Engagement Rings - More Than Just Jewelry
The engagement ring is a symbol and token of commitment, love, and promise. While the gift of rings may have changed over time, the engagement ring will always represent the sacred bond between a couple who are about to marry.
The Greeks were the first to create engagement rings, but they were known as betrothal rings. Unlike modern tradition, these rings were not given before marriage. In fact, sources say, the first well-documented use of a diamond ring to signify engagement was by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria in the Imperial Court of Vienna in 1477 upon his betrothal to Mary of Burgundy.
These engagement rings are placed on the fourth finger of the left hand, commonly known as the “ring finger.” The ancient Greeks believed that the ring finger contained a vein that led directly to the heart. Engagement rings are customarily worn on the left hand ring finger, but the many customs and traditions vary across the world.
With the ring being in the shape of a circle, there must be some sort of symbolism there as well right? Well, circles have no beginning and no end. In the language of love, that can symbolize eternal and infinite love.
These rings are the greatest symbols of love and loyalty today. To enhance the overall experience of receiving one, ItsHot.com has showcased some of the most exclusive and one-of-a-kind engagement rings for you to choose from.
Because the bride will continue to wear the engagement ring with love and pride throughout her life, it needs to be something she will always adore...a ring that can withstand the tests of time, ultimately. This is why buying the perfect engagement ring is no easy task! Traditionally, these rings are diamond rings, but other gemstones can also be used to express your style and individuality.
When picking out an engagement ring, it is important to focus on the following characteristics:
4C's - Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat of the diamond.
- Cut- The cut of a diamond is very important when choosing the right ring. How the diamond is cut not only displays the craftsmanship, but it’s also a determinant of how the diamond will shine and sparkle.
When light shines on a diamond, that light is reflected off the diamond’s different surfaces, which is called facets. The reflections bouncing off the different facets is what gives the diamond that sparkle factor...and who wants a ring with no sparkle factor!
- Clarity- With diamonds, clarity is referring to imperfections or flaws you can see with the naked eye; no microscope needed. These diamond imperfections can block light. Light is what makes diamonds shine and come to life, so you definitely don’t want those imperfections to keep any light from touching your diamond.
- Color- Diamond color is more of a matter of preference and opinion. A certain color may hold sentimental value to you and you’d just prefer to have a diamond in that color. Pure white diamonds just have more of a wow factor. If bling is at the top of your priorities list of diamond characteristics, then white is your go-to diamond color.
- Carat- The bigger the carat, the bigger the bling! Having a larger carat weight, allows for more light to enter the diamond, and turn the sparkle factor up a few notches.
Style - The style of diamond engagement rings are also of great importance. Take note of the styles your lady has worn in the past. Does she like a classic style of engagement ring, which is unpretentious and sophisticated, or is she more fond of trendy rings with colorful diamonds? That decision is up to you, but when making that decision, choose what you think will make her heart flutter.
Metal - After deciding on the diamond, focus on the metal. Yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, and platinum are all metals available to you. Choose what your bride normally wears, because let’s face it, she knows best!
Popular Diamond Shapes
- Round Cut: Round diamonds are a very popular shape of diamond, and often times the most preferred because of its classic look. Visually, it’s the most brilliant because of it’s 360 degree symmetrical shape. With that being said, it also reflects most of the light that enters into it. Round cut diamonds definitely encompass higher levels of brilliance and sparkle. This cut is sure to dazzle the bride-to-be. Browse through our round cut diamonds.
- Princess: Just as the name suggests, it’s fit for a princess. This shape of diamond is the next most popular to the round cut. For a princess cut ring, the setting is usually done in a v-shape, so as to protect the pointed corners of the actual diamond. Be sure you scroll through our gorgeous selection of princess cut engagement rings.
- Cushion: The cushion cut has more of an antique style of cut. These types of rings have larger facets to increase the sparkle factor. Take a look at the cushion cut diamonds we have to offer at ItsHot.com.
