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Different Types of Engagement & Wedding Rings Around the World

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend… in certain parts of the world. Believe it or not, but diamond engagement rings aren’t always used as a symbol of upcoming nuptials. There are actually many cultures all over the world that use different types of engagement and wedding rings. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Diamond rings

Diamond rings are the most widespread symbol for engagements, especially in Europe and the Western culture. You would be surprised to hear that diamond engagement rings are actually a recent innovation. Even though engagement rings have been around for centuries, diamond engagement rings became popular and common in the 1930s. Of course, the diamond industry had something to do with that. Until the 1870s, diamonds were seen as a rarity and only the richest of the rich people bought them. That all changed when African diamond mines were discovered in the 1870s. The De Beers Company was the sole owner of these mines, and they ensured that the demand of diamonds stayed high, even through the Great Depression. Their aggressive marketing campaign (“A Diamond is Forever”) led to the idea that a diamond is the ultimate symbol of love, and the rest is history.

Diamond Engagement rings

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Toe rings

In the Hindu culture, women don’t wear their engagement rings on their fingers. Rather, they don their engagement rings – known as bichhiyas – on their toes. They do this because they believe that wearing a bichhiya on the second toe of both feet will help regularize their menstrual cycles, therefore increasing their chances of conceiving children. Also, the second toe has a particular nerve that connects to the uterus and passes through the heart.

Toe Rings

Kada bangles

In West Bengal, women don’t wear diamond rings or toe rings to signify their marriage. Rather, it is customary for them to be given iron bangle bracelets, often plated in gold or silver.

Kada Bangles

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In Ireland, the Claddagh can be worn as an engagement ring, wedding ring, or simply a ring that symbolizes love. If you wear your Claddagh ring on your left hand ring finger with the heart facing outward, that means you’re engaged. Once you get married, you’re supposed to start wearing your Claddagh ring with the heart facing inward toward the body (still on your left ring finger).

Claddagh Ring

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Engraved rings

Engraved rings are popular in Hawaii. When a couple gets married, they wear special bands with the spouse’s name engraved into them. The letters are usually done in an elaborate, antique-looking font, and they’re either darkened or blended into the metal ring.

Gold bands

In the Nordic and Scandinavian tradition, both men and women are considered equals when it comes to engagement rings. Once a couple decides to get married, the man and woman will both exchange and wear engagement rings, which are usually simple gold bands. The engagement rings have to be worn on the right hand ring finger until the wedding day. On the wedding day, they have to move their rings to their left hand ring fingers. Sometimes the man will give his new wife a small diamond ring the morning after the wedding.

If you’re not too crazy about diamond rings, there are many different alternatives for you to consider! There are many different types of engagement and wedding rings around the world; just choose the type you fancy the most. The world is your oyster!

About the Author

This is an article by Lizzie Wale, freelance writer and part-time blogger. During daytime she also works for Higher Click and Macy’s. She loves everything about fashion and weddings.

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  • Diamond Engagement Rings February 3, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing wonderful information with us…its really nice to know about such wonderful designs…its really an pleasure to post our view relates to this.

  • andrea March 26, 2014 at 1:20 pm


    lovely to see there is more to the engagement ring than a solitaire,…

    it’s quite interesting that it might have started out as a nose ring,..apparently the tradition of giving a ring for marriage engagement originated from Judaism that was originally a golden nose ring


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