The story around the engagement ring and the wedding ring really surprises. In modern history it is synonymous with romance, love and commitment but in ancient times it was a sign of ownership.
Engagement Rings: Historical Review
Solitaire rings, or rosettes intended for engagement, have their roots in ancient Rome. It is said that women back then accepted two engagement rings, an iron one to wear inside the house and a gold one for going out. Clearly the rings back then were in a different form than the rings of today. They were often carved from materials such as ivory or shell or made of copper and were given to seal a contract of mutual acceptance or ownership.
When did engagement rings first appear?
Pope Nicholas I was the first to announce in about 850 that gold jewelry was an official symbol of a man’s intention to marry a woman. Andreas Capellanus circa 1190 in his famous De Amore writes that “a woman who loves may allow a man to give her a handkerchief, a gold or silver crown, a ring…”. Diamonds in engagement rings first appeared in 1477 when Maximilian I of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy. It is said that the diamonds in this ring were oblong in shape and formed the letter M. This ring sparked the trend for diamond engagement rings among the European aristocracy.
In the Victorian era, engagement rings had a romantic design, often with diamonds along with coloured stones and enamel, while in the Edwardian era they were all-white, with diamonds set in white metal with a delicate design. In 1947 the slogan “A diamond is forever” was launched and the diamond solitaire became the predominant engagement jewel.
Their symbolism to this day
Diamonds, with their unparalleled durability, are the ultimate symbol of love and the endless bond between two people. Discover the entire Mil-Or collection and find your own special diamond.