Engagement rings throughout history

Engagement rings throughout history

The modern engagement ring has a history that dates back to the ancient Egyptians. Back then women wore a metal wire on their left ring finger. The meaning arises from the thought that a vein runs through this finger that is connected directly to the heart.  Throughout history this ultimate love symbol underwent a true transformation, to result into the current generation of diamond engagement rings.

Middle ages

Most historians agree that the tradition of gifting your loved one a diamond ring, was founded in 1477. Back then Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a golden ring set with small diamonds that represented the letter M.


Shakespeare referred in a lot of plays to engagement rings in silver or gold, but also the wedding ring was mentioned. In this period it was common to engrave a romantic text inside both rings.


The Victorian era in England was always considered a romantic period. Queen Victoria loved her husband Albert very much (which was rare for royal weddings, which were often organized for diplomatic or economic reasons). Victorian engagement rings often have romantic motifs such as hearts, bows, flowers, etc., whether or not set with diamonds. Currently, these models are very desirable.

The beginning of the 20th century

During the Edwardian era engagement rings were generally an accepted social custom. It was an era of prosperity and a growing middle class in large parts of Europe and America, so more and more people were able to afford fine jewellery.


In comparison with Edwardian rings were the engagement rings of the ' 20s and ' 30s less feminine and more geometric, in line with the Art Deco trend. Especially engagement rings in platinum or white gold were richly set with diamonds and/or gemstones such as rubies and sapphires.                                                      


During the 60's Hollywood stars started showing off their diamond engagement rings. The larger the diamond, the better. For example Elizabeth Taylor, who received a stunning diamond of 33 carats (!) by Richard Burton. In the 1970s came the princess cut into existence, a nice alternative to the classic brilliant.

1990 until now ...

During the most recent decades there isn't really a specific model trending. Thanks to the internet couples have access to a lot of information about engagement rings. Men buy an engagement ring that matches the style and taste of their beloved, whether they like a modern or earlier vintage style. Everything is possible.

BAUNAT has an extensive collection of diamond engagement rings, and this for each type of woman.

Author: Thomas vanden Bogaerde

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