The Engagement Ring, an Oh-So-Romantic Tradition

“Thank you so much, I love my ring!”

                                                        -Heather Winks‎, Indy Facets Client via Facebook

As you ask your beloved to marry with the gift of an engagement ring, you become part of one of the Most. Romantic. Traditions. Ever.

Well … in modern times, at least.

From the beginning of humanity, the circle has symbolized infinity, wholeness, protection and unity. In many cultures, the sacred meaning of the circle is represented in the design of a ring. Very romantic, right? For a symbol of betrothal.

Engagement Rings Have a Past

The not-so-amorous history begins in the 12th century. While Pope Innocent III is claiming supremacy over all the Christian regimes of Europe during The Crusades, he also wields power over the people with the banns of marriage. Basically, a couple is prohibited from getting married without announcing their intentions in public AND the two lovebirds must each wear a metal ring for a set period before the wedding could take place (rings of gold are reserved for grooms to prove they could afford to care for a wife and family. Credit for this goes to Pope Nicolas I). While 12th century engagements continue for a long, long time, the Pope’s power play signals the evolution of the “wedding announcement” in modern times.

The Love Finger

Thanks goes to the Egyptians, those clever ancients who realize the significance of the love finger – the fourth finger of the left hand, considered to be directly connected to the heart by the vein of love (vena amoris). If you promise undying love with an engagement ring, wear it on your love finger as a sign of respect, a symbol of belonging and a connection to the eternal. Wear a wedding band on the love finger, too.

Is there a correct order for wearing the rings? A Pope would probably tell you to wear the wedding band closest to the heart, as it is the ultimate symbol of commitment. For us mere mortals, though – we have options:

  • On the left hand, fourth finger, wear the band first followed by the ring.
  • On the right hand, fourth finger, wear the engagement ring.
  • On the left hand, fourth finger, wear the ring first followed by the band.
  • On the left hand, fourth finger, wear both the ring and band joined together.

The big takeaway here: To wear both the ring and band together, you need a perfect fit. Loose-fitting rings can be damaged or lost if they spin around that love finger.

Promises, Promises

Eventually, the engagement ring becomes the universal symbol for impending nuptials. Once referred to as promise rings, these bands of gold, silver or iron also serve as wedding bands after vows are exchanged. Decades later, jewelry designers cannot help but include gems and ornamental settings into ring designs. The ladies of the Victorian era don elegant creations adorned with an array of sapphires, emeralds, rubies and pearls. Although it isn’t until 1477 when the first diamond dazzles on an engagement ring. That’s when the Archduke Maximilian of Austria presents Mary of Burgundy with a diamond as a symbol of their love. It takes another 389 years before the diamond engagement ring becomes popular. After gem hunters discover a huge diamond mine in South Africa, more bling becomes accessible to everyone, and an oh-so-romantic tradition evolves into the promise of a future together.

Fast Forward to the 21st Century

Today’s engagement rings express the personality and style of the bride. No matter the cut or design, the ring is as unique as the bride who wears it. Capturing the beauty of this shared commitment in a ring is not only a daily reminder of your love, it is best created by working directly with a designer. Let Indy Facets find the perfect engagement ring for your bride-to-be and help you select custom wedding bands that complement each other. We work with couples to make sure their rings fit as perfectly as they do.

Indy Facets – Everyone’s Private Jeweler

Indy Facets seamlessly blends the expertise and full service of a traditional jewelry store with the value and convenience of a personal jeweler experience. We give you the face-to-face interaction with an expert that you deserve, in a private setting where you can relax and feel comfortable. Owner/Designer Shaun Goodyear and his team have earned an excellent reputation as Indiana’s private jeweler for engagement rings, custom design, investment grade diamonds, luxury Swiss timepieces, estate jewelry, jewelry repair and the highest level of customer service, available to you from an onsite, state-of-the-art Custom Design Studio and Gemological Laboratory by private appointment only. You are guaranteed a unique, fun and exciting experience without the hype, pressure, judgment or uncertainty associated with other jewelry shopping options. We schedule appointments at your convenience, and are usually available evenings and weekends, too. Call (317) 296-6273 or schedule online, www.indyfacets.com/schedule.

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