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Article: A History of Engagement Rings

A History of Engagement Rings

A History of Engagement Rings

The Glittering History of Engagement Rings: From Ancient Times to Modern Day

Hello, dazzling friends! Today, we’re taking a sparkling journey through time to explore the fascinating history of engagement rings. From ancient Egypt to modern-day Hatton Garden, these beautiful symbols of love have a rich and varied past. At KJJ Diamonds, we’re passionate about every facet of these timeless pieces, and we’re excited to share their story with you.

Ancient Beginnings: The Circle of Eternity

Our journey begins in ancient Egypt, where the circle, with no beginning and no end, was a powerful symbol of eternity. Egyptians exchanged rings made of braided reeds and hemp as a sign of love and commitment. They wore these early engagement rings on the fourth finger of the left hand, believing that a vein in this finger, the “vena amoris,” ran directly to the heart.

Roman Romance: The Birth of the Betrothal Ring

Fast forward to ancient Rome, where betrothal rings made of iron symbolized a woman’s legal commitment to her partner. These rings, often engraved with romantic phrases, were a tangible token of the promise to marry. By the second century, gold rings had become fashionable, and they signified not just love but also wealth and status.

Medieval Times: The Rise of the Gemstone

In medieval Europe, the tradition of giving gemstone engagement rings began to take shape. Nobles and royalty led the trend, with sapphires, rubies, and emeralds adorning the fingers of brides-to-be. The first documented use of a diamond engagement ring dates back to 1477 when Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a ring set with thin, flat pieces of diamond in the shape of an "M".

Renaissance and Baroque Eras: Flourishing Creativity

The Renaissance and Baroque periods saw a surge in the artistic and intricate design of engagement rings. Jewellers experimented with new styles and techniques, creating rings that were miniature works of art. The use of symbolism became popular, with rings featuring motifs like clasped hands (the “fede” ring), hearts, and flowers.

Victorian and Edwardian Eras: Romantic Revival

The 19th and early 20th centuries brought about the Victorian and Edwardian eras, marked by a romantic revival in engagement ring design. Queen Victoria’s love for her husband, Prince Albert, influenced the era’s jewellery, leading to ornate designs featuring diamonds, coloured gemstones, and intricate settings. The Edwardian period continued this trend with rings that showcased delicate filigree work and lacy patterns.

The 20th Century: The Diamond Boom

The 20th century revolutionized the engagement ring industry, largely due to a brilliant marketing campaign by De Beers. In the late 1940s, the slogan “A Diamond Is Forever” was born, cementing diamonds as the ultimate symbol of eternal love. This period also saw the introduction of the classic solitaire diamond ring, a timeless design that remains popular today.

Modern Day: A World of Choices

Today, engagement rings are as diverse as the couples who wear them. From vintage-inspired designs to sleek modern styles, there is something to suit every taste and budget. At KJJ Diamonds, we are thrilled to offer a stunning selection of lab-grown diamonds, which provide all the beauty and brilliance of natural diamonds without the environmental and ethical concerns.

Our collection includes everything from classic solitaires to elaborate halo designs, all crafted with the same dedication to quality and craftsmanship that has defined Katherine James for years. We believe that every love story is unique, and your engagement ring should be too.

Celebrating Love Through the Ages

The history of engagement rings is a testament to the enduring power of love and commitment. From ancient Egypt to the modern-day, these beautiful symbols have evolved and adapted, but their core message remains the same: a promise of forever.

We invite you to explore our collection at and find the perfect ring to start your own chapter in this sparkling history. Here’s to love, now and forever!

Stay brilliant, The KJJ Diamonds Team 

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