Bespoke engagement rings are guaranteed to make any profession of undying love all the more special and sweeter. Have you ever stopped to wonder, though, about how this practice came to be in the first place?
Read on to learn more about the history of engagement rings, along with some remarkable and interesting engagement ring trivia.
The history of engagement rings
Thousands of years ago, Egyptians buried the remains of their significant ones with gold or silver rings wrapped around the deceased’s middle finger; this was a result of the belief that this particular digit had a direct link to the heart — the so-called “Vein of Love.” In the first century BCE, sheiks and sultans used engagement rings as markers for each of their wives.
In 1217, the bishop of Salisbury declared engagement rings to be legally binding, and come 1477, the first documented use of a diamond ring to declare engagement was registered: Archduke Maximillian of Austria, and his beloved Mary of Burgundy.
Eventually, in 1761, King George III introduced the tradition of the "keeper," or guard ring. When he gave a ring to his bride Queen Charlotte, it was quite a diamond-encrusted marvel. The practice of giving an engagement ring continued to be widely accepted, with people in the 1800s creating specialized jewelry made of human hair.
Other fun facts about engagement rings
Now that we’ve taken a closer look at the history behind the engagement ring practice, let’s take a look at more quick facts about these shining, shimmering bands.
In many countries across the West, wedding bands and engagement rings have been traditionally worn solely by women. In Central and Eastern Europe, it is acceptable to wear the wedding band on the right hand and the engagement ring on the left, so don’t worry.
Interestingly, the smallest engagement ring ever produced in history was given to the two-year-old Princess Mary. Mary was the daughter of the infamous King Henry VIII, from England's House of Tudor. She had been engaged to another infant, Prince Dauphin of France. Thus, the ring was made to be a perfect fit for the little girl’s finger.
In Persia, tradition dictates that the bridegroom give a ring to everyone who attended the wedding ceremony. Perhaps most notably, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert gave out six dozen rings at their nuptials, each engraved with the queen's profile.
An early design from an Englishman, a princess engagement ring features three to five diamonds arranged in a neat row across the top of the ring. Interestingly, in pre-Magna Carta England, there existed laws that prohibited those who were either not royalty or not members of the church to obtain rings that were adorned with multiple stones.
Have any of these fun facts about engagement rings proved to be interesting and captivating to you? If you feel like having your very own custom engagement rings made for you and your beloved, simply book an appointment with us! Let’s discuss how we can turn your one-of-a-kind engagement ring concept into a sparkling reality.