- Marquise: This is a diamond with a historical background. The marquise cut diamond is elongated with points at the ends, which was also the inspiration behind the smile of Marquise Pompadour. Our marquise cut diamond rings are sure to put a smile on your bride’s face.
- Emerald: The emerald shape diamond can be cut into a square or a rectangle. It has beveled corners, as well as step-like facets. Check out our mesmerizing selection of emerald cut rings.
- Radiant: Radiant cut diamonds are similar to emerald cut rings in the aspect that they are rectangular and have beveled corners. The aspect that sets this cut apart is that it has different variations of the rectangular shape, as well as having a crushed ice look to it. Feel free to take a look at our radiant cut engagement ring.
- Pear: Pear cut gives the appearance of a teardrop. It actually has characteristics of both the marquise cut and the oval cut. Give your eyes a little eye candy by looking at our pear shaped sapphire engagement ring.
- Oval: The beautiful oval shaped diamond can be thought of as another version of the marquise cut, only with rounded edges. Our two-toned gold oval engagement rings are sure to take your breath away.
- Asscher: This particular cut of diamond was designed in 1902 by the Asscher brothers. What a luxurious family business to have. Browse through our asscher cut wedding and anniversary bands.
In this day and age, the type of proposal is a huge part of the engagement process. So it’s very important that you have an engagement ring that is just as amazing as your proposal. We’ve all seen the different videos of extravagant proposals taking place in a private jet to intimate family proposals. Whichever one is your style, we here at ItsHot.com have the perfect engagement ring to match your proposal heights.
The Old Adage
We’ve all heard the old adage “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” That’s what brides are told they need on their wedding day right? Have you ever thought of where that expression came from or how it started? More importantly, what does it mean?
Well this rhyming saying originated from the Old English rhyme “something olde, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a sixpence in your shoe.” Those items are thought to be good luck objects the bride should have on her wedding day. The sixpence in her shoe is a good luck charm for prosperity...can’t forget that sixpence!
Many brides follow this old adage, but not sticking to it won’t take away from your wedding day either. Don’t go into panic mode thinking that your marriage is doomed if you don’t apply these “somethings” on your wedding day.
These little “somethings” are typically gifts of love, given to you by your mother, grandmother, sisters, or any close family or friends. These love tokens are usually given before the wedding ceremony. Grooms can indulge in this tradition as well. It’s not unusual for a groom to wear his new “blue” cuff links or “borrow” his grandfather’s diamond watch.
A long time ago, having something old on your wedding day stemmed from being a way to keep away the “evil eye,” and prevent any type of harm to children the couple may have in the future. It was said that the “evil eye” is what caused infertility in the bride.
As time passed, the idea of having “something old” on your wedding day blossomed into a happier meaning. Something old represented continuity. Lots of times, mothers or grandmothers of the bride will present the bride with an item that belonged to an older relative and had some type of sentimental meaning to them. These love tokens will sometimes have an antique look to them. Passing that item on to the bride represents the continuity of that item into their marriage.
Something new represents optimism for the future. Think about it, the bride and groom are about to embark on this new journey in their lives, so bringing “something new” into the marriage is very fitting. As a new couple, any and all positive vibes are appreciated!
Something new can also be virtually anything...your wedding dress, jewelry, shoes, or even a brand new car, given to you from the father of the bride! Really and truly, it’s completely up to you as to what you want your “something new” to be and whether or not it’s from yourself or from a loved one.
This portion of the expression represents good luck. It is believed that borrowing something from a happily married friend or family member will bring some of their good luck and fortune to your marriage.
Going back to the old days, this superstition encouraged the bride to borrow undergarments of a female family member or friend who is currently in a happy marriage with healthy children. This is in reference to that “evil eye” and infertility we talked about in “something old.”
The borrowing of undergarments is pretty much saying, “this woman has a happy marriage and healthy kids...wear her undergarments and the same will happen for you.” Today’s bride doesn’t usually take it that far, but they will choose items to borrow like their mother’s diamond earrings.
