Where did the engagement ring originate from?

engagement_ring_historyEveryone knows what engagement rings are for these days. When a man (or a woman) proposes to their partner, a ring is given to symbolise the exciting occasion and the promise of marriage.  

Anthropologists say that originally this was a Roman tradition to show husband’s ownership of his future wife. Definitely, less romantic as we would’ve wanted the story to be…

It is believed that the very first diamond engagement ring was commissioned by Archduke Maximillian of Austria in 1477 for his loved one Mary of Burgundy. This then created a trend for engagement rings to have beautiful diamonds and mean something more than just ownership among European aristocracy.

Later Victorians started creating their engagement rings including gemstones mixed with diamonds as well as rings with designs from enamels and precious metals. Back then most engagement rings were made in flower shapes and called “posey rings.”

The next Edwardian era had engagement rings created in the same fashion where a master paired diamonds with jewels. There was also a new trend of mounting stones in filigree settings.

Fast-forward to the 19th century (in the 1930s), and we have De Beers launching a hugely successful diamond campaign “A Diamond is Forever” and showing movie stars wearing jewellery with the sparkly diamonds. This campaign was by far one of the biggest within the industry, which motivated great sales. Diamond’s durability was associated with the meaning that the marriage is forever.

These days some people show the level of commitment and their status with the quality of the diamond given to their loved one. Others get creative by giving a unique engagement ring with gemstones or different coloured diamonds. Either way, the engagement ring has come a long way since symbolising the ownership of a woman. It represents the commitment to marriage, deep love and celebration of a union. There are many options and styles available to people these days, which means you can create your one-of-a-kind ring.

Popular Diamond Cuts Over the Years

The round brilliant (made up of 58 facets dividing the top and the bottom half) has been most popular for engagement rings over the years. Followed by the princess, emerald and oval cut.