The History of Engagement Rings
The History of Engagement Rings
Babyboomers.com Staff

Like many modern customs, the giving of engagement rings has a history different than what we currently attach it to. In our present-day, people exchange engagement rings as a sign of love and commitment for the person they want to marry. Little do many know that the custom was birthed out of something much more practical and only evolved over many years. Here are some interesting facts about how this practice was started.

How were engagement rings originally used?

The early purpose for exchanging engagement rings was much more practical and less romantic than it is today. Today, exchanging rings during an engagement can be a truly beautiful gesture which shows your commitment to another person before the actual wedding. But in Ancient Rome it was seen as a symbolic contract and was used to prove the willingness to enter into a marriage with obedience and love. The rings themselves were made out of a variety of different materials. Some were made out of copper or bone, others out of flint.

The meaning evolved over time

Later, one particular engagement ring inspired all of the ones we wear today. When Mary of Burgandy became engaged to the Archduke of Austria in 1477 she received an extravagant engagement ring from him. This inspired the royal court, which began to use rings in the same way. Engagement rings during the Victorian age were usually only exchanged by the upper class, but slowly became popular and a way to show one’s true love before marriage.

Engagement rings today

Diamond engagement rings weren’t always popular, but the 1940’s the slogan 'a diamond is forever' by De Beers made diamond engagement rings very popular among couples looking to get married. Today, you can find many different variations in engagement rings than ever before. In recent years stones in different colours and bands have become increasingly popular. 

As traditions are passed down from generation to generation, what the custom means changes over time. It is often shocking to find the original reason why things were developed. In our modern day, people love to show engagement rings to their friends and loved ones as a sign of them spending their life with the person they love the most. It is very interesting to find out that the original reasons for the practice were very different.

 

 





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