4.1264 Rs: Wedding Rings (1/12)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Mon, 22 Apr 91 01:00:33 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 1264. Monday, 22 Apr 1991.

Date: Mon, 15 Apr 91 23:07:11 EDT
Subject: Reply to Charles Ingrao

I seem to remember being told that the custom of wedding rings (not
engagement rings) stems from the older custom of a "bride-price," i.e.
the "ring" was originally a coin. Engagement rings, I suspect, stem
from two traditions: one is giving gifts of all sorts, jewelry included,
to a woman or her family in order to more successfully woo her (or her
family); the other is commercialism, especially in America. Only in
America is the diamond practically a necessity, for instance. The
Europeans I know (Russians, primarily) never have engagement rings. The
birth of a child, however, is occasionally celebrated with a ring to the
mother (finances permitting).