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Diamond, Gold, Silver. White Gold Engagement Ring

Why Do We Give Engagement Rings?

Most know that the act of ‘putting a ring on it’ is not a new thing, but like many traditions, we don’t always know how they came about. Get ready for a crash-course in the rise of the world’s most famous bling!

16 JUNE 2020 H.SAMUEL - EDITOR

Swoon-worthy, sentimental and packed with symbolism - it’s no wonder engagement rings are iconic! Even young children recognise a sparkling ring as a symbol of love, but have you ever wondered why we give engagement rings?

A BRIEF HISTORY

Although they were much less sparkly, the giving of rings can be dated all the way back to Ancient Egypt, where rings were made from braided reed or leather. It’s said that the Egyptians saw circles as a symbol of eternity, and therefore believed the giving of rings would bring them eternal love.

Fast forward a few hundred years and things took a slightly less romantic turn. In Roman times, women were given gold bands to wear in public and iron bands to wear at home, but they were symbols of ownership and obedience rather than love. Luckily, it wasn’t all as bad as it sounds. The Romans started the tradition of wearing engagement rings on the left hand ‘ring finger’. They believed this finger had a vein that ran directly to the heart, the ‘Vena Amoris’ or ‘the vein of love’, and by wearing a ring on this finger, it would help to keep your love strong. So they must have been romantics at heart!

WHY DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RINGS?

Believe it or not, diamonds haven’t always been a girl’s best friend. Archduke Maximilian of Austria became a trendsetter amongst the super-rich when he proposed with the first diamond engagement ring in 1477. But it wasn’t until the famous “A Diamond is Forever” advertising campaign in 1947 that the idea of using a diamond to pop the question really took off. From then on, their popularity skyrocketed, and they became the most recognisable symbol of commitment and unbreakable love. With a sparkle that is second to none and a range of cuts and designs to suit all styles and budgets, it’s clear why diamond engagement rings have been the favourite of brides-to-be for decades.

WHAT DO ENGAGEMENT RINGS MEAN?

It’s amazing how one small, circular object can speak a thousand words, but that’s exactly what makes an engagement ring so special. It’s a universally recognised symbol of love, celebration and commitment. And even though we all adore a bit of sparkle, we guarantee that most brides-to-be care more about the love that a ring symbolises than the technicalities of how much it cost or how many carats it is.

WHAT DO THE DIFFERENT DIAMOND STYLES AND SHAPES MEAN?

With so many shapes and styles to choose from, we know that making sense of the 4 C’s and finding that dream ring can be a bit overwhelming, but once you’ve set your budget, picking a ring shape is a good place to start. To give you a hand to narrow it down, here is a rundown of the four most popular shapes at H.Samuel:

Solitaire Engagement Rings

With a single centre stone to steal the spotlight and elegant bands to help add to their brilliance, these rings are the perfect balance of modern and classic, ensuring they stay timeless forever.

Halo Engagement Rings

Available in a range of shapes including diamond, pear cut and round, the centre stone is surrounded by a ring of round pavé diamonds which adds to the wow-factor and gives the illusion of a larger centre stone. You can even opt for a pavé diamond band to really add to the sparkle.

Trilogy Engagement Rings

A style fit for a Duchess! Three-stone diamond rings, also known as trilogy or trinity rings, have grown in popularity since Prince Harry got down on one knee with one. These iconic rings also have a deeper meaning, with each stone said to represent your history together: your past, present and future as a couple.

Cluster Engagement Rings

Available in a range of shapes, the cluster ring is a perfect mix of vintage and modern. The intricate placement of smaller diamonds means that cluster rings are unique and tend to be bigger than other styles, without the big price tag of a single diamond of the same size. They’re a great choice for a bride-to-be who loves a bit of bling!

THE RISE OF THE GEMSTONES

From Meghan Markle’s aquamarine showstopper to Blake Lively’s pink-hued rock and Kate Middleton’s swoon-inducing sapphire, recent years have seen gemstone engagement rings grow in popularity. Not only do gemstones have major wow-factor, but they have a lower cost per carat than diamonds and, with a wide range of colour options to choose from, they’re the perfect choice for brides who like a less traditional look. Many people are also attracted to gemstones because of their deeper meanings and the belief that the gemstone will help to bring those positive energies into your marriage.

Whether you’re looking for ultra-feminine Morganite, which symbolises unconditional love, or the timeless elegance of blue Aquamarine, which symbolises courage and communication, with our exclusive Emmy London and Disney Enchanted collections, you’ll be sure to find the perfect ring to complement their style.

Even after thousands of years, the giving of an engagement ring is undoubtedly one of the most recognised symbols of love and commitment. With a selection of exclusive brands and a wide range of options to suit every style and budget, we’d love to help you find the perfect ring for your perfect person. Browse our engagement ring collection online today or visit us in-store, where one of the team will be more than happy to help.