Old superstitions might have claimed it was bad luck to take your engagement ring off. But, myths aside, it’s better to take it off when appropriate to make sure your jewellery is clean and safe. Leaving your engagement ring or wedding band at home while you go to the gym isn’t bad luck (nor is it a reflection of your relationship). Instead, making smart decisions will keep your valuables safe (and stunning) in the long run.
Like any major life events, engagements are filled with superstitions. One of these is the idea that trying on someone else’s engagement ring or allowing another person to slip your ring on her finger might bring bad luck.
How Common Is This Belief?
While there are no statistics to indicate how many people believe trying on a ring could be bad luck, this is a common question on wedding-related message boards. The Knot reports this issue comes up frequently on its message boards and is the subject of passionate debate among brides-to-be. Some felt offended others would ask to wear the ring, simply because it’s a special and personal item. Others worried another person wearing the ring would be bad luck for the marriage.
Three Possible Reasons for the Superstition
There’s very little established history on superstitions involving engagement rings, and none of these involves someone else wearing the ring. However, there are a few reasons people may believe it’s bad luck.
Signifying the Wearer Is Engaged
Some believe it’s a bad omen to wear a ring on the left ring finger before you’re engaged, as this could send the message that you are “taken.” In years past, seeing an engagement ring on a woman’s finger could be confusing for potential suitors, who might not have been able to ask politely about her relationship status. Gradually, this worry about confusion became a belief in bad luck. Since trying on a ring is wearing it briefly, this superstition could apply.
Indicating Connection to the Fiance
The symbolism of an engagement ring may also be behind the superstition. Ultimately, this ring symbolises the wearer’s promise to love and be faithful to her fiance; it’s about their emotional connection to each other another. When another person wears the ring, she changes that symbolism and inserts herself in the relationship. In time, this feeling may have become a superstition.
Making the Ring Vulnerable to Loss
Although rare, engagement ring mishaps can be emotionally devastating. When you let someone else try on a ring, you are releasing control over this sentimentally and financially valuable piece of jewellery. This uncomfortable feeling can easily become a sense of foreboding or the worry you’re opening yourself up to bad luck.
Decide for Yourself
Ultimately, if letting someone else try on your ring (or trying on a friend’s ring) feels like bad luck to you, you shouldn’t do it. Superstitions aren’t about logic; they are about emotion. Being engaged should be a joyful time in your life, so it’s best to avoid any interaction that can take away from that. Next time someone asks to wear your ring or suggests you try hers, explain that you want to keep things positive during this special time.
Many superstitions have their roots in faith. Some are no more than common sense, and some are downright baffling. But, despite that, plenty of people do believe in them. How many times do you see ballplayers who need to put the same shoe on first before every game? Or people who need to salute three times if they see a single magpie on its own? Like we said, baffling.
Superstitions are the type of thing which we pick and choose whether to believe. We might walk under a ladder one day, but spill salt without a second thought the next. We all know about the “something old, something new…” superstition for brides on their wedding day but, did you know there are superstitions surrounding the engagement and even the ring as well? No, there are.
Choose Your Day Wisely
Not your wedding day, or even the day of the engagement, but the day you buy the ring. A curious American superstition is that the day on which you buy the ring will dictate your future. It is, if you like, the engagement equivalent of the “Monday’s child…” rhyme. According to the ring superstition, Friday isn’t a good day to buy a ring. It isn’t clear why, though. Friday the 13th, perhaps? Buying on a Monday will cause the buyer to lead a busy life, so make your mind up on that!
Don’t Let Another Woman Wear It.
If another woman wears the ring insincerely, she’s not the owner, and she will steal the fiancé. This one is probably little more than an excuse not to let anyone else wear it, and we do understand that. An engagement ring is an intensely personal thing. It’s right that it shouldn’t be passed around like a new hat.
Why The “Ring” Finger?
