Saturday, June 12, 2010

Engaging Step

What exactly is the meaning behind the engagement ring and how did it come about??
The gift of a ring is said to be that of promised love, with the circular shape of the ring symbolizing eternal love and unity. The ring is said to be placed on the left "ring finger" to follow what was thought to be the "vena amoris", the vein of love. It was believed in Egyptian times that a vein ran from the left "ring finger" to the heart. The tradition still follows today of placing the engagement ring on the forth finger. During the medieval era the tradition of the of the engagement ring was instituted by Pope Innocent III, when he mandated that there be a waiting period from engagement to marriage. Only the wealthiest nobles could afford precious stones for their rings, so most engagement rings were made of simple metal bands. When large portion of the population could afford rings with precious stones, engagement rings became more stylized, many including sets of stones with personal meaning. A nice tradition that came about was using the the birthstone of the engaged couple. During the Victorian era it became a tradition for engagement rings to spell out a message with precious stones,the initials of the stones spelled out a message: Lapis, Opal, Variscite, and Emerald for LOVE. Other engagement rings during this era also contained a compartment for a lock of the betrothed hair. The modern day tradition of a diamond engagement rings is largely due to an advertising campaign by De Beers, the worlds leading diamond company. In 1947 they ran an add campaign with the slogan "A Diamond is Forever". This campaign is still known as the best advertising slogan of the 20th century. It is believed that a man's commitment is shown by how expensive the ring is, and many engagement rings are truly impressive. Modern day rings are all about personal style and have taken many new twists, with some couples even tattooing their rings on their finger.
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