The History of the Engagement Ring


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A quick look through the history of the engagement ring, from its origins during the Medieval era to its modern trappings. All in all, diamond rings make any girl sing and history shows it. Learn a little and let Savoy Diamonds teach you all about why diamond engagement rings are a girl's best friend.

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The History of the Engagement Ring

  1. 1. A HistoryThe Engagement Ring
  2. 2. Pre-History and BC The Cro-Magnon man gave cords and beltsmade from braided grass to his chosen mate. 2800 BC: Egyptians are buried wearing goldor silver wire on their left ring finger. 2nd century BC: Pliny the Elder writes that mengive their brides a gold ring to wear at specialevents and an iron ring to wear at home 1st century BC: Puzzle rings are recorded in Asia,used to tag wives.
  3. 3. The Middle Ages 6th century AD: In England, the bride received her key ring, literally aring that hung about the waist and held the keys to the couple’s newhome. Below is an excerpt of the words spoken by the father of thebride:“I give thee my daughter to be thy honor and thy wife,to keep thy keys, and to share with thee in thy bed andgood.” 1217: The Bishop of Salisbury, Herbert Poore, ended what the practiceof seducing girls into fake marriages with rings made of rush, a type ofplant made of stemlike leaves. The Bishop declared that thesemarriages were now legally binding. 14th century AD: Gold rings were married to gems in dazzlingcombinations. These rings were sported by royals who chose their gemsbased on their meaning. The ring below features a roughly cut sapphirestone.
  4. 4. Spotlight: The Gimmal The gimmal ring is a ring with two to three hoops that linktogether to form a complete ring. These gimmal rings were most popular during the 16th and17th centuries in Europe. The bride and groom would wearthe separate rings until they delivered their vows. Then,the rings would be rejoined and given to the bride. These rings would usually be inscribed with popularverses, including the oft-repeated:“What God had joined together, let no man putasunder.”
  5. 5. The 18th Century During the 1700s, poesy rings are all the rageacross Europe. These rings are engraved withrhyming mottos, which can be found on theinterior of the ring, visible only to the wearer. The 18th century witnessed the rise of the Irish claddaghring. This ring featured two handsholding a heart wearing acrown. The name, claddagh, comesfrom the village in Ireland where it was mostoften used. This era is known well for introducing the wedding band.This second ring was joined with the engagement ringduring the ceremony. These wedding bands were adorned with diamonds due toan ample supply found in Brazil. This discovery made thediamond engagement ring more accessible to the upperclasses.
  6. 6. The 19th Century The Victorians were known as a highlysentimental people, often using gemstones tospell out the names of or endearments for theirloved ones. 1867: A discovery of diamonds in theCape Colony increased supply of thegem. 1886: Tiffany & Co. introduces their famoussetting, the Tiffany setting. This six-prong designmaximizes the brilliance of the diamond.
  7. 7. Acceptance The 1890s saw the introduction of affordableweddingrings and diamond engagement rings into mail-order catalogs. By the early 1940s, engagement rings havebecome the flagship items for most departmentstores in the U.S. From here on, diamonds are worn by movie starsand other celebrities to create demand for theitem.
  8. 8. Quotes about Diamonds “I never worry about diets. The only carrots thatinterest me are the number you get in adiamond.” - Mae West “Big girls need big diamonds.” – Elizabeth Taylor “This diamond has so many carats it’s almost aturnip.” – Richard Burton “Better a diamond with a flaw than pebblewithout.” – Confucius “Kissing your hand may make you feel very good,but a diamond lasts forever.” – Anita Loos