History of Engagement Rings
Engagement rings have always been a symbol of a loving bond and even historically, have had a place in our society. The earliest engagement rings were often created out of thread or rope. In Roman times, iron rings were used to indicate the intent to marry and later on, rings were made out of precious metals.
In the western world, it is a custom to wear the engagement ring on the left hand ring finger. In other parts of the world, this varies considerably. In Ukraine, it is common for the engagement ring to be worn on the right hand while in Germany, the left ring finger is used while engaged but moved to the right hand after marriage. In Poland, my hometown, both the engagement ring and wedding and worn on the right hand. Today however, these practices vary.
The tradition of wearing engagement rings on the left ring finger is quite appropriate. In ancient Egyptian myth, the left hand represented the left side of the body connected to the heart, which sits slightly left of the body. Of all the fingers, this is also the only one which contains a special vein, known as the vena amoris or love vein, running directly to the heart.
The Royal Engagement Ring
The Royal ring was designed for Princess Diana originally. When Prince Charles proposed, he didn't have a ring to give her but instead wanted to give her time to think about how her life would change as a result of marriage.
Eager to put on a ring on her finger, Diana decided to choose one from the Royal Jewelers selection. Most of the rings in the royal family had been either handed down as heirlooms or specially designed. This was quite a break from tradition and a bit of a controversy began to stir in the eyes of the public. Dianas wishes also meant that the public knew the value of the ring- £28,000 at that time.
Future Royal Couple - Kate & William
The 18 carat blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds set in 18 carat white gold was loved by all who saw it and copied for its design even today.
The latest royal ring in the long line of extravagant engagements rings is Kate's. The late Diana's ring apparently fit so perfectly, that no alterations or sizing was needed. As Prince William himself said, it was meant to be and a way to keep his mother involved in their future life plans.
The wedding ring is yet to come, April 29 2011 at Westminster Abbey, that is. We shall see what the wedding ring will look like, but one thing is almost certain- the ring will be formed out of 80 year old pure Clogau Welsh Gold, used for generations of Royal Wedding rings.
We can't wait!