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Home > A little history about the engagement ring

A little history about the engagement ring

The engagement ring, a symbol since ever

Of all the types of adornment that man has imagined, none generates more aura, mystery and magic than the ring.

Giving a jewel to the one you love is a custom as old as humanity. Magical or symbolic, precious or not, this jewel is not sacred by itself, it becomes so by the faith and love with which humans wear it.

The engagement ring is part of a tradition that is perpetuated in all countries of the world, all social circles, all religions.

Adopted and preferred by primitive man, whether made of bone, stone or shell, it has been worn since time immemorial.

Often made of agate or gold among the Egyptians, it is said that the tradition of wearing it on the ring finger of the left hand comes from them, because they believed that the "vein of love" connected this finger to the heart!


The engagement ring in Antique Rome and the Middle Ages

In antique Rome, during the ceremony that preceded the wedding, the guardian of the bride-to-be made a solemn promise on behalf of the latter and in exchange, her future husband gave her a ring as a pledge. Simple rings of iron and then gold, in the shape of a knot symbolizing the link that binds the two spouses.

It was not until the Middle Ages that rings were regularly decorated with gems, which gave a complementary symbol. 

The engagement ring in the 17th and 18th centuries

From the seventeenth century, the frames are enriched with enamel, bouquets of flowers, the inscriptions are made inside the ring. At that time, they were often worn on the thumb and put on the ring finger during the wedding mass.
In the XVIIIth century, they became more refined. They are decorated with several small or large stones and we often find symbols related to love, the initials of the two spouses set with diamonds or fine pearls associated with diamonds, some will bear the name of "Pompadour", "Marguerite", "you and me" ...

Engagement rings in the 19th century

From the beginning of the 19th century, the evolution of the models was determined by two major influences: neoclassicism created during the Napoleonic Empire and romanticism with the return to nature, discretion and modesty. They are set with cameos, miniatures and always symbols related to love: joined hands, crowned or flaming heart, ivy (I am attached or I die), forget-me-not, the snake ring symbol of attachment, the twin ring: it separated in 2 and included inside the ring the first name of the two spouses, the date of marriage or sometimes a motto such as "that man does not separate what God has united".
Thanks to an unprecedented economic expansion under the reign of Napoleon III, with the annexation of Burma which brings us rubies and sapphires and the discovery of diamond mines in South Africa, the rings are loaded with stones. The cutting is perfected, the frames are aerated allowing the light to penetrate the stones to make them shine even more.

Engagement rings in the XXth century

With the advent of the twentieth century comes Art Nouveau, the shapes are freed, curved and rolled, decorated with baroque pearls, opals, small diamonds.

Then come the rings 1925/1930 with the Art Deco which brings a spectacular change to the jewelry. Very graphic, geometrical and of exceptional quality thanks to platinum, they are adorned with emerald, pear, navette, baguette and other perfectly cut cabochon stones.

Then came the 1940s with very sculptural shapes that broke established conventions. The rings are voluminous, sometimes asymmetrical with diamonds and synthetic stones.

In the 1960s the rings were still large but with openings and more finesse.

The engagement ring, timeless

Since those times, there has been little evolution for the engagement ring, the Pompadour, solitaire and other you and me are still present. They have crossed the centuries without a wrinkle and the traditional jewelry is still inspired by the models of the past times by giving a fashion to the color of gold, to a shape, a material added, a reinforced geometry but above all, the engagement ring is the gift that people who love each other make, whether it is modest or important, it has a very personal meaning that will remain all the life of the person who wears it.

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