A Brief History of Designer Engagement Rings

Engagement rings have been used for a long time to symbolize the love that a man has for a woman and his eternal commitment to her. It signifies an intention to marry his betrothed. The first “technical” designer engagement ring was documented in 1477. The Archduke Maximillian of Austria had a ring made to propose to his fiancée, Mary of Burgundy. He set a trend for the times by doing this. High-class aristocrats and people of wealth followed suit and started having custom gemstone rings for their intended wives as well.

That may be the first technical instance of an engagement ring but if you go back to prehistoric times men would braid a bracelet or ring out of grass to signify his ownership. Ancient Egyptians, the master innovators of the ancient times were not left behind when it comes to this engagement rings business. Many bodies that were exhumed dating as far back as 2800BC had a single gold or silver band on the third finger of the left hand. It is often said to hold the vein that runs all the way to the heart thus a perfect spot to place a symbol of love.

In 2nd century BC, a tradition began of men giving their wives at the marriage ceremony, a designer engagement ring of gold and an iron one. The gold one was for special events so that it would not get ruined. At home where they would be doing chores, women would wear iron engagement rings. At all times, it would be required that one or the other was to be worn. The Sheikhs in the Muslim world also gave their wives puzzle rings that served as a sort of a tag. The Muslim Mughals of India also made some truly exquisite rings for various kinds of occasions. In the Hindu culture, jewelry has always been used extensively to serve various purposes ranging from love to veneration of gods.

From the 1700s, silver rings with sayings on them were the rage in Europe. The Victorians in the early 1800s made rings out of human hair with gemstones woven in. In the late 19th century, however, the discovery of diamonds pioneered the modern designer engagement rings trend that has persisted to date.

Diamonds were discovered in South Africa at this time and were only available to the super-wealthy. The De Beers company from South Africa is a name that is almost synonymous with diamond.

In the early 20th century they were beginning to get a bit more popular with the middle class. In the Great Depression of the 1930s, diamond prices dropped and so began a marketing campaign to educate the public on diamond grading and what to look for in a stone. In 1947, the slogan that would cement diamonds as the centerpiece of engagement ring sales was first seen: “A Diamond is forever”.  Thus began the trend where diamond jewelry was not just the preserve of royalty but for everyone who could afford it as a means of expressing love and dedication.  Today, buying that special diamond ring still remains the only true way to propose to that special lady whom you  love.

This is a brief history of designer engagement rings. You can get a diamond ring at any major retailer that sells jewelry, department stores and online, but the quality is something you cannot skip on for a designer engagement ring. GN designer Jewelers sells only high quality legitimately graded diamonds.

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