Throughout the history of civilization, human beings have used different symbols to express their feelings and their intentions towards the people they love most. The engagement ring is the symbol of love and of serious intentions most recognized in the world.
Regardless of all cultural whims, fashion trends, regardless of lifestyle or religion practiced, the tradition of giving and wearing engagement rings continues to this day. Following in the footsteps of history, or at least the part of it where we can find written testimonies, we are looking for the first appearance or mention of anything that may sound like ancestors in the history of today’s engagement ring.
Such evidence shows that the tradition of the betrothal alliance had existed in Ancient Egypt and, as we know, Egypt was one of the ancient civilizations where marriage was not just a formality imposed by tradition. The family was an important part of Egyptian society. The desire for unification in love through marriage found its expression in many symbols. A custom in which the ring occupies a central place as a symbol of the infinite circle of love. The Egyptians believed that the wedding ring should be worn on the ring finger of the left hand, because it was believed that there was a vein that connected directly to the heart. This vein was known as “vena amoris”, or “vein of love.”
In the beginning, the ancient Egyptians used organic materials to make these rings like hemp, leather, bone, ivory, etc. and only later did they begin to use precious metals in their creation.
This tradition was later adopted by the ancient Greeks. Their engagement rings were made mainly of iron, although the richest used the most noble metals, such as silver or gold.
For the ancient Romans, the engagement ring held a somewhat different meaning than the Greeks and Egyptians gave it. For them, in addition to being a symbol of love, it was also a symbol of power. They made their rings out of iron, which represented strength and endurance.
In the Middle East the engagement ring was primarily a symbol of humility and patience. Wives were required to wear the ring given to them by their husbands. When a man returned from a distant trip, the first thing he did was check the fingers of his handcuffs and see if any of them had removed the ring. The bright sparkle of gold in a woman’s hand was a testament to her loyalty to her husband.
In the Middle Ages it was preferred that the engagement ring had a ruby, which was distinguished by its red color as a symbol of passionate love. Sapphires were almost as popular, because (the best known) are blue as the sky – the beginning of all beginnings and the birthplace of love. In some cultures, especially in the British Isles area, the engagement ring was forged only of metal, but its design symbolized faith and trust. Two hands intertwined with a crowned heart above them, symbolized understanding, love and friendship between a man and a woman, as well as loyalty and fidelity.
In the Venice of the Middle Ages, the tradition of a diamond engagement ring spread very quickly. It was then a popular belief that diamonds were magic stones created in the fire of love. Despite the fact that they were very rare and expensive, and only a few rich people could have them, this tradition of using diamonds in the manufacture of engagement rings, extended until the nineteenth century, when new reserves of this stone were discovered. precious. This made diamonds available to more people and their popularity spread.
Today the diamond engagement rings are still favorites because of the beauty of this unusual stone, which is an allegory to strength and eternity, steadfastness and love. Diamonds are forever, just like the love commitment of the two lovers that the ring symbolizes.