Viktoriya Sus

·Smith College, BA in History and Economics

·Parsons School of Design - The New School, Associate Degree in Fashion Merchandising

·Assistant Buyer for a high-end jewelry retailer (2008-2012)

·Sales Manager for a luxury jewelry brand (2012-2014)

·VP of Sales and Buyer for various companies in the jewelry industry, specializing in precious jewelry (2015 - present)

·Regular Contributor, White Victoria Fashion and Lifestyle Blog (2019-present)

·Excellent communication and writing abilities, with a keen eye for fashion and lifestyle trends

"Woody Allen once said, 'There are three rings involved with marriage. The engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering.'" If you've been wondering what the difference is between an engagement ring and a wedding or can't decide which of them to buy, we've got your back. In this article, we will provide you with a guide to wedding and engagement rings, their differences, and so on.

engagement ring vs wedding ring

Let's get started!

What is an Engagement Ring?

engagement ring vs wedding ring

Engagement rings are more than just a piece of jewelry — they denote the commitment of a lifetime together and will be worn on the left hand until the wedding day when the bride will then place it near the wedding ring. The engagement ring will constantly remind the couple and others that a wedding is imminent.

Anthropologists can trace engagement rings from ancient Rome, where a man gifts his bride-to-be two rings — one molded with iron for indoor use and another with gold for outdoor use. Historians think this culture evolved from a Roman practice in which women wore rings tied to little keys to indicate their husbands' ownership.

engagement ring vs wedding ring

However, engagement rings were not traditionally necessary until 850, when Pope Nicholas I officially declared that the engagement ring symbolized a man's wish to marry, with gold being the most preferred metal used to mold engagement rings.

The meaning and symbolism behind engagement rings have constantly evolved as time went by, from ancient times until today. In ancient times, people assumed that the engagement ring finger had a direct pathway to the heart, so the husband placed the ring on the left hand of his bride-to-be. The heart's side - is a symbol of everlasting love and enduring relationship.

engagement ring vs wedding ring

Whereas in the middle ages, engagement rings were given to women strictly as a promise for marriage — this gesture was so profound that women were banned from wearing rings for any other reasons. Today, however, an engagement ring is an essential component of the formal announcement of a wedding. 

Engagement rings exist in many styles, from traditional designs that fully highlight the center gemstone(usually diamond) to complex designs that involve adorned bands or embellished settings. They can also feature gemstones, like Mary of Burgundy's diamond engagement ring that the Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed. Or, Beyonce's diamond ring, which featured an 18-carat center diamond set on a split shank.

What is a wedding ring?

engagement ring vs wedding ring

The history of wedding rings dates way back, as most people might expect — to the cradle of modern civilization, Egypt. Over the years, archeologists have discovered scrolls with evidence proving the ancient Egyptians used wedding rings as far back as 4000 BC. The carvings on these scrolls portray newlyweds exchanging braided rings made of hemp or reeds. However, loops of hemp and reeds are delicate materials and are subsequently swapped by the couples for more durable materials like leather, bone, or ivory. Usually, the more expensive the material, the more love and devotion are demonstrated.

engagement ring vs wedding ring

In the years to come, wedding rings became a ring exclusively won by women in numerous cultures. This was also the case in western world war 1 started. Many married soldiers wore their wedding rings as a sign of devotion and a way to remember their spouses while serving worldwide during the war. During the Korean War and the subsequent Vietnamese war, the custom remained. And before you knew it, Wedding ring sets grew increasingly popular among male civilians due to this.

A wedding ring's significance and meaning are inextricably linked to the symbolism of its shape—a circle. Throughout history, circles have been utilized as a metaphor for fullness, wholeness, perfection, the self, infinity, eternity, and timelessness. Wedding rings also double as a status symbol in the community, beckoning your devotion to someone through the law, tradition, or religion to the public. The main point is that wedding rings speak for themselves.

What are the differences between engagement vs. wedding rings?

engagement ring vs wedding ring

The critical difference between wedding and engagement rings is that the engagement ring is given as a promise of marriage, while the wedding ring is given on the wedding day. After that, both rings fulfill the same function — representing the couple's intimacy and devotion to each other. However, they're other minor differences, such as:

Design or Styles

engagement ring vs wedding ring

Engagement rings are generally more opulent and are typically adorned with diamonds or other precious stones. On the other hand, wedding rings are much smaller, bland, and have more straightforward designs.

