A brief, whirlwind history through the engagement rings of time
October 28, 2016
If you’re on a mission to find that perfect engagement ring in Sydney for your someone special, your knowledge of stones, cuts and metals grows by the day. For you are carrying on a glorious tradition that dates back at least to Roman times, if not even earlier to Greek and Egyptian origins.
So how much do you know about the genesis of the omnipresent, universally cherished engagement ring?
In its contemporary context, the gift of the round ring symbolises your love, devotion and fidelity to your beloved. The circle of metal – with no beginning and no end – calls forth the sacred concepts of eternity, renewal and the alignment of the sun, moon and planets. Your choice of gemstone to embellish the ring, speaks of the unmatched beauty that you see every day, when you look into their eyes.
Yet, did you know that the sliding of the engagement ring onto the left ring finger is an ancient Roman practice? The ancients believed that this finger contained the “vena amoris” vein of love, which was thought to lead directly to the heart itself.
The original rings were made of iron, with only high born Roman officials having the privilege of bearing golden rings. This right was later extended to the freeborn and then, eventually, to all persons. Nevertheless, for centuries, plain metal engagement rings were par for the course.
It was not until the late 15th century, that the Archduke Maximillan of Austria raised the bar and wrote himself into history as possibly the first person to embed diamonds into an engagement ring. The diamonds were arranged to form the first letter of her initial. And so it was, what is believed to be the world’s first diamond engagement ring, was presented to his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy.
Where would the diamond engagement ring be without marketing? When diamond prices plummeted during the Great Depression of the 1930’s, the diamond mining giant – De Beers – drove a series of hugely successful marketing campaigns, dressing movie stars in dazzling diamonds. By the fifties, they had immortalised the “diamonds are forever” concept into the heart of the public psyche.
So there you have it; a brief, whirlwind history lesson through the rings of time. Hopefully this lends a bit of excitement and glamour to your engagement ring journey. Arman’s Fine Jewellery’s consultants are here to help, so why not give us a call on 02 9233 8633, or come visit us at our Sydney store?