Did you know that historically, an engagement ring is not a necessity before a marriage? But hold on, before I get angry letters from soon-to-be brides, let me explain (and this might actually work out more in the favor of those who have been waiting for that proposal)… historically, a promise (defined as honest intent) of betrothal was made as soon as possible. The understanding that a couple would marry actually occurred very early in the courtship process, while the actual “popping of the question” might occur only later in the relationship so that it timed well with a major family gathering or party. It wasn’t until more modern times that the proposal itself become more independently important to the whole process of “getting married,” and when engagement rings became the norm.
Traditionally, if an engagement ring is worn, it was a diamond ring. Now, however, there are many different options, including (some of my favorite!) colored gemstone and diamond engagement rings such as tanzanite and diamond engagement rings. These rings such as the tanzanite rings found at http://www.tanzaniteringsHQ.com add a lovely bit of color and brilliance to the whole exchange, and we love these rings because they are affordable, they harken back to the traditional diamond engagement ring, and they give a bit of contemporary uniqueness to your proposal.
So why is the engagement ring worn on the finger next to your pinky? The origin of this practice is widely debated, and I will present the three most popular beliefs to you, and let you decide which you think holds the most truth.
From the Romans
Some think this tradition began in Roman times, as it was thought that only the vein of that particular finger (known as Vena Amoris, or “The Vein of Love”) was connected directly to the heart. Thus, a would-be suitor would offer a ring to encircle the “lover’s vein,” and have a direct line to her heart. However, more than just a “ring of love,” this ring also symbolized Roman men placing a “claim” on the woman of their choice, and later Roman betrothal rings were made of iron to portray strength and permanence. They were thought to be the first to engrave rings as well.
From the (Early) Christians
Another notion that the wearing of the ring on the “ring finger” began during early Christian marriages (around the year 860), though the rings themselves began as highly decorated bands that The Church soon decried. In the 13th century, simpler rings were created for Christian wedding ceremonies, to symbolize “a union of two hearts.” The finger choice was made as the priest recited the “binding” that begins, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” With each mention of the Holy Trinity, the priest would take the ring and touch the thumb, the index finger, the middle finger, and then – as he spoke the word, “Amen,” he could place the ring on the next finger – the ring finger – to seal the marriage.
A Purely Practical Reason
If you don’t like either of those reasons, this one might suit you best. An argument can be made that the ring is worn on the left hand, “ring” finger because traditional band material was gold or soft metal, and easily chipped or bruised. As most individuals’ dominant hand is their right, the left is less used, and the third finger (not counting the thumb!) is the second to least used on a daily basis, not counting your pinky. So the “ring finger” might have come about purely as a practical way to protect the ring the most, while wearing it on a daily basis.
Whichever reason you choose, remember that nowadays, you have a wide variety of options to choose from in regards to engagement rings. One of our favorites, as we mentioned before, is a tanzanite and diamond engagement ring. You can find beautiful tanzanite engagement rings on online sites like www.tanzaniteringsHQ.com.