The third finger of the left hand is, at least in most western cultures, the only choice to wear both wedding and engagement rings. Superstition says that the Vena Amoris (vein of love) connects this finger directly to the heart. Whether medical professionals would agree she is debatable, but it’s a sweet superstition. Could it be that the ancient Romans with whom it started just knew a marketing hook when they saw one?
Don’t Let Loose
If an engagement ring is loose, it will be a bad omen for the relationship. After all, if the ring doesn’t know which way to point, how can it be a lasting engagement? Of course, the real bad luck with a loose call is that you might lose it somewhere along the way. This is probably one of those that go more towards common sense than superstition.
The Three Stone Superstition
Three stone engagement rings are very much in the news in 2018, thanks to Prince Harry. When he proposed to Meghan Markle, he did so with a ring containing 3 diamonds. Harry sourced one personally from Botswana, and the other two were from his mother’s collection. The 3 diamonds represent the past, present and future, with the superstition telling us that to lose one would be devastating for the wearer.
Never Take It Off
To take off an engagement ring means it was never meant to be worn and would bring terminal bad luck. At least that’s what the myth says. We do see an awful lot of women who have perfected the art of moving the ring from one finger to another without ever losing skin contact, though. Perhaps they know something we don’t!
When to Take Off Your Engagement Ring
When to Take Off a Wedding Band
Not everyone has an engagement ring. If you only wear a wedding band, almost all of the same rules apply. Wedding bands are often made from a variety of materials, including platinum, sterling silver, tungsten, wood and even diamonds. No matter the kind you have, avoid exposing your wedding band to harsh chemicals, soaps and beauty products. You’ll also want to avoid potential damage to your ring by taking it off at the gym and leaving it at home when you go to the beach or hit the pool.
When It’s Okay to Leave Your Engagement Ring On
When you know your engagement ring won’t be exposed to harsh chemicals or unnecessary pressure, it’s okay to leave it on. Day-to-day activities won’t harm your wedding jewellery, so go ahead and show off your bauble. You should only take it off when you know it’ll be exposed to potentially harmful agents.
Once your fiancé puts that engagement ring on your finger, chances are you never want to take it off. We get it. However, if you want your bling to continue shining bright for a long time, it’s important not to wear it while you’re busy doing these seven things.
Here’s when to take off your engagement ring if you want to keep it in mint condition.
Before you break a sweat, it’s a good idea to take that pretty little ring off. “The materials used in diamond jewellery, platinum, and gold are, to a certain degree, soft,” explains Watling. So, if you rock your ring while participating in certain activities that put pressure on these metals, you risk changing their shape. “If the shape of a ring is bent enough, you then risk bending the claws that hold the diamond and your diamond falling out,” he continues. The same goes for sports. Any hands-on physical activity (soccer, basketball, tennis, etc.) are other great examples of when to take off wedding bands and engagement rings.
Lotions and moisturisers may be great for your skin, but not so much for your ring, as excess buildup can diminish the brilliance and dull your stone over time. To protect your rock and ensure a cloudy layer of the film doesn’t form on it, wait until your hands have completely dried before slipping your bling back on.
Did you know that cosmetics, hair sprays, and perfumes can cause a buildup of grime, weakening the natural sheen of your ring? I take off my rings the moment I walk into my house so I can seamlessly move through my nightly routine.
Never, ever, ever wear your expensive jewellery in the ocean or the pool. For one, cold water “shrinks” your fingers, making it that much easier for an already loose engagement ring to disappear during a swim. So that means the ocean should be off-limits for engagement rings. As for the pool, chlorine can damage and discolour your ring’s mounting and your platinum, gold, or white gold wedding band.
Not only can you easily bang up your engagement ring on tough surfaces (think bathroom counters, kitchen floors, etc.) while cleaning the house, you can also do serious damage to the stone and setting. You can even potentially alter the colour, thanks to harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia found in many common household cleaners.
The final time when not to wear an engagement ring is during cooking and food prep. Germs and bacteria can easily get lodged into the ring setting. And, just like in the shower, you risk the ring slipping off when you rinse anything in the sink. If you can, it’s better to take it off while cooking.
