Real History Of Engagement Rings

07 January 2018
Real History Of Engagement Rings

Ok! You’ve found the love of your life, you have found the person you want to live your life with. And you are planning to marry her.  So what are you going to do? Buy a ring, of course.

Yes, but why? Well it is obvious that rings are gorgeous and society (especially women) seem to glad that this tradition exists. But have you ever wondered how this tradition came to be?

In fact, this tradition dates back to the ancient Egyptians. They believed rings are a symbol of eternity and marriages meant to be perpetual. Wedded couples exchanged rings. They wore these rings on the left-hand ring finger. It is said that a vein goes from this finger and reaches directly to the hearth. Later, this vain was named Vena amoris. After Egyptians, Romans had a tradition about rings in marriages. Husband and wife wore the same ring to symbolize that they belong each other.

First diamond ring, however, dates back to 15th  (1477 to be exact) century and first known diamond ring given in an engagement is Archduke Maximilian of Austria's proposal to Mary of Burgundy with a ring set with thin, flat pieces of diamonds in the shape of an “M".  After that, diamond rings in engagements, proposals and marriages became a huge tradition and still lives on today, right? Well, no. Although there were some examples of diamond rings and rings with other valuable stones, this tradition did not start in Middle Age Europe and it wasn't so romantic, it was an advertisement. When diamonds were discovered in South Africa in 1880’s, DeBeers Company was founded as mining company. Only in a decade, they controlled 90 percent of the world’s diamond production. With the main purpose of profit, they turned diamond rings into nothing more than a “campaign” After the Great Depression’s end, company launched its famous “A diamond is forever” slogan and encouraged men to spend two months of salary on a diamond ring. This was an extremely successful slogan by the way, even though the expression “two months of salary” sounds a little bit repelling. This campaign turned diamond rings into a tradition. Anyway, by the early 1940s, engagement rings become the leading line of jewellery in most of the stores. In modern day more than 80 percent of the words brides get diamond engagement rings. According to estimates, couples spent an average of $4,000 on an engagement ring in 2012.

Okay, okay, alright there is no need to be pessimistic about how this romantic and sweet tradition is based on the purpose of earning more money. Despite the black clouds, there is a silver lining. This is something everybody does now and it is a part of our society and our culture. Many people know how it has started and they buy engagement rings anyway. They are nice looking fancy accessories and a symbol of love. They do not have anything to do with 1880’ companies anymore. They are part of our lives now. Besides, many traditions have started in bizarre ways and engagement rings are no exception
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