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Difference Between an Engagement Ring and a Wedding Ring

If there is one piece of jewelry associated the most with romance and love, it has to be the ring. Whether the ring is studded with diamonds or other precious stones, or is made of gold, silver, or platinum, it is inextricably linked with:

  • Promises.
  • Academic groups.
  • Engagements and
  • Weddings.

Of course, the make and design of rings even including wedding rings for men will differ even when it comes to weddings and engagements and there are ‘rules’ that apply for such jewelry! So, what is the difference between an engagement ring and a wedding ring:

The occasion of course!

The easiest point of difference is the occasion of course. An engagement ring is presented and worn to mark a formal betrothal. It is a symbol of a commitment to marry. A wedding ring, as the term implies is worn at the wedding ceremony. In most cases, this ring is worn permanently thereafter.

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Who wears it?

Interestingly enough, engagement rings are worn most often by women and wedding rings by the groom and the bride. You only have to watch romantic movies to see how the man goes down on bended knee and proposes to the woman and holds up an engagement ring. Very rarely, if ever, is it the other way around.

Wedding rings however are exchanged during a wedding ceremony and in almost every instance; the man and the woman wear wedding rings. Sometimes they are matching rings and sometimes they are not.

Time frame

Typically, engagement rings are worn just until the wedding. After which, the wedding ring takes pride of place on the finger. However, women are opting to continue to wear the engagement ring as well. Most times, the engagement ring lies on the outside of the wedding ring. Some women are also choosing to solder the two rings permanently as well.

What are they made of?

Diamonds are the most popular choice when it comes to engagement rings. Of course, the cut and setting of the diamonds can differ but it is, by far, one of the most common choices for an engagement ring. While gold is a top choice for the metal of the engagement ring, people are also opting for platinum, titanium, silver and so on as well.

Wedding rings, in a classic and timeless manner, are simple gold bands. Did you know that the following metals are most commonly used in wedding rings?

  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Silver
  • Palladium

Did you also know that they are called noble metals? The link between the permanence of these noble metals and the timelessness of the institution of marriage is what makes the use of these metals incomparable.

Broadly speaking, engagement rings often are bejeweled and wedding rings are not. But this does not mean there is no innovation for the latter!

And now for some interesting history

The wedding ring has a history dating back to more than 6000 years. At that time, the rings were made of hemp but slowly, the use of silver and gold made this ring even more precious. Gimmel rings, rings with engravings and even matching sets have made wedding rings fascinating.

Engagement rings began in earnest in ancient Rome. At one point of time, it was considered a symbol of the bride having been purchased. But today, it is a symbol of love and commitment and the woman can always refuse the marriage proposal as well! There was a time in ancient Rome when the woman would actually get 2 rings. A gold one to wear in public and one made of iron to wear at home.

At the end of the day, both types of rings have one thing in common too – they symbolize faith, love and vows.