The symbology of engagement rings has survived thousands of years. Many civilizations have adopted this gift as a representation of the alliance between couples, the signing of a contract and, much later, eternal love.
From Ancient Egypt to today, history has made this icon of marriage have evolved a lot in its meaning and the material with which it is made. There are those who say that in ancient times the iron with which the rings were made in Rome evoked the god Saturn and expressed the hardness (or durability) of the couple.
This ‘eternal’ character would continue many centuries later with the most widespread use of diamonds today, the hardest of all minerals.
We already talked to you in another post about some anecdotes about this type of rings, such as the fact that they could have arisen from the chains of slaves.
But what is the origin of engagement rings?
It is believed that it was in Egypt when they were born and, despite being very simple and made with hemp (also from any other vegetable). Since then they already represented the eternity of the couple.
The parents of the groom had to visit the house of the bride to obtain the acceptance of the commitment among the young people, and from that meeting the final agreement arose in which money had to be contributed for the future coexistence with a jewel. The delivery of this ring to the bride signified confidence in said commitment.
Years later, the custom of respect for the family and the presence of the ring as a fundamental element of marriages would not change much.
In Rome, these rings were given to the parents of the brides to ask for their hand and, although at this time simplicity was the keynote, they already represented a promise that the contract would be respected. Most of the engagement rings were simple iron rings and only the wealthiest families could afford to give away gold or silver rings.
It would be Pope Innocent III who extended this tradition starting in 1215 by establishing a trial period between the engagement and the wedding ceremony. This time represented a pre-contract so that the contracting parties were sure of their passage and only in this way would the Church give them its blessing.
Diamonds in engagement rings
Diamonds in engagement rings did not appear until the 15th century and since then the most common are solitaires. In fact, the first diamond ring on record is the one that Archduke Maximilian of Hamburg gave to Mary of Burgundy in 1477.
Between the two images in this post there are almost six centuries of difference. The diamond ring of Mary of Burgundy would be the seed of today’s engagement rings.
At JSecrets we can help you choose a personalized ring to give to your partner as a symbol of your union. A unique ring in the world, like this one that you see made in white gold with a heart-cut diamond, set in a claw also with a heart shape and hearts cut into the body of the ring.
As you can see, each culture has expressed marriage and love differently because it is not so much the material but what is important. That’s why only you know which is your ideal engagement ring.