Time of giving

engagement ring vs wedding ring

The rings differ not only in appearance but also in timing. At the proposal, engagement rings are presented. At the same time, the Wedding rings are exchanged during the wedding ceremony when the bride and groom exchange vows. Furthermore, both the bride and husband are traditionally given wedding rings. While it has yet to be the standard, trade engagement rings are becoming increasingly regular.

Occasions to wear

engagement ring vs wedding ring

You should wear your engagement ring as soon as you get engaged, but take care to remove it before doing tasks that could damage it, such as cleaning, cooking, or working with your hands. You can wear the ring with your wedding band as soon as you're married.

Can any ring be an engagement & wedding ring?

engagement ring vs wedding ring

This simple answer is yes; this is another situation with no clear guidelines. The choice to go big and buy a diamond ring or go with a more subtle choice is entirely up to you.

Although diamond rings are still the most popular engagement ring, golden rings are popular for wedding days. Nowadays, brides may choose from many stone types, cuts, and hues. Gems like sapphire, emerald, ruby, aquamarine, and topaz have been popular 

as more vivid center stones.

engagement ring vs wedding ring

You may browse for a more subtle look if your tastes are more basic. Jewelers, for example, often provide romantic bands that may be worn as engagement rings and available in various styles or with carefully fitted stones or little gems.

Do you need both an engagement & wedding ring?

engagement ring vs wedding ring

Nope. The decision depends on your personal preference. You can stay faithful to tradition or go your own way, selecting the option that best matches your preference. 

The traditional way involves wearing both rings on the fourth digit of the left hand. This is an everlasting combo — typically a magnificent gemstone engagement ring next to a shiny and gorgeous wedding ring. On the other hand, most ladies prefer to wear just one of them. You must follow your mind and be 100% confident about your choice.

Choosing just one ring also helps your budget. You and your significant other may save money with just one purchase. You could even use the money you saved to purchase a more stunning and exorbitant engagement ring. 

How to wear engagement &. Wedding rings?

engagement ring vs wedding ring

Typically, you're supposed to wear your engagement and wedding rings together on the fourth digit of your left hand. Also, tradition demands that once married, you wear your wedding band first since it is closest to your heart, followed by your engagement ring. However, some ladies wear the rings on different hands, particularly if they're very different rings that they can't wear on one finger together.

Popular engagement & wedding ring styles

Popular Engagement Ring Style

Like any other fashion accessory, engagement ring designs come and go. These are some of the popular styles in 2022.

Pave diamond engagement ring

engagement ring vs wedding ring

A pave setting's sparkling finish adds additional shine to any ring, and micro-pave types are particularly fashionable this year because of their tenderness and uniqueness. 

Pearl engagement rings

engagement ring vs wedding ring

In addition to being incredibly beautiful, pearl engagement rings also have a unique significance. Pearls represent knowledge, honesty, and loyalty, all of which are essential in your connection with your spouse.

Two-stone engagement rings

engagement ring vs wedding ring

Two-stone engagement rings include smaller diamonds set as accents rather than a large center stone.

Fancy-cut diamond engagement rings.

engagement ring vs wedding ring

Any diamond shape other than a round brilliant is considered a fancy-cut diamond.

Rose-cut diamond engagement rings.

engagement ring vs wedding ring

Rose-cut diamond engagement rings, which gained popularity in the 1500s, feature a flat bottom and a domed top to mimic a rosebud.

Popular wedding ring styles

When trying to decide on your perfect wedding ring, below are some styles to take into account:

Eternity Rings

engagement ring vs wedding ring

Eternity rings, sometimes called infinity rings, are a special kind of ring that features a uniform size of diamond all through the ring to represent infinity.

Pave diamond rings

engagement ring vs wedding ring

If you want to maximize the brightness and shine of your wedding set, a pavé diamond ring could be for you. They're studded with exquisite pavé diamonds placed into the ring's metal — and are often seen as an excellent complement to a cushion cut solitaire with a pavé halo setting.

Modern wedding rings

engagement ring vs wedding ring

People who appreciate design and want something unique would love these rings.

Metal rings

engagement ring vs wedding ring

This wedding ring style is perfect for people who want anything without any gemstones or diamonds. That said, There's a metal for everyone—and every budget—from gold to palladium, platinum to titanium, and tungsten to sterling silver. You have to make your choice.

And that's it! When shopping for both rings, you must consider your partner's opinion. For more on the famous ring and styles, see here

Final Thoughts

The engagement and wedding rings represent a couple's devotion to one another. They provide a distinctive and meaningful touch to marriage proposals and weddings.