How Did Engagement Rings Start?

engagement ring

diamond engagement ringsEveryone knows that when you’re trying to get married you need to propose in a special way and buy an engagement ring to signify your commitment to get married. But where exactly did this tradition come from? Did it just start? What are the roots behind this whole thing?

Some people credit the idea to the ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks. In reality the use of engagement rings can really only be seen as going as far back as Roman times.

The first truly historical use of an engagement ring was by Archduke Maximilian of Austria in 1477. It was a well-documented case. But it’s important to note that the tradition has shown up long before this time as well.

Some believe that the ring itself was originally part of the bride price in ancient times. It represented ownership and purchase of the bride. This idea has been refuted by scholars, though.

What about the ring finger? Where does that idea come from?

The idea of using the ring finger to place the rings traces it’s roots back to ancient Egypt. It was thought that this finger contained the vein that led directly to the heart.

And the idea was to put the ring – a symbol of ownership or control – closest to the heart. Thus the left hand ring finger became the de facto spot for that engagement ring you’re eyeing.

Who knew?

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