The History Of The Symbol Of Love – Rings July 2, 2021 – Posted in: Blog

This question is a lot more common than you think. You’ve probably heard the terms engagement ring, proposal ring, wedding ring, wedding band and bridal set used to describe the rings that people wear when they get engaged and married. What you might not know is that there are actually two completely different rings, despite the terms being used interchangeably. The first step in proposing is figuring out the difference between an engagement ring vs a wedding ring and what each is for, and when each is given.


An engagement ring, or “proposal ring,” is the ring you propose with. Proposing traditionally involves getting down on one knee and asking your partner to spend the rest of their life with you, while you present the engagement ring that’s ready to slip on their finger.  Which finger does an engagement ring go on? The fourth finger of the left hand, otherwise known as the ring finger.  Many cultures believe there is a vein in your fourth finger that leads directly to your heart, making it the most symbolic finger to wear your engagement ring on. 



The engagement ring hand is your left hand. The engagement ring symbolizes the promise of marriage and commitment that you and your partner have made to each other. Engagement rings vary in detail and qualities but most typically feature a diamond or gemstone centre stone on a metal band, and engagement rings to be more extravagant than wedding rings.


While many believe engagement rings are a fairly new tradition, the practice was actually established in Ancient Egypt, where giving an engagement ring represented eternal love, as the circular shape of a ring has no end.  The Romans are recorded as having the same custom, but the Romans would gift two engagement rings – one made Iron to be worn at home while doing household work, and one made of gold to be worn in public. 

In Europe, the tradition of exchanging rings was reborn in 1477, when the Archduke Maximilian of Austria presented Mary of Burgundy with a ring set with diamonds in the shape of her initial.  It wasn’t until the early 20th century when diamond engagement rings became a staple in western culture.  The late 1930s and early 1940s saw a huge increase in the practice of exchanging diamond engagement rings, thanks mainly to the famous DeBeers advertisement, and continues to be an important custom in western culture today.


A wedding ring is different from an engagement ring.  A wedding ring is exchanged at the wedding ceremony and represents the official bond of marriage.  Both rings are often worn together as symbols of love and commitmentWedding rings and wedding bands are the same things, the term “band” is just referring to the fact that wedding rings have traditionally been simple metal bands.  Unlike an engagement ring that can be designed or purchased by one partner and given as a surprise to the other, both members of the couple are typically involved in choosing their own wedding bands. 


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Since ancient times, wedding rings have been exchanged as a symbol of eternal love.  In the Renaissance, wedding rings became incredibly sentimental. Lovers would exchange rings that had short verses of poetry inscribed in them, promising forever love.  This practice shows a stark shift from marriage being a contractual obligation for the exchange of wealth and property, but to one of love and companionship. 


A promise ring is a piece of jewellery that symbolizes exactly what the name suggests – a promise made by one person to another.  Promise rings, while being stunning pieces of jewellery, are generally subtle as compared to engagement or wedding rings. 



A promise ring can be interpreted in many different ways. A ring like this is generally gifted in order to signify a promise made by one person to another.  While traditionally the ring was given by a man to his girlfriend, promise rings are no longer restricted to such rules. Basically, it is a symbol of commitment and loyalty towards an individual, so the meaning would entirely depend on the person who gives it.  Promise rings are exchanged by lovers, family members, or even friends.


Certain people reckon that you should ideally wear a promise ring on the middle finger of your left hand or the ring finger of your right in order to avoid misleading anyone.  However, there is no fixed “rule” around which finger you must wear your promise ring on. People often wear the ring on the wedding ring finger or middle finger, but it is entirely up to you.


Also Read: 6 Reasons To Buy Personalized Engagement Rings


Ultimately, both rings should be an expression of your love, as well as your personal taste and style. This, more than the expense, is what matters.

Still, the engagement ring and wedding bands are an investment, both an emotional one in your partner and a financial one in the ring itself. We should always protect our investments, so in addition to budgeting for the ring itself, be sure to have money to put towards insuring them.



Jewellery insurance is often available as a rider on homeowner or renter’s insurance. Be sure to get your ring appraised so that it is insured for the proper amount.  You will also want to return for reappraisal over the years to have the cost of jewellery, metal, etc. re-evaluated over time as such things fluctuate. Some insurance policies require you to update the appraisal every few years.

The appraisal can also help you pick the best policy for you in the event of theft, damage, or loss. With a little planning and a clear understanding of your partner, you can get the perfect set of engagement and wedding rings for your wedding. 

AuGrav (Au-Gold, Grav-To Etch, to Engrave) Strongly believes that any Jewel should be a natural extension of yourself.  It could be as simple as your Names, your Fingerprints, your Voice Waves, or anything that describes your Persona.  To create a piece that will be worn by only 1 out of 7 billion people on earth, Get In Touch with us.  Our Jewelry experts have all ears to listen to your story and suggest creating a masterpiece.


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