The History Of Engagement Rings

An international symbol of love, engagement rings are popular throughout the world. But why is it that we wear engagement rings? And how did this seemingly age-old tradition start?

The History Of Engagement Rings

The History Of Engagement Rings

Steeped in history, the tradition of an engagement ring dates back to the Ancient Egyptians. They believed that rings were symbols of eternity and that their fourth finger of their left hand was connected to their heart, and as such would use this as their ring finger. Their rings are believed to have been braided from reeds and hemp. Brides in Ancient Rome on the other hand were gifted two rings: one in gold (to be worn in public) and in iron (to be worn at home).

It was not however until the late Middle Ages that diamonds appeared on engagement rings. In 1477 Archduke Maximilian of Austria commissioned the first diamond engagement ring for his soon to be wife, Mary of Burgundy. The ring was comprised of several diamonds arranged to form the letter “M” for her name. As nobles typically gave their future wives jewelry, Mary’s engagement ring popularized diamond rings among European aristocracy and nobility to signify engagement.

What Is The Most Popular Style of Engagement Ring Throughout The Years?

Round solitaire diamond, around 1 carat, set on a simple yellow gold band.

Engagement Ring Trend Predictions

We expect the following trends to emerge:

  • Decline in production of colored diamonds (due to supply constraints)
  • Round diamonds to remain the most popular shape
  • Decline in popularity of the princess cut
  • Ovals and cushions will continue their rise

While new and innovative ring styles are always created, trends typically always revert to the classics; round and emerald solitaires and halos.