WHERE THE ENGAGEMENT RING IS PLACED AND WHY
Weddings are not only a very special moment for couples, their families and their friends. They also include a whole series of small details, gestures and acts governed by custom and tradition. One of these customs is that of engagement rings.
Today, with the help of Laguarda, our favorite online jewelry store in Barcelona, we will try to clarify some doubts that usually arise precisely about the tradition of engagement rings.
A little history of engagement rings
For starters, our favorite online jewelry shop in Barcelona explains a bit about the history of engagement rings, which, admittedly, is quite old.
In ancient Egypt, wedding bands were already used when they celebrated marriages. But with a meaning very different from how we understand it now. For them, the male finger represented the male phallus and the ring represented the female sex. The representation of the sexual union between both spouses was manifested with wedding rings.
It was the Greeks, and later the Romans who popularized the ritual of the exchange of rings at weddings. At the time of a wedding, at the end of the ceremony, the couple exchanged their rings symbolizing the sharing of all their assets to be shared by both spouses.
It was not until the ninth century that the Catholic Church accepted its use in nuptial ceremonies. In fact, this novelty was imposed by Pope Nicholas I. He decreed a law in which he stated that the fact of giving the wedding to the bride during the celebration of the wedding, is a real statement of the intention to marry.
In any case, the custom of the engagement rings did not exist yet. In fact, it began with the Archduke Maximilian of Austria who, in 1477, presented his fiancee Maria Burgundy with an exuberant gold ring with a diamond set in evidence of his love.
Where to put the engagement ring
This is one of the most common doubts. Let’s start with the simplest. On what finger it is put. The answer is simple, on the ring finger. The reason we owe it to the Romans. They thought that in the ring finger of the left hand passed a vein known as Vena Amoris, the vein of love, which continued its journey to the heart. Later, in the sixteenth century, King Edward VI of England formalized its use on that finger.
The problem arises when deciding which hand should be placed and is that everything depends on the custom and traditions of each country. In Spain, for example, tradition dictates that engagement rings go on the left hand and wedding bands on the right. Except in some communities such as Valencia or Catalonia, the wedding ring and the engagement ring always shine on the left hand.
In many countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Russia or Greece, engagement rings are placed on the left hand. In contrast, in the Anglo-Saxon countries it is typical to place the engagement ring in the right hand.