History of engagement rings: The 5 most interesting facts about this symbolic adornment

Glam Style
4 min readMay 17, 2022
Photo by Marta Branco from Pexels

The history of engagement rings is very rich. The cultivation of the tradition of declaring with their participation for such a long time is indeed impressive. Not many people know that this beautiful token of love hides many interesting secrets. In the article we bring the most important information about this ornament.

History of engagement rings

The history of engagement rings is not only long, but also complex. We found 5, in our opinion, the most relevant and interesting facts about this beautiful, symbolic piece of jewelry.

  1. The custom of giving the beloved engagement ring began in Ancient Egypt, continued in Ancient Greece and Rome, often decorating the ring with engraving such as a key motif. And although initially this jewelry looked a bit different (first it was made of wires, and then of bronze, gold or ivory), some things have not changed until today. There is a reason why the ring was, and still is in many countries, worn on the ring finger of the left hand. This is because it symbolizes being closer to the heart of the beloved. Interestingly, as a declaration of love, the bride and groom used to be given a coin made of precious metal.
  2. Pope Innocent III in the thirteenth century established the law, which said that between the betrothal and the wedding there had to be a period of engagement. This was a form of preparation for the sacrament of marriage. The engagement ring was therefore meant to symbolize this special time of waiting for the future spouses. It was also a confirmation that the woman’s heart was already taken.
  3. The first ring, which shape resembled today’s designs, was given to the Duchess of Burgundy, Luxembourg and Brabant, Marie of Burgundy. It was a gift from Archduke Maximilian I Habsburg of Austria. This famous engagement in 1477 became a symbolic turning point, after which engagement rings with diamonds gained popularity (of course, in the case of wealthy people, because these precious stones were imported from India at that time).
  4. 4 In America, in the 1930s, men typically gave their brides a ring worth their monthly salary. Since then, there have been at least a few theories about the suggested price of an engagement ring. Some said that to buy an engagement ornament, gentlemen should work for a minimum of 2 months. Still others that 3. Today, however, this rigid trend is weakening. Today, in the offer of many stores, in addition to diamonds, we can find engagement rings decorated with rubies, emeralds, sapphires, amethysts, tanzanites or peridots (for some time in fashion are also, extremely stylish, black diamonds).
  5. Outlining the history of engagement rings, it is impossible to ignore the year 1886 and the most famous model of all time. The one with a cut diamond, which was set in a socket with 6 prongs, is certainly associated with each of us. We are, of course, talking about the brand Tiffany&Co. The setting of the stone was of course not accidental — thanks to this the ring could shine phenomenally, exposing its brilliance. About such an engagement ring, to this day, dream many women, identifying jewelry of this company with luxury, classics and timelessness. Enchantment with the model with this shining stone, continues to this day.
Photo by Jesus Arias from Pexels

Engagement rings: a diamond, a woman’s best friend

The first famous model with a diamond, then, was the ring adorned with the letter “M”, presented to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. It was made of small, transparent diamonds. Since then, the Archduke’s romantic gesture has become a kind of model for wealthier men. Undoubtedly, a turning point in the history of engagement rings was the mining of large deposits of diamonds in South Africa in the eighteenth century. It was thanks to this that diamonds, although still very expensive, became a little more accessible.



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