Why Do We Wear Engagement Rings?

The modern Western practice of giving or breaking engagement rings is traditionally thought to have begon in 1477 when Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, wave Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring as an engagement present.

Customs for engagement rings vary according to time, place, and culture. An engagement ring has historically been uncommon, and when such a gift was given, it was separate from the wedding ring. Romantic rings from the time of the Roman Empire and from as far back as 4 AD often clash the Celtic Claddagh symbol (two hands clasping a heart) and so it is thought that this was used as some symbol of love and commitment between two people.

In the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and many other countries, an engagement ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. The tradition of wearing a ring for engagement originated from the Egyptians who believed the circle was a bond between the two people who were to be married, but was initially first practiced on the fourth finger / ring finger by the Romans, who recognized this finger to Be the beginning of the vena amoris ("vein of love"), the vein that leads to the heart. The custom in Continental Europe and other countries is to wear it on the right hand; one historical exception arose in monarchical regimes, in which a nobleman entering into morganatic marriage (a marriage in which the person, usually the woman, of lower rank stayed at the same rank instead of rising ranks) would present his left hand to receive the ring (hence the alternative term "left-handed marriage").

In other countries like Argentina, men and women each wear a ring similar to wedding bands. They are made of silver when manifesting an informal "boyfriend-girlfriend" relationship. The gold band is given to the bride when the commitment is formal and the optional diamond ring is reserved for the wedding ceremony when the groom gives it to the bride. The gold band that the groom wore during the engagement – or a new one, as some men choose not to wear them during engagement – is then given to the groom by the bride; and the bride receives both the original gold band and the new diamond at the ceremony. The bride's diamond ring is worn on top of the engagement band at the wedding and thereafter, especially at formal occasions or parties. At the wedding, the rings are swapped from the right to the left hand. In Brazil, they are always made of gold, and there is no tradition for the engagement ring. Both men and women wear the wedding band on their right hand while engaged, and, after they marry, they shift the rings to their left hands. In Nordic countries such as Finland and Norway, both men and women wear an engagement ring.

Some women's wedding rings are made into two separate pieces. One part is given to her to wear as an engagement ring when she accepts the marriage proposal and the other during the wedding ceremony.

For more information on wedding photography go to: http://www.weddingphotographerslondon.uk.com/

Overseas Manufacturing and Clearing Goods Through Customs

When importing into a country, there are a number of terms, regulations and procedures an importer should be familiar with. The following is a guide of different issues to be aware of when importing.

For first time importers, it is highly advisable to pay a customs broker to enter and clear goods through customs. Customs brokers are licensed by the countries in which they operate, and they act on behalf of the importer to file the necessary documents for products to enter a country at the port-of-entry. Depending on their relationship with their client, they may also pay customs duties and other importing expenses on their client's behalf. Finally, they advise importers about issues of which they may need to be aware such as country or origin marks and other issues importers need to be aware of.

When choosing a customs broker, the importer should first make sure they can enter goods at the arrival port. In the US, customs brokers are licensed by the US Customs and Border Protection Service.

Prior to placing an order with a manufacturer, the relevant nation's customs agency and the importer's customs broker should be consulted to avoid possible problems such as the following:

  • Any legal issues that may exist with the product in the country of import.
  • Finding out after the product arrives at port that the it is subject to import quotas.
  • Possible health, safety or other regulations which apply to the product to be imported.

One easy to avoid, but common problem encountered when importing is the failure to mark the product in compliance with country of origin regulations. To avoid this, contact the relevant customs agency of the nation where the merchandise will be imported to ensure the goods are in compliance. For example, custom laws in the US require each imported good be marked with the English name of the country of origin (eg China) as reasonably, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article permits. Furthermore, this marking must be visible to the ultimate purchaser of the product.

The tariff rate levied by customs must be paid before the importer can take possession of the goods. While tariff rates in countries like the US average around 5% for most products, they can be significantly higher for some goods, particularly those with higher labor content. Therefore, it is important to know the rate before product arrives at port.

Before the goods are shipped, ensure the packing regulations for the destination country have been adhered. For example, every box, bale or case may need to be numbered with the exact quantity in each.

Other regulations include the type of pallets that can be used.

Problems with customs clearance often center around paperwork. Different goods often require different types of documentation, but the three major types of documentation the shipper must prepare include the following:

1. A bill of lading: This document, issued by the carrier or shipper, is basically a receipt of the goods acknowledging that they have been received on the vessel for shipment. This document indicates the particular vessel on which the goods have been placed, the destination of the goods, and the terms for transporting the goods to their final destination.

