“Time-honored tradition” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, but most people have never given any thought to what it actually means. Put most simply, something that’s time-honored is something that’s valued, respected, or even admired simply because it’s been around for a long time. In most instances, it’s used to describe something that people have been doing for decades or even centuries, and thus something that they keep doing simply because that’s what they’ve always done. In some instances, the phrase time-honored can be used to describe natural processes, like the formation of mountains, but it doesn’t work quite as well with such descriptions. Mountains might form by tectonic plates shifting and grinding together, but it’s not something that’s valued because that’s the way mountains have always been formed. Rather, it’s just the way nature works, and thus time-honored doesn’t quite fit here.
If you were looking for the perfect thing to exemplify this term, you could look no further than the ring finger on your left hand (if you’re an American). Engagement rings are the exemplification of a time-honored tradition. Sure, someone in human history decided it was a good idea for them and their loved one to wear rings to show their affection and commitment to one another, but that’s not necessarily why people still do it today. You could argue that people wear engagement and wedding rings because they want to proclaim their love to the world, but there are other ways to do that. Surely purchasing a home with someone, starting a family with them, or just staying with them for their entire life is a symbol of your commitment to them. The point here is that people could show their commitment to one another in a number of ways, and they do. They don’t have to wear engagement or wedding rings to do this. In fact, they could even wear other custom jewelry for this purpose.
So why do people wear engagement rings, and why have they done it for centuries? They do it because it’s what’s done. In other words, people purchase engagement rings and give them to the person they want to marry because that’s the tradition. It’s what’s done when you want to marry someone. It’s the way their parents did it, their grandparents, their great-grandparents, and their great-great-grandparents. It’s the perfect example of a time-honored tradition because it’s something that almost everyone in Western society does simply because it’s been done for a long time and it’s what other people do. This is how you show the world that you intend to marry someone.
The time-honored tradition of giving the person you intend to marry an engagement ring isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. People are going to continue shopping at custom jewelers like Cut Fine Jewelers for the foreseeable future. Perhaps there will come a time in a few thousand years when another tradition gets started, but for the time being, everyone who intends to take someone as their bride and/or groom is going to give them an engagement ring. It’s just how it’s done.