A diamond ring is usually the first thing that comes to mind when you picture a wedding engagement, but this hasn’t always been the case. Giving your fiancé a diamond ring to solidify and symbolize your engagement is cultural practice that has evolved over time and has a rich and interesting history. How did this transition begin, and how has it remained so popular over the centuries?
The earliest recorded instance of the pre-wedding ritual is from Ancient Egypt, where couples would exchange rings made out of braided reeds. Partners wore these make-shift rings on their left fingers, which they believe contained a vein that led straight to the heart. The circle was a symbol of eternity for Ancient Egyptians, so engagement rings symbolized a couple’s everlasting love. The Ancient Romans also gave engagement rings as symbols of a husband’s ownership over a wife, rather than a gesture of love as we understand them today.
Diamonds were not added to engagement rings until 1477, when the Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a ring set with thin, flat pieces of diamonds in the shape of an M, which sparked a fashion trend among European nobility. In the Victorian era, diamond crafters started experimenting with different cuts and styles of engagement rings, such as rings that were sculpted into the shape of flowers, known as “posey rings.”
The discovery of diamonds in Africa in the early 20th century made diamonds much more accessible to the wider public. Diamond came to symbolize not only glamour, but also purity, love and commitment. Now more than 80% of brides in the USA receive diamond engagement rings from their future spouse.
At Marlow’s Diamond and Design, we offer the highest quality customized diamond ring designs. If you’re planning to pop the question to your partner, give them something unique to show them how much you care. Contact us today at Marlow’s Diamond and Design for more information and to start designing the perfect engagement ring for that special someone.