The rite of betrothal is now in all probability carried out instantly before the wedding (or “crowning” as it is more properly called), and the real symbolic act of marriage is not the exchange of rings, but the crowning. Historically, the wedding ring was connected to the trade of valuables at this time of the marriage instead of an emblem of everlasting love and devotion, a sign of “earnest money”. According to the 1549 edition of the Book of Common Prayer: after the words ‘with this ring I thee wed’ follow the words ‘This gold and silver I give thee’, at which point the groom was intended at hand a leather-based purse full of gold and silver coins to the bride.  It is a relic of the times when marriage was a freelance among households, not individual lovers. Both households were then desperate to make sure the financial safety of the young couple. Sometimes it went so far as being a conditional exchange as this old (and today old) German formulation shows: ‘I give you this ring as a sign of the marriage which has been promised between us, offered your father gives with you a marriage element of 1000 Reichsthalers’. In the nuptials, the groom’s ring turns into a wedding ring also, and might be bestowed anew by the bride as a part of the marriage ceremony. The engagement is frequently an issue of agreement between the two, and the marriage rings are chosen in combination. Both engagement and marriage ceremony rings are worn on the left hand, the bride having both rings in combination. Occasionally, the groom receives a separate wedding ring. In Germany and Austria, both parties use engagement rings worn on the left hand. At the nuptials, a marriage ring is placed on the proper hand, as in several east European countries, including Bulgaria, Poland, and Russia.