The History of the Engagement Ring
Engagement rings have been present throughout history. It has been constantly used as a symbol of engagement rings of a couple’s commitment to wed after their engagement.
This usage of the ring has become a norm among many cultures around the world as centuries passed and it has had an enormous influence on how engagement works today.
Now, we invite you to learn more about the engagement ring history that would definitely amp you up when you decide it’s time to buy or accept one.
Engagement Rings Through Time
The Bible contains a record of one of the first instances of an engagement ring tradition.
The progenitor of the Israelites, Abraham, tasked his servant to search for a bride for his son, Isaac.
The servant found Rebecca, who accepted the proposal. Upon acceptance, she wore golden bracelets and a golden nose ring, which signaled that she was a bride to be.
Historians have also found that Egyptians used engagement rings.
They were among the first civilizations to wear it on the ring finger.
Despite that, it was never popular until the time of the Romans.
Being one of the strongest civilizations of the world at their time, many of their traditions became widespread, and this included the use of engagement rings.
Back then, engagement rings weren’t the fancy diamond rings we see today.
A lot of them were made using metals and simple designs. Rings were often made of iron, silver, and gold, depending on one’s social status.
This was because gems were inaccessible at the time and were often reserved as trinkets of the powerful.
The Importance of an Engagement Ring
The Romans began wearing rings on their ring finger as they believed that it had the “vein of love.”
They thought this vein had a straight connection to the heart. A ring there meant a symbol that someone’s heart or love was already reserved for another.
Some schools of thought hold on to older views of the ring when the ring’s value was a reflection of the woman’s worth.
This is one of the reasons rings can hold very high prices with constant demand.
Many hold a lot of value to its circular shape, which signified an endless loop.
People see this endless loop as a symbol of eternity, commitment, and connection.
In truth, today, the Victorian engagement ring remains a symbol of love and devotion. It is a commitment of two people to share a life forever.
Without all the perceived meanings, an engagement ring is simply a sign that a woman will marry.
Most of the world uses rings in engagements, though people have different reasons because of cultural differences.
Diamonds Are Forever
The first record of a diamond ring proposal was in 1477 when Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy.
Due to how exclusive gems were at the time, only the elite caught on to the use of gemstones in engagement rings. Ruby, amethyst, garnet, and emerald were among the top choices for a ring aside from diamond.
For centuries, diamonds didn’t hold as much value as a gem.
The discovery of large diamonds in South African mines during the 19th century didn’t bode well for its value.
It was during this time that businessmen started creating the story of how diamonds were scarce to improve its value and preserve all their investments towards mining it.
In 1888, De Beers Consolidated Mines became the control center of the diamond trade.
During the Great Depression, the company and the ad agency NW Ayer helped create an image of the diamond being a symbol of love and romance.
At the time, diamonds were losing their value fast, so NW Ayer planned to raise the gem’s value by starting the campaign, “diamonds are forever.” It helped catapult diamonds back to the forefront of engagements.
The significance of diamonds later spread from the West to the East.
Diamonds became a phenomenon in Japan during the 1970s, and a few decades later, it also became popular in China.
While cuts, forms, and rings have evolved, the diamond has remained the center point. India is considered one of the newer diamond jewelry consumers in the world.
After The Wedding: What Happens To An Engagement Ring?
During the wedding, the engagement ring moves to your right hand.
This is to create space on the left hand for the wedding band. After the wedding, the engagement ring returns to the right hand and lies atop the wedding ring.
While this has been the tradition, it isn’t mandatory to do so.
Many women have chosen new ways to wear their engagement rings.
Here are some of the most popular:
- Wearing your engagement ring first before the wedding band
- Weld the rings together
- Continue wearing the engagement ring on the right hand
You can wear the ring any way you want as long as you remain comfortable where it is.
With uniqueness being a more popular notion, a lot of couples opt for using newer styles.
As engagement ring history has shown us, diamonds will continue to be the focal point of engagements.
Even with new designs, diamonds have and will remain the core of these rings.