11 Reasons Why Engagement Rings Are So Important

Engagement rings have become so ingrained in our culture that purchasing one is the next step before marriage for most couples. Many make a show of these rings and even have photoshoots revolving around the ring. So why exactly are engagement rings so important? 

Engagement rings are so important mostly because they act as a symbol of devotion that stems from genuine love. The rings also are used to indicate intent to marry and can be an investment for the recipient. Ultimately, tradition plays the biggest role in why people get engagement rings.

In the rest of this article, I will discuss why engagement rings are so important today; a few might surprise you. So if you want to learn more about how this tradition came to be and why it’s so important today, read on. 

1. The Symbolism 

One of the main reasons engagement rings are so important is because of what they symbolize. Engagement rings date back to the Roman Empire when they were given to a lady as a symbol of love. The tradition has blossomed since then, making the engagement process a vital one in a couple’s love story. 

Engagement rings are meant to symbolize a few different things:

  • Devotion. Engagement rings require a degree of investment and are therefore used to show intent and dedication towards a better half. It helps your significant other to feel like you’re committed and in this relationship for the long haul. 
  • Commitment. This ring says that you want a commitment and you’re making your intentions to marry them known. 
  • Love. An engagement is a symbol of love and unending affection, coupled with the desire to spend a lifetime together. These rings are a great way to surprise a loved one with timeless jewelry they will cherish. 
  • Eternity. By giving someone an engagement ring, you’re pledging your commitment in this lifetime and forever, depending on your beliefs; hence, many engagement rings utilize the infinity symbol. 

Fun fact: Engagement rings are worn on the left-hand ring finger because it’s believed that the vein on the fourth finger ran straight back to the heart. This acted as a sign of pure, true love and an indication that the love shared would last forever. 

Still, wearing engagement rings on this finger and hand is traditional because of this early belief. 

2. It’s a Token of Commitment 

As I briefly mentioned, an engagement ring symbolizes commitment. Not only does the wearer feel loved and secure by receiving such a lovely gift, but others will also know that they are in a committed relationship simply by looking at their ring finger. 

Some people take this token of commitment one step further by designing engagement rings with more symbolism, which is why you see rings showcasing the infinity symbol or a heart. 

One thing that makes these tokens so amazing is how unique they are to each person. You can customize these rings to fit a person’s personality and style, making them the ultimate symbol of love and commitment. 

3. Relentless Marketing 

A less romantic reason engagement rings are so important is because of the world’s jewelry businesses’ relentless marketing. In the mid-1900s, diamond rings became popularized by jewelry giants like De Beers. Their most famous campaign slogan was “A diamond is forever.” 

Until this point in history, many couples opted for more simple rings, forgoing diamonds. These diamond rings weren’t that costly to manufacture, but through crafty marketing, the cost of the diamond skyrocketed. 

After all this marketing, engagement ring sales exploded, leading to the increased population of these diamond rings. Even today, marketing teams relentlessly pelt us with advertisements for engagement rings via:

  • TV commercials
  • Billboards
  • Advertisements

To learn more about how engagement rings rose to popularity, check out the YouTube video below: 

4. To Show Intent of Marriage

The gift of an engagement ring shows the intent to marry that person. This ring signifies that you’re committed to taking the relationship to the next step. Traditionally, wedding planning used to begin once an engagement ring was given.

However, in today’s world, engagements tend to last much longer than they used to. Previously engagements tended to last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Nowadays, many couples opt to stay engaged for many years.  

Still, no matter the wedding ceremony’s time frame, these rings symbolize that marriage is to come. 

5. Acts as an Agreement Between a Couple 

An engagement ring is a generally expensive agreement between the couple that they are both working toward marriage. This agreement is activated by gifting the ring to a significant other and them accepting it. 

The agreement you’re making with an engagement ring includes the following:

  • To eventually become married
  • To love and cherish your partner
  • That your love only belongs to them

How well this agreement is honored between the couple is down to their commitment. The engagement ring symbolizes a mutual plan to live together as husband and wife. However, nothing is set in stone until the marriage license has been issued and the ceremony completed. 

6. They’re a Future Investment 

Because of the cost of an engagement ring and the precious gems and metals used in its construction, these rings are often worth some money down the road. Early on, engagement rings were often sold and used to pay for a woman’s lifestyle should her husband pass away. 

These rings are like an insurance policy. The larger and more expensive the ring, the better the payout. Additionally, some cuts of diamonds are resold better since they are more popular. 

Diamond shapes that tend to hold their value best include:

  • Round diamonds. These diamonds are popular due to their size and ability to reflect light. A round diamond also utilizes more of the diamond which means it can later be turned into a different shape if desired. 
  • Princess. This diamond shape is currently the most popular because of its modern shape. These diamonds are squared with pointed corners and usually set into simple bands. 
  • Oval. This diamond shape is considered timeless and vintage, meaning its popularity will cycle. These rings are often sold at a higher price because the shape gives off a more regal appearance. 

