“But it’s tradition.” It has to be the number one reason that people continue to pick diamonds and gold for their wedding and engagement rings. But what if we told you that this tradition hasn’t been a tradition for very long? And, in fact, most countries around the world don’t use diamond engagement rings to seal the promise of marriage at all. Here’s a look at the truth behind the customary rings. The truth to the legend might just surprise you.\nThe earliest mention of wedding bands dates back more than 5,000 years to Egypt, where Ancient Egyptian couples would weave hemp around their fingers to show that they were married. Later, ancient Romans and even the Greeks would upgrade from hemp to iron, and eventually, Europeans from before the 17th century turned it into an ornate work of art made from gold. These Renaissance rings were commonly known as fede rings, where two hands clasped together in a display of friendship or intimacy. Additionally, many European couples would use gimmel rings, or rings that interlocked. The Claddagh ring is the modern equivalent of a fede ring and gimmel ring combined. The Europeans also wore what we call posey rings today, which are rings that have been inscribed or engraved with poetry. Romantic, right?\nFun fact? Early Americans thought wedding bands were pointless and frivolous. So instead, they exchanged thimbles as symbols of betrothals, which were seen as practical. Over time, the trend became to cut the top off of the thimble, creating the first American wedding band. Yep, you read that correctly. The whole idea of the vena amoris (also known as the vein of love) might have been used by those in Ancient Rome and Ancient Egypt, but by the time Western Europeans made their way to America, they weren’t prescribing to the myths (we’ll talk more about this myth in a minute).\nYes, some engagement rings may have used diamonds in early America, but it didn’t catch on as a trend until the late 1930s. That’s when large mines filled with diamonds were found in South Africa. The diamond industry knew that if they were to protect their long-term value, they needed to make the stones seem scarce, rare, and desirable. So, following a lengthy marketing research project, the floundering diamond giant De Beers launched a wildly successful campaign to boost diamond sales. It’s a campaign you probably still know about.\nDeBeers debuted the four “C’s” of diamonds (Carat, Cut, Clarity, \u0026amp; Color), and then decided to educate young grooms-to-be on exactly how much the right diamond should cost him. Hence the two and a half months salary guideline. The well-worn phrase, “a diamond is forever” was also a product of this campaign.\nThe campaign went on to give diamonds to celebrities, and ask magazines and newspapers to reinforce the size of diamonds as being synonymous with romance, love, commitment, and status. The end result was a new generation of American women who now believed that true love could mean only one thing – a diamond, and a big one at that. It was a raging success and a new American tradition was born. In 1939. Less than 80 years ago. In the 1940’s fewer than 10% of brides-to-be received a diamond ring. In the 1990s, more than 80% received one. Today’s snapshots of the bride’s finger after getting engaged or married make up a huge portion of a couple’s wedding gallery. Even for those who opt for silicone wedding bands, there’s still a huge emphasis on the wedding rings themselves. In fact, the exchange of rings is the point at which two people become legally married in many officiated marriage ceremonies.\nA few more interesting facts? Many countries wear their wedding rings on the right hand since that’s the hand used to take vows traditionally. The left hand was chosen by some since it is believed that a vein runs directly from the fourth finger of the left hand to the heart. This is a widely publicized myth. Yep, unfortunately that was just one of the many things the ancient cultures got wrong. Considering their wedding ceremonies looked nothing similar to how ours do today, it isn’t surprising.\nAnd when it comes to American men wearing wedding bands, that’s a tradition that only dates back to World War 2. Men began wearing rings as a sign of affection, to remind them of their wives back home. Today, though, men wear engagement rings as well, to show their commitment to the promise of marriage to their fiance and as a sign of equality. Many of our silicone wedding bands for women also come with a matching men’s style that would look great as a pair for an engaged couple to wear.\n\n\nWe know times are changing and honestly, we like the idea of shaking tradition up a bit, but keeping the symbolism the same, of course. At QALO, all of our silicone rings are made to represent the commitment between you and your loved ones. With so many colors, styles and patterns available, you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you. You can order your rings with our fun ring gift box that’s perfect for when you give your silicone ring as a gift or as part of your surprise proposal.