If you’ve ever wondered “can I shower with my engagement ring,” you probably already had a feeling the answer was no—and you were right. The shower can be a dangerous place for engagement rings for two reasons. First, a ring can easily slip off when your fingers are all lathered up and slippery with soap—and if the ring slips off, it’s liable to fall down a drain and get lost forever. Second, oily soaps will dull the finish of your diamond, and exfoliating soaps will scratch it.
Engagement Ring Superstitions
There is a great deal of lore pertaining to luck and love, and this extends to engagement rings. While these beliefs are mainly old wives’ tales, it is worth getting acquainted with them so as not to cause any worry for those who are getting engaged. After all, an engagement should be a joyful and stress-free occasion.
The day of the week on which an engagement ring is purchased will influence their future marriage. For example, those who shop for a ring on a Monday will have a busy life, and those who buy a ring on a Saturday will receive a pleasurable life. This superstition also applies to the wedding day, and according to an old rhyme, Wednesday is the most desirable day for a wedding. However, in contrast to engagement ring shopping days, the rhyme deems Saturday to be the worst choice.
Some belief engagement rings to carry the luck of a marriage. Therefore, a second-hand engagement ring passed down through family members is thought to pass down the previous marriage’s joy or suffering. So if the previous marriage was a happy one, then the engagement ring will bring good fortune on the new couple. However, if the marriage was troubled, some say that this could mean problems on the horizon. If this is true, it will affect many couples, since beautiful rings are traditionally kept in families. After all, it would be foolish not to use valuable gemstones again and again. This poses the question as to whether the gemstones themselves are believed to carry luck, or whether fate rests on the piece of jewellery as a whole. If it is the ring, it is always possible to have the gemstones reset into a new ring to banish the bad luck. But another superstition states that the chosen engagement ring should not need to be altered. If it is the gemstones that carry trouble from a difficult marriage, then this is more problematic. One solution is to wear the ring as a non-engagement ring or put the gemstones into another piece of jewellery such as a pendant.
Those who believe in such superstition wonder whether Kate Middleton’s blue sapphire engagement ring is the best choice since it came from Diana’s unhappy marriage. However, according to gemstone superstition, a sapphire in a wedding ring will bring a happy marriage. Aquamarine is another stone that is believed to encourage a long and happy marriage. Emeralds, which are closely related to aquamarine, are also thought to bring marital bliss. Indeed, some cultures believe emeralds to have aphrodisiac properties. Finally, diamonds are believed to represent affection. When it comes to stones to avoid, pearls are traditionally believed to bring tears to a marriage if used in an engagement ring or wedding ring. This may have come from the drop shape of pearls. Likewise, opals are believed by Westerners to be unlucky for engagement rings. However, in the East, opals are thought to bring luck. One sensible reason not to use pearls or opals in an engagement ring is that they lack hardness and durability compared to other, more traditional gemstone choices.
It is worn on the left hand’s fourth finger when it comes to wearing the engagement ring. This tradition comes from the ancient Romans, who believed that a “Vein of Love” (Vena Amoris) connected the finger with the heart. Many believe that it is bad luck to allow another woman to try on an engagement ring. This is said to be because the other person will take away the good fortune attached to the ring, bring their bad fortune to the ring, or steal the husband! Other old wives’ tales state that an engagement ring should never be removed from the bride’s hands. If an engagement ring is loose or uncomfortable, this is thought to be a bad omen, and the ultimate in bad luck is for an engagement ring to be lost or broken. It certainly would be bad luck for the person responsible for replacing such a valuable item of jewellery!
In most cases, the above should not be taken too seriously. As can be seen from the above, many of the lore surrounding gems and engagement rings can be somewhat contradictory. Also, it is said that superstitions only come true for those who believe in them. By placing importance on such beliefs, they are perpetuated. Like life, marriage is what you make it, and should not be judged by a piece of jewellery. For our selection of beautiful engagement rings and wedding bands, visit us at Temple&Grace.