The History of Engagement Rings

The History of Engagement Rings

You’re about to spend a significant amount of your savings on a diamond ring for the woman you love — and you might just be wondering why it is this is such an important tradition when it comes to getting married. Believe it or not, the act of giving a woman a ring to symbolize the fact that she is yours is a tradition as old as man himself. Below is a quick timeline of how the diamond engagement ring came to be:

  • It all began during the age of the cave man, when a man would wrap a braided grass wring around a woman’s wrists and ankles as a sign of territory.
  • By the second century BC, men were giving women two rings — a gold ring to wear on special occasions, and an iron ring to wear daily to symbolize the binding contract of marriage.
  • In 1477, an archduke from Austria gives the first known diamond engagement ring, and the tradition in earnest began.

While diamond engagement rings are no longer a sign of ownership, but now a reminder of the presence of love, the tradition has now been around for hundreds of years. And like it or not, diamond engagement rings aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Our writers have credits from education and/or experience in merchandising, gemology, gold valuation, metallurgy and other industry related fields.

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