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Brief History of Engagement Rings

Engagement rings have been used for centuries to symbolize love and commitment. Ancient Egyptians, who believed that the ring finger on the left hand contained a vein that went directly to the heart so it's also called as the ' Vein of love'. Today, an engagement ring given by a man to a woman is a sign of their individuality and wholeness in love. Exchanging rings have been practiced in almost all cultures around the world from time immemorial and the shape of the ring-circle symbolizes eternal love and the wholeness of life.

The symbol of wedding and engagement is a ring which is a circle, which has no end and so may be considered endless as the relation and love, is meant to be never-ending. The circle that the ring represents can also be seen as a symbol of unity. The tradition began as argued; probably the first rings weren't made of metal. The caveman might have given a ring made of woven grasses or leather and later it took the form of a cord to tie her hands so she couldn't escape or to indicate the couple's newfound unity. Either way, the engagement ring has evolved rather far; from what was basically grass to a mere ring. What an evolution in the space of engagement rings even though loves hasn't changed over time.

The ancient Greeks often exchanged rings called "betrothal rings," but they indicated -- more friendship rings than engagement rings. During ancient Roman times, a man gave a "truth ring" to a woman as a way of claiming her for his own. After a period of time, Pope Innocent III decreed that all wedding ceremonies required a wedding ring as church was an absolute authority back then. Historians have theories that this decree may have stimulated the subsequent popularity of engagement rings as well.

Renaissance brought in fresh ideas innovation to everything and every field and the engagement rings made of a precious metal showcasing one of more bright jewels --the classic rings first came to light. Historians say the first recorded diamond engagement ring was given by Archduke Maximillian of Hamburg to Mary of Burgundy in the year 1477. The rich and powerful could afford such engagement rings, but like wealth and status itself, they were something to aspire to. With the growth of the middle class from the 18th century to now, rings have become the norm to symbolize engagement and wedding.

While size and shape differ by time period, circumstances and preferences, the engagement ring is a popular way of showing the world that a woman is engaged to be married