An engagement ring tells the world that the person wearing it is committed for life and is going to be married.
The use of sealing the engagement with a ring can be traced back in ancient Rome. The first well-documented use of a ring to signify engagement was made by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria upon his betrothal to his bride in 1477.
The tradition wants that the groom presents this jewel to his desired bride when he proposes marriage and that the bride wears it after saying “yes”, as an emblem and proof of the mutual commitment. She wears it on her left ring finger, following the ancient belief this finger was directly connected to one’s heart through the “vena amoris”, the vein of love.
There are exceptions to this rule: in Ukraine, for example, the ring is worn on the right hand, while in Poland and in Germany, after the wedding, the ring swaps from the left hand to the right one.
In America after the wedding the engagement ring is often welded to the wedding ring and it is worn on the left ring finger.
More than 90% of engagement rings have diamonds. The curious origin of this tradition can be traced from the crisis of diamond sales that the famous company De Beers suffered at the beginning of the last century. In order to relaunch the market, De Beers made a big marketing campaign on diamonds using the most popular Hollywood stars of the times as testimonials. The idea was really…brilliant considering that diamonds from 1938 to 1945 not only regained the market, but also became the most wanted and bought betrothal emblem by American engaged couples.
The slogan “A diamond is forever” permanently consecrated the union between business and feelings. Strangely enough the slogan was created by a brilliant copywriter who never got engaged.
The engagement ring, symbol of sentimental commitment, became man’s status symbol (as he had to prove to be wealthy enough to sustain a family) and proof of his goodwill (given that should he break the engagement, the woman would keep the ring as compensation as socially accepted and even ordered by the court ).
This is why from the 40’s onwards it became common to present engagement rings more and more economically binding, as per specific rules that set the “right expense” (e.g. three months salary, one sixth of a year income etc).
An engagement ring certainly means that the woman wearing it is no longer available for other suitors and it is interesting to note that even during roaring feminism ages this tradition was never discussed. The reason is simple: the idea of a man in love who seals his promise of eternal love with the most precious gem is too romantic to give it up in the name of independence, gender equality or other rational principles.
For centuries woman wonders about her proposal and the ring that will remind her of that moment every day of her life.
Everything comes and goes, but a diamond is forever!
Stay tuned: we will help you to choose the perfect engagement ring and to discover the secrets that will make your proposal really unforgettable.
…and don’t miss our showcase of certified diamonds on special offer!