2. A commercial invoice: This is used as a customs declaration by the entity that is exporting an item across international borders. This document is required by customs to determine the value of the goods to assess duties and taxes, and goods must be invoiced in a systematic manner.

3. Packing list: This document is an itemized detail of the merchandise in a particular shipment. A copy is usually attached to the outside of the shipping container or inside the container itself so the merchandise may be counted by the person opening it.

It is crucial to make sure these documents, and any others that may be needed for a particular shipment, are carefully completed and reviewed before the goods arrive.

To avoid excess storage fees, arrange for a freight forwarder or some other type of transporter to ship the goods to their final destination as soon as they have cleared customs.

Being aware of these points, as well working closely with customs and a customs broker, will make the importing process smoother and will reduce the possibility of unnecessary difficulty or expense.

Diamond Earrings and Other Fine Jewelry

Diamond rings are the most common form of diamond jewelry, but diamond earrings, bracelets and necklaces are also quite popular. In fact, diamond jewelry has been around since the days of the Roman Empire, although it took almost 1500 years before diamond jewelers had figured out how to cut diamonds into attractive shapes that displayed their "fire," or shine and brilliance. Diamond earrings are but one way that people adorn themselves with this mystical, precious gem.

A Fascinating History

Chances are that the first diamond jewelry was from India. The tremendous geologic forces required to form diamonds exists mainly in regions of the world where one tectonic plate slams into another; the Himalayas, where the Indian subcontinent plows into Central Asia, is one such place. Loose diamonds from deep underneath these mountains have been known to appear in the rivers that flow south and westward from the Himalayas: the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Irriwaddy have all been sources of these rough, octagonal crystals.

Before diamond jewelers had learned the art of precision cutting, diamond earrings were not particularly beautiful; rough and dull-looking, they were nonetheless prized for their hardness.

One early example of diamond jewelry in the West was actually a crown made for a Hungarian princess well over 1000 years ago. One of the first diamond wedding ring was the one given to Marie of Burgundy on the occasion of her wedding to Archduke Maximilian I of Austria in 1477. It was not until over fifty years later however during the reign of Henry VIII of England that diamond cutting had reached a level that was suitable for jewelry such as diamond earrings.

Dull and Lifeless

If you had been buying diamonds back then, you'd have been disappointed; those early cuts did not show the kind of brilliance that we see in fine diamond jewelry today. It was not until the 1800s that art of diamond cutting had reached a level of refinement that allowed the gem's real beauty to shine through the way it does in contemporary diamond jewelry.

Fiery and Brilliant

Today, there are many different cuts to choose from when buying diamonds . Round cuts and square cuts both have characteristics in their favor, but a reliably new cut, called the "princess," has been gaining in popularity over the past thirty years or so. This particular cut combines the best features of round and square cuts, and causes the least wastage of all cutting methods – so the gem retains much more of its original weight. All three cuts however will make for highly attractive and valuable diamond earrings .

Family Life – Today’s Extended Family – Two Or Three Generations Sharing One Home

As if the worst recession since World War II, near collapse of the financial system, double-digit unemployment & rising health care costs weren’t enough to deal with. Today’s modern family needs help.

Extended family living is the answer. Pull together, pool your resources with the ones you love and you will survive. Whether by necessity or choice… “before it becomes necessary”. Today’s families are looking back into their family history for crisis management answers.

After world war ii, with our economy in shambles, families struggled to rebound, instinctively they counted on one another, some family members, older and wiser, some young and strong. Life savings “nest eggs” usually provided by the elder members of the family secured immediate financial relief. In turn the younger members of the extended family worked on building a solid future, they sought out and worked jobs, sometimes two or three minimal pay jobs, anything to contribute to the family’s financial future. Everyone worked together, the work ethic was amazing, even children contributed to the family security. Household chores were done mostly by the kids, while the grand parents kept a watchful eye on the kids’ well being.

So the strong, young parents could focus on improving the job and wage possibilities. It took a while, but it did happen: families recovered, even thrived, and the family bond became even stronger.

If your family finds itself needing to expand, you must set clear and respectful boundaries and guidelines. Consider everyone’s need for private space and if possible develop affordable additional living space within your home.

Consider finishing the homes basement. You can virtually double your much need living space and basement finishing is the least expensive approach when adding true living space to your home!

It’s true…you can finish your basement for roughly 1/3 of the cost of, building an addition to your home! Your only other option to add living space to your home.