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The History and Meanings of Engagement Rings

Receiving an engagement ring from your beloved is usually an occasion that makes you think towards the future. The upcoming wedding day will be on your mind, but more importantly, you’ve found someone to share your life and grow old with.

When you look down at the diamond on your finger, do you ever think about the past? The history of engagement rings is fascinating and though jewellery has developed throughout the centuries, we still hold on to some of those age-old meanings today.

Taking a journey through the origins and meanings of engagement rings adds a whole new dimension to your beautiful ring.

The Origin of Engagement Rings

The tradition of engagement rings falls down to the ancient Egyptians, suggesting that the concept has been around for over 5000 years. They connected circles as being a symbol of eternity, and they also believed that the left ring finger had a vein that connected to the heart. In honour of both beliefs, married couples would wear braided wires on their left ring finger.

The ancient Romans weren’t quite so romantic. It’s said that they gave their brides a ring to signal ownership of them, rather than love. This idea was soon flipped over by the Greek Orthodox Church, who introduced the idea of a ring for both the bride and groom.

Engagement rings became a symbol of love once again. During World War II, this tradition remained so that couples couples be easily reminded of each other when the man was off to war.

Why do we Wear a Wedding and an Engagement Ring?

Women in ancient Roman society wore two separate rings for a reason. One ring would be made from gold, and was worn in public to show status. The other was iron, which would be worn in the home and was supposed to symbolise strength.

Nowadays, an engagement ring is intended as a promise of marriage, and a wedding ring as a solidification of that promise. Customs dictate that we should place the wedding ring before the engagement ring on our wedding day, as that’s the position closest to the heart!

Diamond Engagement Rings

Engagement rings got a makeover in 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed with a great diamond ring. It wasn’t until after the Great Depression that diamond engagement rings became a popular tradition in the west. In the 1940’s, a popular ad campaign blew up the idea of engagement rings, making them the leading item in jewellery stores.

Engagement rings are coated in meaning and dripping with history. Despite historical changes in the reasons we wear one, we’ve still stayed true to their Egyptian roots. Purchase a diamond engagement ring from our store in Melbourne to symbolise love and eternity.

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