The history of the engagement ring can accurately be traced back to Ancient Rome, though it is common belief that the tradition started with the Ancient Egyptians and was later adopted by Ancient Greeks. The Ancient Roman book Attic Nights by Aulus Gellius made reference to a vein which was believed to run from a finger in the left hand through to the heart, this became the reason why engagement rings are worn on a specific finger on the left hand. The first recorded and well-document use of an engagement ring, however, was in 1477 when the Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy using a ring shaped into an ‘M’. This sparked others of a higher social standing to also propose with a ring. During the Victorian era, diamonds were discovered, though they were found in 1866 they were not identified as diamonds until the following year. It was at this time we saw the traditional diamond engagement ring we have all come to know and love.
During the great depression if a man were to break off his engagement he could be sued for a breach of promise, paying compensation for wedding expenses accrued along with damages for emotional distress caused. The laws on this were changed in 1935 and in lieu of being able to claim damages, the engagement ring became a form of compensation, as such the woman is not obliged to return the ring. The engagement ring therefore, acts as a promise from one person to another, a promise of marriage, a promise of love and honour and a promise of long-term commitment. In accepting the ring, the other party agrees the same promises in return and such a bond is made. Herein lies the significance of the engagement ring, the symbol of the ring ensures that engagement rings continue to be popular even in today’s modern world.
Choosing the right engagement ring is going to depend heavily on your partner and her/his preferences. You should try to find out what they like without making it obvious why you are asking. Some of the things you really need to know are:
Material preference (i.e. yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, platinum etc.)
Stone preference (i.e. diamond, ruby, sapphire etc. and the colour, diamonds can be clear or coloured.)
Cut/shape of stone (i.e. round, square etc.)
When you are looking at rings thing about the clarity of the stone, the style of the design and whether your partner will like it, along with the practicality of wearing the ring all day, every day. For engagement rings jewellery quarter, come to Diamond Dealer Direct.