Tag: Traditions

For as long as people can remember, the diamond engagement ring has been a symbol of love and commitment. Whether a classic solitaire or an antique cut, the giving of this precious gem from the depths of the earth is the most widely accepted symbol of being engaged. But have you ever thought about the origins of this tradition? And why is it that diamonds are the enduring gemstone of choice for an engagement ring? In this article, we dive into the history of the diamond ring and try to answer these questions.

Where did it all begin?

We have the ancient Egyptians to thank for the earliest known exchanging of wedding rings. Using materials such as hemp or reeds, the ancient Egyptians would fashion an item in the shape of a small circle – an endless ring – to signify eternal love.

The circle was the symbol of eternity, with no beginning or end, not only to the Egyptians, but many other ancient cultures. The hole in the center of the ring also had significance. It wasn’t just considered a space, but rather a gateway, or door, leading to things and events both known and unknown. To give a woman a ring signifies never-ending and immortal love.

The materials these rings were made of didn’t last very long and soon were substituted with rings made of leather, bone or ivory. The more expensive the material, the more love shown to the receiver; the value of the ring also demonstrated the wealth of the giver.

The Roman’s also eventually adopted this tradition but with their own twist. Rather than offering a ring to a woman as a symbol of love, they awarded them as a symbol of ownership. Roman men would “claim” their woman with the giving of a ring. Roman betrothal rings were later made of iron and called “Anulus Pronubus.” They symbolized strength and permanence. It is also said that the Romans were the first to engrave their rings.

Why are rings worn on the 4th finger of the left hand?

Wedding rings through different stages in history have been worn on different fingers, including the thumb, and on both the left and right hands. According to  a tradition believed to have been derived from the Romans, the wedding ring is worn on the left hand ring finger because there was thought to be a vein in the finger, referred to as the ‘Vena Amoris’ or the ‘Vein of Love’ said to be directly connected to the heart. However, scientists have shown this is false. Despite this, this myth remains regarded by many (hopeless romantics) as the number one reason rings are worn on the fourth finger.

Another theory thought to be behind the ring being placed on the left hand by Christians seems a little more plausible. Early Christian marriages had a ritual to wear the wedding ring in the third finger. As the priest recited during the binding ,”In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”, he would take the ring and touch the thumb, the index finger, and the middle finger; then, while uttering “Amen”, he would place the ring on the ring finger, which sealed the marriage.

A more practically based theory is that the soft metal (traditionally gold for wedding rings) is less worn or injured on the finger of the left hand, due to most of the world being right-handed.  Further, the fourth finger on the left hand is probably the second to the least used finger on a person’s hands outside of pinkies.  Pinkies being small, making a small ring with little surface area to decorate, perhaps motivated people to then place it on the next least used finger, namely the fourth finger on the left hand, which is roughly the size of the other fingers.

So now that we’ve covered the band, why do we offer diamonds?

It was in fact a brilliant marketing campaign in the 1930s. The famous mining company De Beers opened up digs in Africa and uncovered a vast quantity of previously undiscovered diamonds. This sudden surge in availability shattered the elusiveness and exclusivity of the diamond industry. In an effort to reverse their declining sales, De Beers had to do something to change people’s perceptions, once and for all.

Most remarkably, De Beers manipulated not just supply but demand. In 1938, amid the ravages of the Depression and the rumblings of war, Harry Oppenheimer, the De Beers founder’s son, recruited the New York–based ad agency N.W. Ayer to burnish the image of diamonds in the United States, where the practice of giving diamond engagement rings had been unevenly gaining traction for years, but where the diamonds sold were increasingly small and low-quality.

Meanwhile, the price of diamonds was falling around the world. The folks at Ayer set out to persuade young men that diamonds (and only diamonds) were synonymous with romance, and that the measure of a man’s love (and even his personal and professional success) was directly proportional to the size and quality of the diamond he purchased. Young women, in turn, had to be convinced that courtship concluded, invariably, in a diamond. The results of the marketing were undeniable – an increase of 50% in the diamond sales sector in just three years. 

Does the expression ‘A diamond is forever’ ring a bell? The first time it was publicly introduced was in 1947 during another marketing campaign by De Beers, which boosted their sales even further.

