Engagement rings

Did You Know? Interesting Engagement Ring Traditions From Around the World

We’re all familiar with how proposals and getting engaged works in the UK. Traditionally a diamond or gemstone ring is presented to a loved one, down on one knee and the important question along with some heartfelt words are said. The setting can be anywhere, from within the comfort of your own home, to a lavish restaurant, a stunning beach with a sunset backdrop, or even the exact spot where you both met.

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But when it comes to how engagements work across the globe, how familiar would you say you are with foreign traditions? We’ve compiled a variety of different customs together for you to discover.

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Unlike in England, France and Canada, brides-to-be in Russia, Germany, Norway and India where their engagement rings on their right hands instead of their left.

In Chile, both men and women receive engagement rings, which they wear on their right hands. Once they’re married, they move them to their left hands.

Many couples in Argentina only exchange rings when they get engaged, and not again at the wedding ceremony.

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Traditionally in Hindu cultures, toe rings known as ‘bichiya’ are worn instead of finger rings. Though many women will wear a Western-style engagement ring as well.

Decorative silver rings with semi-precious stones or natural materials, such as turquoise and red coral, are opted for by Native American tribes living in North America.

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Whilst many people believe that ‘the bigger the diamond, the better’ when it comes to engagement rings, women in France tend to prefer semi-precious, coloured stones.

In place of a stone-set ring, couples in Nordic countries like Sweden, will exchange engagement rings in the form of plain silver or gold bands.

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Symbolic of their culture, many couples in Ireland will opt for a ‘Claddagh-style’ engagement ring (a heart held by two hands and topped with a crown). However because the style is worn for other reasons, it must be worn on the left hand with the crown pointing toward you to symbolise engagement. Once married, the crown is turned away from you.

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In West Bengal, India, women are given iron bangle bracelets instead of engagement rings.

Though the tradition of exchanging rings is growing in popularity in China, it is not originally part of their culture – money and other goods are still exchanged instead.

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Known for wearing ornate beadings around their neck, certain colours indicate engagement for the Samburu warriors in Northern Kenya.

It just goes to show how many different traditions there are across the world, and how other countries follow and adapt to new social trends too.

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If you’re considering getting engaged though, and want to stick to tradition, we’ve got a whole array of stunning diamond engagement rings to view in our Brown & Newirth bridal boutique in store. As well as a captivating range of coloured gemstones in store too – why not pop in and cast your eyes over our full selection!

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