The Story Behind…The Engagement Ring

Throughout history, and across different cultures, a number of different objects have been used as tokens of love. Let’s take a look at some key moments…

It’s one of life’s most symbolic objects. The engagement ring has been a beacon of love, commitment and, of course, proposed marriage, for many years. However, it hasn’t always acted as the only representation of engagement, nor the only declaration of love.

Throughout history, and across different cultures, a number of different objects have been used as tokens of love. Let’s take a look at some key moments…

Caveman Times

Okay so ‘Caveman Times’ isn’t a historically accurate term. However, in this period, they would be known to tie cords made of braided grass around their partner's wrists, ankles and waist. It’s said that this would help the caveman to bring his partner’s spirits ‘under his control’.

The Egyptians

During this time, people were buried wearing rings on the third finger of their left hand, due to this particular digit being believed to contain a special vein called ‘Vena Amoris’, otherwise known as “the vein of love”, one which runs directly to the heart. How sweet ...

The Origin of the Ring

Whilst sounding like one of the Lord of The Rings instalments, this particular section concerns where the concept of wearing a ring to represent engagement originates from. We have a Roman custom to thank for this tradition, a time in which some wives had rings attached to small keys - acting as a way of demonstrating their husband’s ownership.

Sparkly Times

Believed to have been discovered in India in 800 BC, the diamond begun life as an engagement ring in around the 15th century. Archduke Maximilian of Austria was the first recorded person to purchase a diamond engagement ring, as he sought to propose to Mary of Burgundy. Set with flat, thin diamond pieces, the ring created an ‘M’, representing the Archduke’s desire to marry Mary.

The Position of the Ring

Interestingly, different countries have different customs when it comes to where exactly the engagement ring should sit. England, the US, France and Canada traditionally wear the engagement ring on the left hand, whilst countries including Russia, India and Germany position it on the right hand.

Take a look at our engagement ring collection >