An engagement ring is so much more than just another piece of jewellery. This sparkly symbol of commitment is so exceptional that we were inspired to put together a complete list of everything there is to know about them.
Have you ever wondered where the tradition for engagement rings originates or what the proper etiquette is? Maybe you’re just looking for some inspiration for choosing a ring yourself. Wherever your interest lies, we’ve delved deep and provided you with a definitive guide.
History Of Engagement Rings
1) The concept of an engagement ring is generally thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt, where the shape of the ring was considered a symbol of eternity.
2) Do you know why the engagement ring is typically placed on the third finger? For a long time, people believed that there was a vein that directly connected that finger to the heart – the ‘Vena Amoris’, or the vein of love.
3) Roman women were often given two engagement rings – an iron one to wear every day and a gold one to wear outside the home to impress people.
4) In the 9th century AD, Pope Nicholas I announced that engagements would only be considered legitimate if the bride-to-be was presented with a gold engagement ring to signify the financial commitment of her future husband.
5) In England in 1217, marriage with a ‘rush-ring’ was declared to be legally binding by the bishop of Salisbury. While this sounds a bit odd, it was designed to combat a widespread practice at the time of tricking women into mock marriages by proposing with a ring made of rushes.
6) The first diamond engagement ring on record was presented in 1477 by Maximilian I of Austria to his betrothed, Mary Of Burgundy. The ring was set with diamonds in the shape of an “M”.
7) Popular in the Middle Ages, a gimmel ring was formed of two interlocking hoops (gimmel is taken from the Latin gemellus, which means twin). According to the British Museum: ‘traditionally the betrothed couple would each receive one of these hoops, which would then be reunited at the wedding ceremony.’
8) Shakespeare makes many references to engagement and wedding rings in his plays – around that time couples in Europe often exchanged ‘posy rings’, which were silver or gold bands with a love message engraved on the inside.
9) According to the British Museum, most of the engravings were ‘taken from popular literature of the time… or from collections on the language of courtship. A few customers would supply their own composition for the goldsmith to engrave.’
10) The Puritans considered engagement rings to be too extravagant, so they gave their betrothed thimbles instead – often the tops would be sliced off, so that they could be worn as a ring.
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Find even more facts on the History Of Engagement Rings here: http://www.rox.co.uk/engagement-rings/fascinating-engagement-ring-facts