiancé would be able (and willing) to support her financially.
If a man could afford it, he would adorn the ring with gold to further emphasise the fact that he had money and would take good care of his woman.
Victorian Girls Were A Bit Unlucky
Today, we love to receive round cut diamonds, as it’s the most popular type of engagement ring.
Back in the Victorian era, it was much more common for a girl to receive a snake ring.
Apparently it symbolised eternity.
Okay then …
We Don’t All Wear Our Ring On Our Left Hand
Despite the Ancient Egyptian’s belief that the fourth finger on our left hand extends all the way to our heart, there are countries around the world where it is traditional for the women to wear their engagement rings on their right hand. This is true in Russia, Germany and India.
In the U.S., Canada, France and England, people still wear the ring on their left hand.
Men Spend A Lot Of Time Shopping For Engagement Rings
We tend to do men a bit of a disservice when it comes to shopping for engagement rings. It’s easy to think that they only browse two or three different rings before making a purchase and heading home to kill some more zombies on their video game.
After all, we’ve seen how men are like on shopping trips. After you’ve taken them into the fourth store, they’ve started to sweat and are losing weight. They literally cannot cope.
The truth is, however, that men are committed to buying us the right ring. It is reckoned indeed that the average guy spends up to THREE MONTHS choosing an engagement ring.
Which is just a bit less than he spends looking in the mirror each year … (ouch!)
… But Many Couples Shop Together
Guys DO spend a lot of time making sure they’ve chosen the right ring. But sometimes, his fiance will shop with him.
It is estimated that 60% of couples shop together when choosing an engagement ring, while 3% of women choose it themselves.
Engagement Rings Don’t Cost As Much As They Once Did
As we said earlier, engagement rings once reflected a man’s financial status. Certainly, not everyone could afford to buy one, and in fact most men couldn’t. Why? Because engagement rings used to cost three months’ salary.
As you can imagine, a girl and her family would have been bursting with pride when her fiancé got down on one knee and revealed his gift to her. The fact that a man was willing to spend three months of his salary on her was indeed a clear sign of his commitment.
Thankfully, engagement rings are much cheaper these days and it’s reckoned that the average man spends three weeks’ salary on a ring.
Paris Hilton Was A Lucky Girl
Hotel heiress and “it girl” Paris Hilton was once engaged to a man who was also called Paris. And when Paris decided that he loved Paris enough to marry her, he went out and bought her a $4,700,000 engagement ring.
That’s way more than the average guy spends on his engagement ring to his fiancé. But sadly, despite receiving a huge 24 carat, emerald cut diamond ring, Paris wasn’t able to retain her passion for the relationship and it fizzled out.
Do you know other interesting facts about engagement rings?