Other factors that affect how good of an investment your engagement ring will be are the accompanying stones, the settings, and the material used. Typically metals like gold and silver retain their value better, especially since they are more costly in the first place. 

7. Acts as a Status Symbol 

Some couples prefer engagement rings for no reason other than being a symbol of wealth and success. An engagement ring is your chance to show off how much money you have or how much your significant other values you. 

That said, not every couple thinks this way. However, many enjoy the status a stunning engagement ring grants them. Some couples purchase large diamonds surrounded by other precious gems and set them into expensive metal. In contrast, others purchase budget-friendly rings they like and are perfectly content with. 

In the early days of engagement rings, the bands symbolized the commitment between two people. These rings were often simple and handcrafted by one of the partners. Since then, they have become much more lavish and a way to show off one’s wealth. 

8. To Serve as a Reminder 

Another reason engagement rings became so important was to mark when an eligible lady has been taken. The ring signified that she was already spoken for and alerted other men to steer clear. 

Even today, rings are used to differentiate single individuals from those who are married. You can generally tell an individual’s relationship status by glancing at their left-hand ring finger. 

Engagement rings also play the all-important role of reminding the owner that she is in a serious relationship and has an obligation toward her future husband. When worn, engagement rings signify commitment, meaning the lady’s relationship must be respected by whoever she interacts with. 

9. To Be a Family Heirloom 

Engagement rings make lovely family keepsakes, and many rings get passed down for generations. In some families, rings are passed down and used for multiple engagements throughout the years. Some rings are a more timeless design and work well for this kind of practice. 

However, some have the settings redone and reuse the gems to create a more modern ring with sentimental value. Diamonds are excellent at enduring time and can easily be reset. 

In other families, the ring is a beautiful reminder of their relatives’ love and is kept somewhere safe until it’s passed down again. Additionally, some antique engagement rings are worth a lot of money. 

10. As an Insurance Policy 

In olden times women or their families often received a dowry signifying a man’s intent to marry her. Additionally, this dowry showcased to the family the man’s ability to provide financially and meet all of her needs. Should the engagement be called off, the woman would have something to show for the time spent courting. 

Even today, an engagement ring is considered a gift. So if either party breaks off an engagement, it’s not required that the ring be returned. However, returning the engagement ring is considered polite, especially if you were the one to break off the commitment. 

It’s also worth noting that most expensive rings can be insured should they be stolen or something terrible happens. 

11. Tradition 

Lastly, the practice of proposing through engagement rings is mostly due to tradition and what we’ve been exposed to in our different cultures. Because everyone has been giving and receiving engagement rings as a promise of marriage for so long, it’s ingrained in society. So at this point, it’s strange to forgo an engagement ring in the first place.

As I previously stated, this odd tradition dates back to the Romans and can be seen in a variety of cultures. Many of which put their spin on these unique gifts. One thing is for sure, though, giving a ring has tremendous significance for couples looking to tie the knot and live as one. 

Of course, the tradition has evolved over the years, and the first traceable diamond engagement ring didn’t occur until 1477. The ring was commissioned by an archduke and helped spur the diamond engagement ring into popularity amongst European royals and socialites. 

FAQs About Engagement Rings 

How Much Should Be Spent on an Engagement Ring? 

The amount of money you should spend on an engagement ring should come down to personal preferences. If your budget allows, you can splash on exotic, rare jewelry to make your better half feel special. However, you can also find several affordable engagement rings if looking for a pocket-friendly solution. 

The idea behind an engagement ring is to ask for your loved one’s hand in marriage, meaning there is no ‘right’ amount to spend on a ring. You should, however, do your best to get something quality that’ll stand the test of time. 

Can a Couple Be Engaged Without a Ring?

Even though engagement rings have a lot of symbolism and significance in many cultures, they aren’t required. 

A couple can be engaged without a ring, and many couples nowadays are. The ring is simply a symbol of commitment and more of a traditional gesture nowadays. Some couples opt for different types of jewelry, while others don’t want anything other than the actual commitment to marry. 

The importance of an engagement ring hinges on the couple’s beliefs and feelings. This tradition will hold a lot of emotional and spiritual significance for some. For others, it’s a silly tradition, and they’d rather spend the money on something important. 

Do Guys Wear a Ring if They Are Engaged?

The world is rapidly changing, and traditions are evolving. So even though women historically wore most engagement rings, is it essential for men to wear one? 

Guys do occasionally wear rings if they are engaged. However, men wearing engagement rings is a more recent event, though some men have worn them throughout history. Men typically only wear an engagement ring if asked by their partner or if they want to. 

Ultimately, it’s up to the partners if both parties will wear engagement rings. While men wearing the rings isn’t traditional, it recently became popular, and several male celebrities have been sporting engagement rings. 

Leave a Comment