NEW LOOKS Engaging
IT IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA TO UNDERSTAND OUR HISTORY IN ORDER TO APPRECIATE HOW FAR WE’VE COME
In Medieval times, the engagement rings of the masses were plain bands, much like many wedding rings are today. Today most engagement rings symbolize a couple’s commitment to each other and their dedication to their future life together, but the tradition has not always been a promise of love. Initially they were given as a sign of ownership — often as part of a woman’s dowry — and demonstrated the wealth and influence attributed to the woman’s fiancé. The premarital giving and receiving of rings is a relatively recent trend, but one which has become popular in many cultures and is now the fashion worldwide.
It was the ancient Grecians who first exchanged betrothal rings to signify romantic attachment, but some believe the tradition originated in ancient Egypt where knots of hair and leather were woven into circles. Later examples of ancient Egyptian rings became much more intricate, but were still limited in design, and metal rings were reserved for wealthier couples. Tombs in Egypt have been uncovered which depict engagement bands set with gemstones, but even they would have been relatively crudely made, because the technology was then not advanced enough to create a smooth metal band.
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