You may think an engagement is as simple as slipping a ring on a finger, but in actual fact there are a variety of different engagement jewellery customs around the world. Here is part one of our guide to some of the most interesting traditions from countries across the globe – make sure you check back next week to see part two!
Egyptian couples mirror their Western counterparts by wearing engagement rings after the proposal, but unlike couples in the UK, they wear the ring on their right hand until they are married. Once the marriage ceremony is complete, they move the ring across to the finger on the left, where it remains for the duration of the marriage.
Indian weddings are renowned for their breath taking display of colours and jewels, but there are also customs associated with jewellery for the proposal too. Indian couples become officially betrothed at an engagement or ring ceremony, where members of both families are invited to witness the couple exchange bands made of gold. The families then dine together and give gifts including sweets, dried fruits and clothes to each other in celebration of the union.
In Spain, the proposal process is fairly similar to that in the UK – with one key exception. When accepting an engagement ring from their beloved, Spanish women are expected to give their partners an engagement wristwatch. It’s uncertain where exactly this custom came from, but at least it’s one way of making sure that he’s on time for the wedding!