Picking out an engagement ring is very important – it’s the piece of jewellery that’s worn everyday, remaining constant on a woman’s hand. It’s also a symbol of love and serious intentions for life long commitment. That’s why displaying it correctly is key for potential buyers. It’s not like purchasing any other piece of jewellery, it’s far more important than that and has to be done properly.
More commonly known in Western cultures, getting engaged represents a formal agreement to the future marriage between two people. The ring itself, with no beginning or end, is an ancient symbol of eternal love and began many years ago. We want to take you on a journey to explain the history of the engagement ring, on how it started, stayed and its importance within society past and present.
It all began in Egypt, where they created the engagement band to symbolize a never ending cycle, reflecting the relationship between a couple. The space in the middle of the ring, represented a gateway of new life. At first they used natural materials, such as hemp, leather and bone ivory to create the rings, until they discovered that making them out of precious metals would make them more durable and practical. This was then carried on by the Ancient Greeks who expanded on the idea and mainly made their rings out of iron. This represented strength and endurance, just like the relationship. As ideas developed and wealth stepped in, an array of metals were introduced. It tended to be that the more wealthier you were, the better the metal was, ranging from copper, silver and gold. They also decided what finger the ring would be placed. They believed it should be your forth finger of your left hand because of a vein that lead from that particular finger to your heart. Other cultures have dismissed that theory and suggested other reasonings for it, but as it stands, that is the main conclusion.
The Romans expanded the engagement ring further by presenting it with a small key. Romantics believed this was symbolic of the female protecting and cherishing her husband’s heart, in actual fact, it meant that the key stood for the unlocking of wealth and that it was a symbol of ownership rather than love. It meant that the husband would ‘claim’ his wife and was a mark of possession. If the husband left the home for a long period of time, he would check the fingers of his wife to see if the ring had been removed as soon as he got home, this was a test of loyalty to her husband.
As time went on, the engagement ring developed further and jewels and stones were added onto the band as a new design feature. These included rubies, sapphires and diamonds amongst others. Ruby was supposedly the meaning for love, passion and affection, emerald for home and diamond stood for fidelity and durability, these definitions dated right back from the Middle Ages. Sapphire was another popular choice, because it was thought that it reflected the sky, which they believed was the beginning of all beginnings and the birthplace of love. In more recent times, we can see the Duchess of Cambridge sporting this beautiful stone in her engagement ring, passed down from Princess Diana.
The diamond ring is evidently the more favorable choice when getting engaged and has a history of itself. It began back in Middle Age Venice, where the diamond ring quickly spread to being a key feature on an engagement band. At that point it was popular belief that diamonds were magical stones created in the fires of love. At first they were very rare and expensive and could only be afforded by the wealthy few. That was until the 19th century when suddenly huge deposits of diamonds were found in South America. This made diamonds far more affordable and after a huge marketing campaign from the US during the 1930s, the diamond engagement ring was the piece to have when getting married. The industry continued to boom and after continuous promotions, the diamond ring took off and spread out into other Western cultures. Now 80% of American women are offered a diamond ring to signify engagement.
Tiffany stepped in with a new design in 1886, which renewed the style of engagement ring again. They introduced a new setting which allowed the stone to suspend high above the band, allowing more light to pass through the stone, emphasizing it’s beauty. It proved extremely popular and still to this day is used as a main engagement style.
To this present day it seems that the diamond engagement ring remains the most powerful universal expression of true and everlasting love and the main choice when getting engaged. It’s included as being an essential part of the marriage ritual itself across the globe and represents a new chapter in a couples life that’s about to begin. The beauty of the stone, symbolizes strength and eternity, firmness, attachment and love. They say diamonds are forever and this should be reflected in the relationship.
We have recently introduced our new wedding display sets, perfect for engagement ring displays. The luxurious set comes in three separate parts, the photo frame, ring display and platform base, so you can be as flexible as you like with the product. You can buy them individually or together. Coming in two different colours, black and white and in matte or glossy, it’s the perfect way to display engagement rings. Made out of high quality materials, you can simply remove the set straight from the box to your window. For more details look at our collection via the website: http://www.jewellery-display.co.uk/wedding-display