THE HISTORY OF ENGAGEMENT RINGS AND THEIR TRENDS
The origin of the engagement ring dates back to the 15th century. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian of Austria had a ring made for his beloved Mary of Burgundy and, since then, we have continued this as a tradition for over 500 years. While it is sometimes seen as a sign of partnership, the engagement ring has become more symbolic of commitment, with the diamond being the most appropriate stone to embellish the ring. Not only is this because of its beauty, but also due to its robust and lasting form. Hence the wildly successful DeBeer’s campaign, A Diamond is Forever.
There have been many traditions to spring from the act of giving an engagement ring. For instance, the so-called ring finger is said to have been chosen for the ancient belief that this finger leads directly to one’s heart. Even the act of getting down onto a single knee grew from the imitation of knights, who would kneel to show their loyal intentions to royalty.
Through history, there have been many designs of engagement rings, as well as many cuts of diamond. The most cherished and continually favoured style is the solitaire, which is a single diamond set centrally onto the ring. However, ring designs are becoming more interesting and luxurious than ever, with dedicated designers, such as Tacori, constantly pushing boundaries. Equipped with more powerful tools that are able to refine stones in more subtle ways has led to the most exquisite diamonds in history being produced today.
In the past two decades, some designs seem on the way to challenge the classical preference for the solitaire. For many, the halo style is increasingly sought after. In this design, the central diamond is surrounded by a halo of smaller, pavé or micro-pavé, diamonds. Not only do the smaller stones increase the value of the ring but they draw attention and light back to the central diamond increasing its allure. There is also the shoulder style of setting, which places these smaller stones along the ring itself. In the same way, though perhaps with more subtle glamour, they draw attention to the central diamond.
When considering the cut of the diamond itself, the princess cut, which appeared during the 20th century, has become one of the most popular choices, alongside cushion and round. The squared cut of the princess is incredibly flattering and sits on the ring as an inverted pyramid, accentuating the light resulting in a fantastic sparkle. Alternatively, the round cut uses careful facet shaping to produce the perfectly round edge, which is why it continues to be the most expensive style.
Despite any traditions, designs are becoming more personal and diverse. More couples are looking for rings and diamond cuts that fit their relationship. So, if you are choosing a ring for a loved one, it is best to consider how the diamond might represent your love or even flatter the shape of their finger. With continued excellence in modern engagement ring design, there will certainly be something perfect for you both.