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Engagement Practices Around the World

In the UK as well as across the pond in the US we typically stick to the tradition that it is the man, in heterosexual relationships, that will propose to the woman. This is usually done with an engagement ring that has a stone of some kind, for example a diamond or a sapphire as a centrepiece. The metal for such a ring varies, but you can expect to see gold and platinum engagement rings as typical options in a jewellers, not only because of the higher value of these metals but also because they are more durable. The inception of the engagement ring itself can be traced back to the Fourth Lateran Council and Pope Innocent III in 1215. The Pope declared that there would be a longer period between betrothal and marriage, at this time plain rings made of gold, silver or iron were used. Diamonds were not introduced as part of this custom until Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a ring including a diamond as a betrothal gift. Moreover, it was not until the 20th century and marketing campaigns by the De Beers which included the slogan “A Diamond is Forever” that engagement rings with diamonds became the standard, especially in the UK and US.

In Germany, however, the custom is closer to that which was seen during the reign of Pope Innocent III. On the day of their engagement, a German couple will exchange rings, which in the UK we would probably associate more with for example, plain platinum wedding rings as opposed to engagement rings. These rings are worn on their left hands until the wedding day itself. On the day of the wedding ceremony, the rings are moved from the left hand to the right hand and become the wedding rings (Trauringe). Yes, in Germany wedding rings are worn on the right hand.

Whether you are British, German or any other nationality, we are certain that our range of both platinum wedding rings and platinum engagement rings at the Platinum Ring Company will suit your customs and traditions. We have ranges of plain platinum wedding rings and patterned platinum wedding rings and with free delivery on all UK orders, what more could you need?! For more information on our rings, please contact us.