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The first person to give an engagement ring is the Archduke Maximilian who offered a diamond ring to his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy. An Engagement ring is one of the rings worn by married people. It is used to indicate that the wearer is no more single but either engaged or married. It is very common in Western cultures especially in the United Kingdom and North America. It is usually worn by ladies only in these most cultures although, in some cultures, it is worn by both men and women. It is presented to a woman by a man as a betrothal gift to ask for her hand in marriage. Her accepting to wear it represents her commitment and agreement to a future marriage. The ring is bought by the man but it can be a joint contribution by the couple.
Engagement rings are customarily worn on the left hand ring finger in most cultures. This could be because of the Egyptian myth that believes this finger has a special vein called vena amoris, the vein of "love that goes straight to the heart or because of the fact that the heart is on the left side of the body. However, in Poland and Ukraine it is worn on the right hand. Also in Germany, the ring stays on the left hand all through the engagement period but it is removed and put on the right hand after the wedding. Engagement ring is worn together with the wedding ring in most cultures.
Diamond: The word diamond came from The Greek "adamant" which means steadfast or invincible. Diamonds were believed to be invincible, indestructible, and exceedingly strong. Diamond ring is the most popular and the most expensive type of ring. This could be because of its shine and lust and the fact that it is supposed to last forever. It is considered the best gift for a loved one. It comes in pure diamond or diamond stimulants like cubic zirconia and moissanite. There are also yellow diamond and pink diamond engagement rings which are for some reason recently in high demand, these days. You can find it in different shapes and cut: round, pear, oval etc
Gemstone: Gems and stones are generally believed to have a great relation to luck and health. Gem stones also make fine engagement rings. This ring is the most radiant ring that can show a man’s affection when he can not afford a diamond ring. Gem in a ring gives it a shiny different and unique look. It is available in every color from the palest of blue to the deepest pink.
Antique: Antique rings are also known as Vintage and Estate engagement rings. This is one of the alternatives to buying a brand new engagement ring. Most people believe it to be the best alternative to diamond rings . These are precious and are very popular because they have a long rich history.
Gold: Gold rings are available in white, pink or yellow. These rings are very traditional and usually designed in special ways. They can be tailored to the bride’s particular wishes. It comes in different polishes, e.g. sandal, copper, mat, radium coated, or tri-coloured gold.
Silver: Silver, though still the most popular choice when it comes to jewellery is not so popular when it comes to engagement rings. Silver rings come in different styles, designs, textures and finishes. From highly polished, to hammered, etched or engraved, the choice is endless. Oxidised silver is also very popular for that more gothic look and a firm favourite with the Rockers and Heavy Metal fans.
Platinum: Platinum ring is also getting popular these days because of its white brilliant colour and resistance to acids. It is the best choice for people that react to metal, gold or silver. It has been used in jewellery since only 19th century so it is very recent.
Designer ring: This can be gold, silver, platinum or diamond. It is any customized, individually designed piece rather than the mass-produced rings from a single pattern. It is the most expensive because of its uniqueness and allure. The most well known brands are Tiffany, Harry Winston, Tacori, and Verragio.