Carrying or wearing this love token represented love, purity, and fidelity, which essentially, are the three key elements for a solid and happy marriage. “Something blue” was also meant to ward off that “evil eye.” Traditionally, a bride would wear a blue garter under their wedding dress.
Now, as mentioned earlier, all these love tokens are just good luck items that you can have on your wedding day. Just because you don’t “borrow” your mother’s sapphire ring, doesn’t mean your marriage is doomed, but if you’re in the market for any of those love tokens for yourself or someone else, we here at ItsHot.com are here to help you in your selection process.
We provide a great selection of popular Engagement Rings including Diamond Engagement Rings, Platinum Engagement Rings, Halo Engagement Rings, Vintage looking Engagement Rings, Solitaire Engagement Rings, Three Stone Engagement Rings, Wedding Band and Engagement Ring Sets, and Engagement Ring Settings.
Engagement Jewelry History
The Gimmel Ring
Did you know that engagement jewelry has a history behind it? It’s probably not something you think about too often, but don’t you sometimes wonder why we do things the way we do? Especially with engagements. We know about the old adages of the many “somethings” we need on our wedding day, but what about the other half of the jewelry history.
The history of engagement rings date back for centuries, as early as the 1500s. In those days, it wasn’t uncommon for a couple to get engaged, and after the engagement, they would go out and buy gimmel rings.
A gimmel ring is an ring that interlocks with multiple hoops. This allows the ring to fit together to form one ring. An engaged couple would each wear a hoop and use them as wedding rings. If a couple were to come into possession of a trio hoop gimmel ring, then a third person would be a witness to the couple’s exchanging of vows. This person would hold the third hoop until the actual marriage.
This particular part of engagement jewelry history is unique because it’s typically the bride-to-be that receives the engagement ring. In this history, the groom gets a ring too! With both the bride and groom wearing rings, it’s a way to let everyone know that they will be getting married. During the actual wedding ceremony, the groom would remove his half of the gimmel ring and place it on his bride’s finger. This symbolized unity.
Men’s Wedding Band
In those days, it was quite uncommon for a man to wear a wedding band. You read with the gimmel rings how the man would give his half of the ring to his wife... well, a replacement ring was never placed on his finger. Men wearing wedding bands didn’t come into play until the late 19th century, and it was actually part of a marketing campaign.
The goal was to uplift men to symbolize their love and affection towards their bride by wearing a men’s wedding band, just like the brides do for their groom. This campaign was directly targeted towards women. Can you imagine the women back then fussing at their future husbands to wear a wedding band!
The Bride’s Wedding Ring
What’s the first thing people say when they find out that you’ve just been engaged? Nine times out of ten, the first thing people will say is “let me see your ring!”.
All the planning that goes into a wedding is definitely hard work, but when it comes to your engagement ring, that’s where the bride’s pride resides. They’re so proud to show off their ring. The way women look at engagement rings is: if the diamond is really big and puts out major bling, that means he really, really loves you!
You could say that over time, the true symbolism and meaning behind the engagement ring has remained, but also expanded. The size of a diamond doesn’t define how much your fiance loves you, it shows that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you and only you.
So try not to caught up in the hype of “the size of the ring,” but at the same time, if your fiance wants your ring to make a statement of shine and uniqueness, then he has every right to spoil you with the luxurious ring of your dreams.
Some people will incorporate their religious or spiritual commitments into their wedding rings. With these wedding ring traditions on the rise, there have been various ring designs to incorporate it. One of the most popular designs are crosses.
Incorporating your religion or spirituality into your special day doesn’t necessarily have to be with the bride or groom. It can actually be accomplished through your wedding party too. The bride can have her bridesmaids wear cross earrings or the groom can have his groomsmen wear cross pendants. Cross rings are very popular with the men.
Your wedding day is your special day. The traditions of the past and present can certainly play a role in how you want your wedding day to go, but ultimately, that decision is up to the happy couple. Remember, the jewelry that you incorporate into your wedding are keepsakes. The traditional jewelry is a great addition, but there’s also nothing wrong with adding your own style and flare to make your special day just as beautiful as you are.