How Life Works

Mar 25, 2017
Updated: 3/18/2017

What You Need to Know Before You Put a Ring on It

What You Need to Know Before You Put a Ring on It

When you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, the only thing standing between them and popping the question is that engagement ring. Have you ever thought about why engagement rings are given? Or how to choose one stone when there are so many options available? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

Some History
Ancient Egyptians introduced the ring as a sign of engagement and, in 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with the first engagement ring ever to have diamonds. Fast forward to 1886 when, “Tiffany & Co. introduces the ‘Tiffany setting,’ a six-prong ring designed to maximize a diamond’s brilliance by raising it up from the band,” noted Reader’s Digest author Kelly Bare. It was only thanks to DeBeers’ campaign “A Diamond is Forever” in 1948, that diamond engagement rings became a lasting part our culture. 

Speaking of cultures, different ones have different customs when it comes to getting engaged. Jessica Schiffer, former writer of Harper’s Bazaar and current editor of Who What Wear, writes, “Brides in RussiaGermanyNorway, and India wear engagement rings on their right hands instead of their left. In Chile, both men and women receive engagement rings, which they wear on their right hands. Once they’re married, they move them to their left hands. ” In the United States, rings, being a circle shape, represent endless love placed on our fourth finger, the only finger containing a vein that leads straight to the heart. 

Tips for Picking the Right Ring
Engagement rings can be customized in various ways. Everyone knows to pay attention to the four C’s when buying: cut, clarity, color, and carat. Clarity refers to the amount of blemishes in the diamond, color refers to the diamond’s grading system, and carat caters to so many couple’s favorite: size. Cut means the shape and finish of the stone.

When proposing, consider whether or not your special someone is going to love a round, princess, cushion, asscher, marquise, oval, radiant, pear, emerald, or heart cut. If she wants something a little more traditional, you might look at the first three cuts; if they have unique style, they may love the last cuts mentioned. Still stuck? It sometimes helps to ask your future fiancé’s friend or family members for advice.

Looking for some more fun facts about engagement rings? Jeweler AG & Sons has created a great infographic which we’ve posted below. AG & Sons is a family run business with branches in UK, Canada and India. Visit their website for unique designs at affordable prices. 

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