Convention can be an interesting concept – why do we do the things that we do without really thinking about them? This might be especially true of the diamond engagement ring. Today, a symbol of undying unending love, the engagement ring hasn’t always been so close to our hearts.

So, why do we seal the deal with a ring? Whilst we think of an engagement ring as a token of love respect, that’s not really how things started out. Although we can now reclaim the engagement ring in the name of love, it’s fair to say that it's origins are rooted deep in pragmatism.

Engagement Ring Origins

Rather than, ‘Will You Marry Me?’, diamond engagement rings were first given in the time of Ancient Rome, from the groom to the bride as a symbol of ownership. The woman was given a gold ring to wear for special occasions, and an iron version to wear at home. The gold version was a marker of the man’s status legal ownership.

Good Intentions of Engagement Rings

The more modern idea of an engagement ring seems to have sprung from an ecclesiastical debate between Pope Nicholas Boris I of Bulgaria, as they worked out the differences between the Roman Catholic the Eastern Orthodox churches. In one letter, Pope Nicholas described how a man would give a ring, usually made from gold, as a sign of his intention to marry. This idea stuck!

Diamond Engagement Rings - Diamonds are Forever

We have the Archduke Maximilian of Austria to thank for making diamond engagement rings the sparklers that they are today! He proposed to Mary of Burgundy in 1477, with an ‘M’ jewellery piece, made from long, slim diamonds. It did take another few centuries for the diamond ring to really catch on; it would appear that the sparkling, gem-laden engagement ring – the symbol of undying love passion from one person to another – is a relatively new concept.

However, it wasn’t until very modern times that diamonds became intrinsically linked with engagement rings – would you believe it – and it was all because of an ad campaign. It’s one of those facts that should be fiction, like Coca Cola’s part in dressing Santa in red and white, but the diamond engagement ring soared in popularity after British diamond brand, De Beers, devised the ‘A diamond is forever’ tagline.

The Ultimate Modern Romantic Gesture 

Today, engagement rings are given as a sign of commitment, of love, and of respect. They can be exchanged between couples, or simply worn by one partner, but an engagement ring is considered to be for an occasion in life when you just have to make a statement. Modern tradition suggests that an engagement ring should cost two months’ wages, but there are some rings out there that even cost several years’ worth of wages!

Very few engagements take place without a ring. and these days, it is still considered to be a major spend with it representing – for some – the significant jewellery purchase of their entire lifetime. Diamond engagement rings are often cherished forever, and are both a sentimental and important milestone in a couple's relationship.

Pre-owned Diamond Engagement Rings at Suttons & Robertsons London Jewellers 

Here at S&R, we are proud to present a selection of pre-owned diamond engagement rings for you to choose from. Browse online today or feel free to visit us in one of our stores. Discover all diamond, gemstone and designer jewellery for men and ladies at S&R London Jewellers here

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October 05, 2021