Where does engagement ring history begin? Certainly it didn’t start with the Tiffany diamonds we see in the movies today! Where did it all begin and just why is it so important to us now?
Engagement rings – otherwise known as betrothal rings – were commonly used by early Romans but fell to the wayside until around the 13th century.
The first classic engagement ring as we know it today was given to Mary of Burgundy by Archduke Maximilian of Austria in 1477 (lucky girl!). Earlier promises of marriage were sealed with a ring made from plant matter or leather. They were simple and straightforward.
Strangely enough, the item to get for ladies patiently waiting was a sewing thimble in the 19th century (imagine that). The typical engagement ring didn’t fall into commonplace culture until the end of the 19th century.
Diamond engagement rings followed around the 1930s and now it’s big business for jewellery stores. According to Modern Bride Magazine, the average engagement ring costs $2,909 (for more on costclick here) with about 80% of women walking down the aisle with a diamond on their hand. No wonder it’s such a big deal now.
So why is an engagement ring so important? Why exactly is it so special? Some people see it as a needless expense. For others, however, it’s an absolute necessity. I personally fall in with the latter group. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what the ring looks like or how much it costs. It’s about what it symbolizes. Most women envision that moment where they get to show their ring to their friends and family.
The bottom line is that an engagement ring is a symbol of the most beautiful type of commitment in the world. It is a tangible representation of a man’s intent to raise a woman above all others and shows a woman’s willingness to give herself completely. To me, there is nothing more sacred in this world.