The much-celebrated engagement ring of today boasts of a very fascinating history. The concept of engagement rings did not start on a romantic note. More than anything else, an engagement ring sealed a man’s right over a woman’s body and spirit. Thankfully, we have moved far away from that primitive notion to honor the bond of two souls in a spirited union.
If you are already wondering about diamond-studded engagement rings, hold your breath. You will be surprised to know that it was not until the last century that diamonds were introduced to adorn beautiful engagement rings. From the Egyptians through the Romans to modern-day fashionistas, the humble engagement ring has traveled far and wide to arrive at its contemporary avatar.
The archaic symbol of ownership
Like some of the finest inventions of the world, the Egyptians can be credited with the creation of engagement rings. The earliest examples of reed engagement rings symbolized the eternity of romantic love. However, the romantic notion of engagement rings changed when the Romans used the ring as a tool to authorize their right on a woman. The Roman woman wore a gold ring on her wedding day and an iron one for regular use. These rings more than anything else signified a business contract and not just the couple’s mutual love.
The engagement ring began as a mark of matrimony
The engagement ring earned a more prominent and official place in the entire wedding ceremony when Pope Nicholas I established that a betrothal ring marked a man’s intent to wed a woman. Gold was the metal of choice owing to its increasing popularity among the royalty and public alike. In the history of engagement rings, no evidence of diamond in an engagement ring was found until 1477. The Austrian Archduke Maximilian presented a diamond ring to his ladylove Mary of Burgundy. The ring displayed narrow and long diamonds beautifully mounted to create the shape of an “M”.
Focus on colored precious gemstones
Though the Archduke pioneered the idea of decorating an engagement ring with diamonds, in no way he was the trendsetter. Royalties around the world rather chose to focus on other precious colorful gemstones. Thanks to them, the world witnessed nature’s most vibrant marvels in azure sapphires, vivid emeralds, and flamboyant rubies. Intricate ring designs in combination with colored gemstones and diamonds gave birth to a whole new genre of extravagant art deco engagement rings.
Debut of the modern day diamond engagement rings
The mantra, “A diamond is forever”, was inculcated in the minds of common buyers by De Beers. This British diamond mining company went on to create an indelible mark on public consciousness and the global gemstone market with help of an elaborate marketing campaign. Diamond engagement rings since then have won a legendary following and still rule the popularity list.
There has been a gradual shift in preferences among millennial brides even though diamond remains a popular choice. A steady introduction of stunning colors in the forms of colored gemstones or even fancy colored diamonds has been witnessed. This sparkling pop of color has added a touch of glamour and chutzpah to an otherwise singularly brilliant diamond engagement ring.
Shop The Engagement Rings of Today
Hopefully, this article gave you a great overview of the history of engagement rings. To get the latest and greatest engagement rings talk to the experts at Diamond Exchange Houston. We will be happy to educate you on the most popular styles. Schedule an appointment with Diamond Exchange Houston today by calling us 281-623-1105 or contact us online.