While the origins of diamond engagement rings are fascinating, what’s undeniable is their continuing appeal today. Whether it’s because of a diamond’s durability, sparkle or simply its beauty, there will unlikely be anything that matches its symbolic value.

Ready to declare your love to your soulmate? Visit Hofland Diamonds Inc. where you can find modern and antique diamond rings of all colors, shapes and sizes.

A wedding is a beautiful ceremony which celebrates the union of two people who have decided to commit to each other for the rest of their lives. While browsing through the internet, you will come across a lot of wedding traditions as each culture comes with its own customs. People marry according to their religious beliefs and superstitions as well.

Some cultures also have traditions which prove to be lucky for the couple. If you want your wedding life to be successful, you can incorporate these traditions into your own big day. Even the most loving couple can use a little luck, isn’t it?

  • The date matters in China

In China, picking the date is an important wedding ritual as this sets the stage for everything that will follow. Picking the perfect date is a guarantee that the wedding will be successful. If you pick the wrong date, nothing can help the couple from getting separated. While picking a wedding date, the couples always consult a Chinese monk, fortune teller or Chinese calendar to make sure that the wedding day falls on an auspicious day. It is important to know about the dates to avoid or seasons to stay away from. It is largely determined by the bride’s birthday. It is believed that the right wedding date brings good luck and helps in the success of the marriage.

  • Red is lucky for a Vietnamese bride

If you go to Vietnam to attend a wedding and witness the bride wearing a red dress, do not be alarmed! Vietnamese people consider the red color to be a sign of good luck. That is why it is the perfect color for attire, décor as well as flowers in most Vietnamese wedding. The groom’s family will even travel to the bride’s home carrying wine, fruits, cake all wrapped in red wrapping paper and placed on red platters.

  • Rainy wedding day is lucky in India

Indian weddings are always considered being joyful, colorful and lucky. In India, if it is raining on your wedding it is considered as a little bit of luck being poured on them. According to Hindu tradition, rain is considered being the blessings of Gods. It is also considered that the darker the henna on the bride’s hands, the more luck she will have. Rain or sunny, guests give their blessing to the couple by throwing fragrant rose petals and other flowers on the newlyweds.

  • Grab your horseshoes in Ireland

When it comes to wedding luck, Irish people leave no stone unturned. It is important to incorporate a small horseshoe into the ceremony for good luck. You may find it pinned to her wedding dress or in the bouquet that she will be holding. Make sure that the “U” shape is always faced upwards, that way it keeps all the luck in.

  • Be prepared to have a red mark after getting married in Egypt

Egypt is the birthplace of marriages but thankfully one of its traditions is not followed around the globe. In Egypt, it is considered lucky if the bride is pinched by every single female wedding guest who is attending the ceremony.

  • Spider is lucky in England

If you suffer from arachnophobia, you have to choose between a bad married life or the single life. Good luck is measured by spiders. If you find a spider crawling on the bride’s wedding dress, the couple’s wedding life will be lucky. Make sure that you leave the pranksters away from your wedding.

  • Ribbons are the secrets of Mexican brides

It is no secret that Mexican weddings are deeply religious and brides always wear white in order to ensure that good luck is bestowed upon the union. However, it is unknown to some that Mexican brides sew three ribbons into their lingerie for good luck and wear them secretly on their wedding day. The ribbons which are red, blue and yellow represent passion, financial stability, and abundance of sustenance. No one is allowed to see the ribbons until the bride shows them to her groom when they are alone after the ceremony.

  • Thai couples are literally bound together

Even though, there is no “I solemnly swear” in Thai weddings, luck still manages to find its way to their wedding. Good luck is ensured through many ways starting with fixing the wedding date. It all starts with a lucky day and time of the wedding as per the astrologers. On the same day, the couples are blessed by monks provided that the couple makes donations. After the ceremony, the guests tie sai sin on the couple’s wrist which is meant to stay for 3 days. If they remove it, it will only bring them years of bad luck.

  • Sweets for the Italian bride

The night before the wedding ceremony, the Italian bride wears a green dress and does not see the groom until the next morning. She has to spend these hours with her parents. You will gift a gift called confetti bomboniera if you ever attended an Italian wedding.

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