History of engagement rings
Engagement rings have a long history behind them. Today it is common to see women with an engagement ring after agreeing to marry. But this custom goes back a long way.
The engagement ring is the same as the engagement ring. That is, when your boyfriend asks you if you want to marry him, and your answer is yes, he gives you a ring as a symbol that at some point in the future, once you set the date, you will join in marriage. In other words, this ring represents the promise of marriage.
Just a few decades ago, the custom was to “ask the father’s hand” of the daughter and, at least in our country, a bracelet was given, which was called “request bracelet.” This has been lost in most cases, as today many couples already live together without marrying.
The custom of the engagement ring is basically Western, however, today it is interesting to note that countries with non-Western traditions have also taken the practice of giving it as a gift, as in China or South Korea, for example. In any case, the history of engagement rings is very interesting, and it is worth taking a walk through those ancient times.
The engagement rings In ancient times, there are those who claim that prehistoric men already put ties or ribbons of grass to their women on their wrists, waist or feet, with the intention of controlling their spirits. This is quite difficult to prove, since there is no archaeological evidence or written records to support it other than studies of probable customs. What is known is that the ancient Egyptians, apparently, were the first in the custom of wearing rings related to the marriage ritual. They wore it on the ring finger of the left hand, as they firmly believed that that finger had an artery that made direct contact with the heart. Wearing a ring on that finger was also a proof of love.
With engagement rings, the Egyptians believed that love would thus be bound forever and could not escape through the fingers. They used various materials for this primitive engagement ring: it could be ivory, bone, vegetable fibers, or leather.
The wealthiest usually adorned them with hieroglyphs or beetles, as a sign of their economic power.
In time we arrived in Rome. The Romans knew the customs of some of their colonies, and Egypt was always very influential. This is how in Rome this “artery” is given its name: vena amoris, the vein of love.
In Rome, the custom was to give two engagement rings, one to the bride’s father and one to her. They were rings of gold, silver or iron that symbolized the permanence and strength of marriages. Gold rings could only be used by free citizens; freed slaves of silver, and slaves of iron.
The ring that was given to the bride was in the shape of a key; This opened the locks of the groom’s house, and was the maximum sign of confidence.
The early Christians, in the 3rd century, already began to exchange engagement rings between couples, although this custom was not accepted by the church until the 13th century, because for it the custom of the ring was pagan.
For their part, the Jews, towards the 8th century, introduced the custom of giving rings in nuptial rites, but these rings belonged to the synagogue, they were not personal. Nor could they be carried on the fingers because their size was too large.
The custom of exchanging engagement rings has remained to this day, and although the materials have changed (gold, platinum, precious stones), their meaning is the same.
Engagement ring symbology
Of course the rings have always been circular. In the case of engagement rings, circularity represented the eternity of marriage and love, without beginning or end.
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