What Your Engagement Ring Means?
An engagement ring is a ring indicating that the person wearing it is engaged to be married, especially in Western cultures. A ring is presented as an engagement gift by a partner to their prospective spouse when they propose marriage or directly after a marriage proposal is accepted. It represents a formal agreement to future marriage. In Western countries, engagement rings are worn mostly by women, and rings can feature diamonds or other gemstones.
‘Mangagement rings’: engagement rings for men
The neologism “mangagement ring” is sometimes used for an engagement ring worn by men. In some cultures, men and women wear matching rings, and engagement rings may also be used as wedding rings.
Engagement Ring Finger
In Anglo-Saxon countries, the ring is customarily worn on the left-hand ring finger, but customs vary considerably elsewhere across the world.
Neither the engagement nor any other ring is worn during the wedding ceremony, when the wedding ring is put by the groom on the finger of the bride as part of the ceremony, and sometimes by the bride onto the groom’s finger. After the wedding, the engagement ring is usually put back on, and is usually worn on the outside of the wedding ring. Some brides have their engagement and wedding rings permanently soldered together after the wedding.
Engagement Ring Styles
Engagement rings, like any other kind of jewelry, come in many different styles.
Gold (available in yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold) and platinum are preferred for engagement rings, but common metal types such as titanium, silver, gold-plated silver, and stainless steel are also used for engagement rings. This allows the bride-to-be to exert her own individual style into the ring in a simple manner.
In the United States, where engagement rings are worn by women, diamonds have been widely featured in engagement rings since the middle of the 20th century. Solitaire rings have one diamond.
The Tiffany Setting Engagement Rings
The most common setting for engagement rings is the solitaire prong setting, which was popularized by Tiffany & Co. in 1886, and its six-claw prong setting design sold under the “Tiffany setting” trademark. The modern favorite cut for an engagement ring is the brilliant cut, which provides the maximum amount of sparkle to the gemstone. The traditional engagement rings may have different prong settings and bands.
Diamond Engagement Ring
Another major category is engagement rings with side stones. Rings with a larger diamond set in the middle and smaller diamonds on the side fit under this category. Three-stone diamond engagement rings, sometimes called trinity rings or trilogy rings, are rings with three matching diamonds set horizontally in a row with the bigger stone placed in the center. The three diamonds on the ring are typically said to represent the couple’s past, present, and future, but other people give religious significance to the arrangement.
Wedding Set or Bridal Set
A wedding set, or bridal set, includes an engagement ring and a wedding band that matches and can be bought as a set. In some cases, the wedding ring looks incomplete; it is only when the two halves, engagement and wedding, are assembled that the ring looks whole. In other cases, a wedding set consists of two rings that match stylistically and are worn stacked, although either piece would look appropriate as a separate ring. Although the wedding band is not to be worn until the wedding day, the two rings are usually sold together as a wedding set. After the wedding, the bride may choose to have the two pieces welded together, to increase convenience and reduce the likelihood of losing one of the rings. A trio ring set includes a women’s engagement ring, a women’s wedding band, and a men’s wedding band. These sets often have matching rings and are lower in price.
In Nordic countries, engagement rings are worn by both men and women. Traditionally they are plain gold bands, although more ornate designs and other materials are gaining popularity. The engagement rings resemble the wedding bands sold in the United States, whereas women’s wedding rings may resemble US engagement rings.
In North America and the United Kingdom, it is customarily worn on the left-hand ring finger. Similar traditions purportedly date to classical times, dating back from an early usage reportedly referring to the fourth finger of the left hand as containing the “vena amoris” or “vein of love”. This custom may have its origins in an ancient Egyptian myth that the finger contained a vein leading directly to the heart, or it may simply be because the heart lies slightly to the left side of the body. In Germany, the ring is worn on the left hand while engaged but moved to the right hand when married. In Poland and Turkey, the engagement ring and wedding band are traditionally worn on the right hand but modern practice varies considerably.
Engagement Rings in Different Cultures
In some countries, it is common for both men and women to wear engagement rings. The rings are often in the form of a plain band of a precious metal. Sometimes, the engagement ring eventually serves as the wedding ring for the man. In Brazil, for example, the groom and bride-to-be usually wear a plain wedding band on the right hand during the course of their engagement. After the wedding, the band is moved to the left hand. In Argentina, it is also known for the groom and bride-to-be to wear a plain silver band on the left hand while engaged. Then, after the wedding the silver band is either replaced with the wedding ring or moved to the right hand.
Traditionally, women in the British Isles may propose marriage to men during a leap year. Women proposing has become more common in recent years, to the point that some jewelry companies have started manufacturing men’s engagement rings. They resemble typical men’s rings, often with a diamond centrepiece. In the countries where both sexes have traditionally worn engagement rings, the rings tend to be plainer bands, and there is no real difference between men’s and women’s engagement ring designs.
A prong setting – which usually has 4 or 6 prongs – is one of the most popular settings on the market, and is used for all types of faceted stones.
Similar to the Prong setting, the Shared Prong gets its name from prongs of metal placed between two stones.
A versatile choice used for any type of stone, the bezel setting sees the diamond set deep inside of the mounting while the metal is folded over the stone to create a strip that holds the diamond in place.
This setting utilizes essentially the same approach as the Bezel setting, except a Half Bezel is when the stone’s girdle is not fully covered.
Another setting that can be used for any type of stone, the channel setting sees the goldsmith creating a channel – as the name would suggest – and then cut seats in it where the diamond will sit. After each diamond is placed in the new channel, the goldsmith secures the stones in place by hammering the upper sides of the channel walls.
With pavé settings, several small gemstones – usually diamonds – are set closely together, separated, and held in place by small beads of the setting metal. This produces what resembles a continuous string of diamonds or other gems on its surface.
A tension ring is a type of ring in which the gemstone is held in place by pressure rather than prongs, a bezel or other mounting. This requires gemstones to have a Hardness level of 9 or above.
Similar to the Channel setting, the Bar setting sees that diamonds are set between bars, where they are first nested in grooves and then overlapped by metal using a hammering tool. Like the Tension setting, this also requires gemstones to have a Hardness level of 9 or above.