An engagement ring is a ring indicating that the person wearing it is engaged to be married, especially in Western cultures.
In many Western countries, engagement rings are worn mostly by women, and rings can feature diamonds or other gemstones. In other cultures men and women wear matching rings. In some cultures, engagement rings are also used as wedding rings.
The woman's ring is presented as an engagement gift by a man to his prospective spouse while he proposes marriage or directly after she accepts his marriage proposal. It represents a formal agreement to future marriage.
In Western countries, it is customarily worn on the left hand ring finger, though customs vary across the world.
Before agreeing to marry, a couple may choose to buy and wear pre-engagement rings, also called promise rings. After marrying, the couple may wear both engagement rings and wedding rings, or if they prefer, only the wedding rings.
Some brides have their engagement and wedding rings permanently soldered together after marriage. (source: Wikipedia)
Shopping for an engagement ring doesn't have to be a dreaded experience. With the right amount of knowledge about what to look for in a ring, coupled with your excitement about asking the girl of your dreams to marry you, this can be an enjoyable exercise matching your newly discovered ring expertise with the money you've got available to spend