The story of engagement ring dates from long back. It is said that the first story of wearing ring in left ring finger came from Egypt. Egyptians believed that the veins in the ring finger of our left hand are directly connected to one’s heart- Vein Amoris or the ‘vein of love’.
This story found a lot of leverage in the world outside as the story of romance was popularised as the physical bonding of two souls rendering heart to heart connection. However, modern day understanding of biology disregards such an idea and proves that all fingers are connected to the heart.
This story however runs as a phantom concept still- The power of solidifying romance!
The dilemma remains the same- Which finger to wear engagement ring?
Increasing popularity of Engagement rings
There are different ideations on marriage all over the world. In Western Culture, it became a norm that the man shall propose marriage to the lady by presenting a ring to her. The increased popularity of expensive engagement rings directly correlates to human sexuality and the women’s marriage prospects.
The question of love has no answer, it has a step ahead in the name of marriage and an engagement ring is one sort of a signature indication of that silently shouts “I am hitched!”.
Engagement is a truly desired event before any marriage
Marriage, a word that condiments so many different aspects of our life. A necessary tandem that has become an integral part of our lives. Marriage is an institution created to regard companionship, love and trust. There are so many stages to a marriage, there is knowing, falling, engaging and acquiring!
In all the classic lists of events, engagement seeks one of the top benches!
When you learn that your friend has gotten engaged, how high do you jump? Well, that is how it goes. Marriage is a very big deal all over the world, engagement is the beginning of such a lovely companionship everybody is crazy about. It has to be special and coefficient for both the bride and the groom.
Why engagement ring on ring finger?
The very concept of Engagement rings began on papers and was popularised by Henry Swinburne in his “A treatise of Spousals or Matrimonial Contracts (1686) from an ancient Roman book called ‘Attic Nights’ by Aulus Gellies. The concept of presenting a ring to the bride was originally a prerequisite of the bride price custom.
Later in the Middle Ages, the ring was presented as pledge. A bride pledged her goodwill and fidelity to her husband in all mights. The concept curled after the discovery of diamonds in 1866 and popularised in the 1867.
The mines were formalised in Africa and diamond became the most precious stone out there which was monopolised by the elite culture. For a long time nobility and the aristocracy had control over the diamond reserves until the corporate structure claimed it to raise marketing trends.
Tiffany & Co. created the benchmark in Diamond ring collections. They came up with their signature ‘Solitaire Prong Setting’ that sees dream ring catalogue till date. Breakfast at Tiffany’s being one of the most acclaimed movies of all times!
The major marketing strategy of popularising expensive rings began with summing up “provide one month of your salary equivalence for an engagement ring” which moved on to “Two months income” until it became a must need richness.
Diamond a Natural choice for Engagement rings
Diamond is associated with the biggest event of a person’s life, an event of his/her choice (as said)- Marriage. A big gift for the biggest event.
For this ideal match between diamond and marriage, legal ownership of the ring retained with the man in early times. Engagement rings now are part of ‘conditional gifts’ which delude the prospect of asking back of the ring in broken situations.
Engagement Ring Finger
The Tradition of Presenting Ring as a symbol of Love is popular all over the world now. This custom of ring presenting is one of those universal concepts of indication of engagement.
In western Cultures, the engagement ring is presented in the left hand (running from the Egyptian love vein concept) of the to-be bride. The engagement ring is worn on the left hand until there is the marriage ring that takes over the spot.
Anglo Saxon communities wear it on the left hand. Certain African tribes wear a neck-piece as an indication of marriage.
Engagement Rings culture in India
The ring culture has taken over India as well, there is a compulsory ring ceremony or ‘sagaai’ in every wedding. It is more embedded as a culture mark than it is as a borrowed cultural mark.
In Indian Culture, there are different ways to show that you are married, the most common being Mangalsutra in North India, bichiya (toe-rings) in Eastern states of India. In West Bengal, brides get to wear a iron bangle bracelet when they get married. It is supposed to keep away bad omens from the married life.
Ring Ceremony celebration in India is an outset of public announcement of marriage. The customary gifts pop from both sides of the engagement party includes rings for both bride bride and groom.
The ring that is presented is often a symbol of love from both sides of family, so in India the ceremony does not confine to the love of the couple only. It is also a gift and blessing from both irrespective families. Wear it on right, that makes it right!
The coming of the culture of engagement diamond rings is widely accepted in India now, it is a beautification of the marriage ritual process. Anything that acquires relevance in the structure of matrimony is considered important and consequential in our Hindu Culture.
An engagement is the notion that denotes an internal soulful connection between to people. It is a celebration of love, togetherness and a decision to partner in all joys and sorrows in life. These customs have a very important place in our culture and there is reason of emotional connect behind this.
Engagement ring finger for female in India
In India however, left hand is considered ‘ashudha’ or unclean and sinister. Nothing holy and sacramental could be endorsed through the left hand and so the ring is presented in the right hand of the woman.
Engagement ring finger for male in India
The man, however wears it on the right. The toil behind this concept is (vaguely, not sociologically proved) that the man of the house usually goes out and works in not so homely environments and they can easily handle the sinister environs.
As the case for is for the woman, she is the epitome of goddess Laxmi in her home, she is pure and serene and nothing unclean should touch her or have an impact on her.
Types of Engagement Rings
There are many types of engagement rings, the most popular being-
- Solitaire Prong Setting Rings: which has one diamond in the middle held by 6 hands prongs.
- Trinity Rings that denote the past, present and future of the couple.
- Trio Ring Set that contains of the men’s ring, women’s engagement ring and women’s marriage ring.
The problem of stacking
Now, women are wearing so many rings that it is presenting a problem of stacking for women. There are easy solutions for this:
- Weld your engagement and wedding rings into one.
- Let go of the engagement ring
- Wear them in both hands, left for wedding and right for engagement (if you aren’t a follower of the Hindu tradition, if you are make it the other way round)
Be traditional or make your own tradition!
It is only a recommended prerequisite of following the customs made prior to our existence even. It is not mandatory to follow these norms and customs, they made sense in earlier times when much was not discovered.
Today, you have a sense of freedom in the institution of marriage. Why not choose your own finger for that shine?
The Ring finger gets its name because of the immensely romantic story that Egyptians take pride at. It doesn’t really matter which finger you wear it on, what matters is the relevance that it holds in your and your spouse’s life. You guys are in for the best, with our best!