Rings for Every Stage of a Loving Relationship

Wedding RingsThroughout history, the ring has long been a symbol of love, affection, and commitment between two lovers. And for every stage of a truly loving relationship, there is a ring for it. But who really knows the true difference among a promise ring, engagement ring, and wedding ring?

While in our modern society there tends to be some overlap, history has told the distinct differences among these three types of rings.

1. Promise Rings

The idea and intention surrounding the use of promise rings didn't really get big until about 20 years ago. Promise rings, also called pre-engagement rings, act as a symbol of a promise to remain monogamous and to be engaged in the future. This is common for young Christian couples to promise their love to each other

Though not always called promise rings, the act of a young man in high school giving his class ring to his high school sweetheart could be considered the same practice.

Promise rings don't generally have to be expensive, as this is typically done by younger couples who might not make a lot of money. However, that would depend on the budget of the person giving the ring.

2. Engagement Rings

The engagement ring is a symbol of intention to marry that is used in the majority of places around the world. In the United States and UK, it is symbolic to wear it on the third finger of the left hand, which comes from an old Egyptian thought that that finger is connected to the "vein of love," which connects directly to the heart.

In Germany, the engagement ring is worn on the left hand then transferred to the right when married. In Argentina, however, it is done the opposite way.

The idea of the engagement ring dates back to ancient times. The first accurately recorded story of the use of an engagement ring was of Archduke Maximilian of Austria, who, in 1477, gave an engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy.

It wasn't until the early 20th century, however, that engagement rings contained diamonds and other precious stones. In an effort to increase diamond and diamond ring sales, De Beers, a top diamond distributor in the country, released marketing materials encouraging young men to buy a diamond ring for their lover. This is what sparked the current interest in diamond-studded engagement rings.

3. Wedding Rings

Men and women's wedding bands

This relatively simple ring is traditionally worn on the third finger of the left hand. Up until the 20th century, only the wife would wear her wedding band, but marketing efforts around the time of World War II changed the citizens of the United States' perception by suggesting that men wear rings as well. Today, it is a common practice.

Before wedding rings were a sign of love and bonding between two couples, they once represented the joining of families, back when the families were expected to continue supporting the couple economically.

For the most part, wedding bands are matching, solid bands to symbolize the unity. Others, however, may have another diamond ring for the bride and a solid ring for the groom. Some brides have even soldered their engagement and wedding rings together.

Rings are an important part of our society. They remain a consistent tradition in a society with constantly changing views. So we know as long as rings exist, we have an everlasting symbol of love and affection that we all can hold on to for as long as we're live.

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