Back in the caveman days, men used to express their love and commitment to the lady of their dreams by tying cords of braided grass around her wrists, waist and ankles. Fast forward a few thousand years later, Egyptians buried their dead who wore rings made of gold or silver wire on the ring finger of their left hands. They believed that the third or fourth finger was directly connected to the heart. In the 2nd Century B.C., the bride was given a gold ring to wear for the ceremony and special events and a separate iron ring to wear at home.
“Engagement” rings as we know it today had different names back then. Pre-marriage rings were worn for different purposes. In Asia, wives were “tagged” with puzzle rings. The Greeks called it “the betrothal rings” and wives were not required to wear it before the actual ceremony. Europeans called it “the posie ring” which was given as a promise of faithfulness and love as opposed to ownership, as was in other cultures. In Colonial America, thimbles were worn to signify attachment. Women removed the top of the thimble to make a ring.
In 1477, the first engagement recorded in history, Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy. Her ring had thin flat diamonds arranged in the shape of an “M.” In the 1800’s, jewelry was made from human hair and gemstones such as diamonds, amethysts, rubies, or emeralds were used to spell out names or terms of endearment. The supply of diamonds became abundant in 1867 when diamonds were discovered in South Africa. Since then, the market for diamond rings exploded. Cecil Rhodes, the founder of DeBeers Mining Company, controlled the 90% of the diamond market within ten years of the discovery.
If you are ready to pop the question to the special woman in your life, we are ready to help! So when you’re in the market for an engagement ring in San Diego, give us a call or stop by our showroom so we can help you get something perfect!