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Engagement Traditions

In the context of this article and engagement refers to the promise of marriage between two people. It also describes the time between the actual proposal and the wedding day. Historically, long proposals were common, because parents would arrange marriages between children – many years younger than the matrimonial age. Today, however, it has become more common for engagements to be arranged by the couples themselves.

The idea of a time of engagement between the proposal and wedding day came about as the result of an announcement by Pope Innocent III at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. In his announcement, he stated that the church priests should announce all marriages in public, with a predetermined period of time set aside in order to clarify and amend any impediments or illegitimacies that may disrupt the relationship post marriage. The earliest items of jewellery that signified a strong relationship were chains and bracelets. The concept of using a ring evolved from its circular and never ending shape, representing an eternal bond.

Engagement traditions vary depending on culture. In the United Kingdom as well as in America, it is traditional for the man to get down on one knee in front of the woman and produce, for example, platinum engagement rings with diamonds. In Indian, a gosling is the typical engagement gift, whereas in China, women should find an appropriate reciprocal gift for the man, upon acceptance of the proposal. A more out there proposal tradition is that of the Cajuns in Louisiana, where the man proposes by placing a small piece of ice on the woman’s foot.

In Western cultures, engagement rings have a definite connection with marriage and tradition is that an engagement ring is worn on the left hand (four fingers from the right) as a symbol of her betrothal. Traditionally, the man would both choose and pay for the ring himself, with the value being around a months’ salary. However, in the US and Canada it is becoming more common for women to buy the ring. Both there and here in the UK, it is becoming more common again for the couple to go shopping together for the engagement ring.

In some South America cultures, both partners in the couple wear engagement rings. Here, the engagement ring is made out of silver and the wedding ring is made from gold. In Norway, both men and women wear engagement rings, possibly even platinum engagement rings. Whereas in Brazil, both wear gold wedding rings and do not have engagement rings, when they are engaged the rings are worn on the right hand and when they are married they are swapped to the left.

If you are looking for platinum engagement rings with diamonds, or without, the Platinum Ring Company have a great range available at the click of a finger! We can offer great discounts on our rings in comparison to high street shops as we are a purely online retailer, meaning that we can pass the benefits onto you the customer! For more information on our platinum engagement rings or if you have any other questions, please contact us.