The history of engagement rings can be traced back as far as the ancient Egyptians who gave rings as a symbol of eternity and believed that the ring should be placed on the third finger of the left hand. The reason for this tradition, that we still uphold today, is that they believed the vein – the ‘Vena amoris’ ran straight from that finger to the heart.
It was the Romans who made the practice of giving an engagement ring popular. It was usual in Roman society for the bride to be to be given two engagement rings – a gold one to be worn in public, and one made of iron for wearing around the house, that could be worn when performing household tasks. In those days, it was more a symbol of ownership than of love. The vast Roman Empire spread this custom across Europe where it became a common practice for a man to present his future bride with a ring representing engagement.
In 1477, Archduke Maxmilian of Austria started the trend for precious jewels to be set into engagement rings when he presented his bride to be, Mary of Burgundy with a ring set with diamonds in the shape of an M. The monarchy and nobility all over Europe soon began to adorn their rings with precious jewels fit for Kings and Queens!
The Victorians took this idea further, with the addition of precious gems and metals, crafted into designs such as flowers and other intricate and ornate shapes to be given to their beloved. Some were even engraved with romantic poetry. Diamonds were often used in these rings and were a symbol of high status in Victorian society as well as a token of love.
In 1947, the trend for diamond engagement rings began with the huge marketing success story of the diamond mining company De Beers. Including the logo “A diamond is forever” in their marketing slogans, played on the fact that a diamond, was not only one of the most precious beautiful and valuable gems, but also is one of the hardest, so represents everlasting love.
The success of this marketing campaign was so great that nowadays, diamond engagement rings are by far the most popular choice of engagement ring, and not just for the very wealthy and aristocracy! The huge range available from places such as https://www.comparethediamond.com/diamond-engagement-rings/ offer a huge variety of diamond engagement rings to suit individual styles, with some people choosing to have rings especially made so they are more personal to them and their partner.