The following notes on sealing wax will interest many readers who are, or may like to be, punctilious on that point:
Sealing wax is fashionable once more, but the following distinctions and rules have been laid down as to the colors for various occasions. Red sealing wax is to be used for business letters. Letters written by a gentleman to the lady to whom he is engaged or by the lady to her fiance are sealed with white sealing wax. Gray sealing wax goes for letters of friendship; violet for letters of condolence; black, of course, to announce death and for mourning; shades of brown for letters of invitation; green and ruby red are used by gentlemen writing to a lady they admire and hope to win.
The modern city girl or woman has her own gracious mode of recognition. In passing a friend on a thoroughfare she recognizes him with a slight inflection of the head, then a smile at his greeting, but if he is a person whom she specially desires to honor the bow is lower and the smile more fascinating. If the person passing is only an acquaintance a graceful inflection of the head is considered sufficient.
The engagement ring of to-day is a solitaire, a diamond if possible, or a handsome pearl. The wedding ring is more slender than for many years past. Engagements are formally announced to-day, and it is not considered “good form” to keep one a secret.
After the announcement of the engagement there follows a succession of family teas and family dinners, at which both families are supposed to cement the friendly acquaintance already begun. The family of the young man have called on the girl in advance, as a matter of course, because every honorable man introduces his financee to his family as soon as possible; then they pay her marked attention, inviting her to their house and showing their disposition to welcome her into their family.
Unknown author (1893, January). Etiquette notes. The Ladies’ World Vol. XIV (No. 1), 16. Retrieved from http://victoriantimes.us/etiquette/etiquette-notes-january-1893