Key Takeaways


When we think of the perfect proposal, one of the first things that comes to mind is the tradition of presenting the engagement ring. This has been an iconic step in a relationship’s journey, revered throughout various traditions and cultures.

Often, getting engaged brings to mind images of a dazzling diamond engagement ring placed on the left hand of the bride-to-be. However, did you know that this tradition is actually quite new and not something necessarily practiced by all cultures?

While the diamond ring tends to be one of the most popular styles of engagement rings, across the globe, there is a whole array of customs and jewellery styles. One notable example, of course, is the popularity of engagement rings featuring coloured gemstones, as opposed to diamonds, as seen among many European royal family members.

In today’s article, we will cover some engagement ring traditions from around the world. Who knows? You might just find some new inspiration for your very own proposal right here in Winnipeg!


As the largest continent on earth, Africa comprises 54 nations with distinct traditions, languages, and cultures.


Kenya is known for its delicate and detailed beadwork, which has made it famous for its gemstone jewellery. Northern Kenya also has a unique tradition in which male Samburu warriors wear certain jewellery pieces on their necklaces to signify their relationship status.


Asia is another continent known for a variety of rich traditions and styles. Its influence on Canadian and American culture has been immense, encompassing everything from cuisine to film and, recently, various forms of music and entertainment. Let’s look at a few engagement customs as they relate to the different nations in Asia.


In modern-day China, many couples tend to practice the Western style of getting engaged. However, this is only sometimes the case. In times past, the man would present the bride-to-be’s family with a sum of money to demonstrate that they could afford to feed them. While this may not be such an issue now, various gifts are still given.


While the Western style of the proposal is becoming increasingly popular worldwide, in Hindi culture, women may wear toe rings known as bichirs. These are made with various metals and gemstones.


In some parts of India, rather than being given a traditional engagement ring, some women are gifted with a special bangle, which may feature various ornate designs and trinkets, including gemstones.

Eastern Europe

In Eastern European locales such as Poland, Russia, and regions of Austria and Germany, a distinct tradition sets the stage: engagement and wedding rings grace the right hand, not the left. But here’s the twist—it’s not just the brides who flaunt these symbols of commitment, but the grooms, too. It’s a heartwarming gesture, underscoring the significance of the engagement period for both partners.

Though less common in Western cultures, this dual-ring tradition thrives in other corners of the world. Take Sweden, for instance, where engagement rings are exchanged between both partners. Unlike the elaborate designs in the United States, Nordic rings lean towards simplicity, typically fashioned from unadorned gold or silver bands.


Engagement rings are a relatively new addition to the culture in the Philippines. However, many of the traditional aspects of engagement still exist. One in particular is pamamanhikan which involves the potential groom asking the permission of the woman’s parents.

North America

Being from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, this one is no stranger to us! As you may know, the primary engagement tradition here involves the groom “popping the question” by presenting an engagement ring. Many of our clients have shared their proposal stories, often involving unique and exciting ideas. Usually, rings will be presented during a vacation or a walk in a favourite location. Other times, clients have gotten extra creative by placing a “Will you marry me?” sign at a famous landmark. The options are only limited by your imagination!

South America

South America is, in many ways, just as diverse as any other continent, with various cultures and unique traditions and styles. A few notable ones come from Argentina and Columbia.

In Argentina, both parties wear engagement rings, which act as wedding rings.

In Columbia, engagement ceremonies are often elaborate. The groom sings a romantic song written for the occasion. The bride-to-be usually wears the ring on her right hand until it is moved to the left during the wedding ceremony. Like in many other cultures, the engagement ring also acts as a wedding ring.

Indigenous Traditions

Indigenous traditions are often just as varied and unique as those from all across the globe. Regarding Native American and Native Canadian traditions, some couples may forgo the traditional gold and diamond ring and instead opt for beautiful natural materials such as turquoise and red coral.

Global Traditions

With the world increasingly connected, it is becoming apparent how many unique ways there are to get engaged. Should the ring be worn on the right hand or the left? Perhaps the ring may switch hands during the wedding ceremony. Would you prefer diamonds or other coloured gemstones?

There is no one correct way to wear an engagement ring and no proper way to get engaged. It all comes down to your culture and idea of the perfect proposal.


We hope that this article has given you some exciting ideas about the various engagement ring traditions around the world. We highly recommend browsing the web to check out the various styles and designs characteristic of different cultures and nations. This can be an enlightening and inspiring experience that can help you come up with some great ideas for your very own ring.

If the time has come to create your own custom engagement ring, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Omori Diamonds through email or our contact forms. As a premier designer and creator of fine custom engagement rings in Winnipeg, we specialize in turning your inspiration into reality!