The Sparkling History of Engagement Rings

The Sparkling History of Engagement Rings

Have you ever wondered why we wear a diamond ring as a symbol of marriage? Don’t get us wrong, we’re not complaining. It is interesting, though, to think about where this ritual began.

Traditionally, the man or woman presents a ring to a woman or man upon the acceptance of a marriage proposal. In other words, it’s as if to say, “I’m taken. I’m off the market. Committed. Devoted. Married.” With the simple raise of your left hand, you can identify yourself as such.

The Sparkling History Didn’t Start Out Sparkly

According to American Gem Society, this ritual is believed to date way back to ancient Rome. Wives wore rings to declare their “ownership” by their husbands. While that word “ownership” isn’t particularly loving, the reason they chose to wear the rings on their left ring finger is. The Romans believed that the vein in the fourth finger on the left hand was directly connected to the heart. A ring would be worn on the “vein of love.”

It wasn’t until a ritzy high-class society adopted the engagement ring trend that rings became a sparkling display of status.

The very first diamond engagement ring on record was commissioned by Archduke Maximillian of Austria in the 1400s. You can imagine being an Archduke, you’re probably quite the influencer. Fellow aristocrats took notice and soon were wearing extravagant diamond ring designs. 

Fast forward to the twentieth century. Diamond engagement rings aren’t exclusive to the wealthy. As a symbol of two people coming together in union, diamond engagement rings are still a daily reminder of a couple’s vows to each other. 

Popular Cuts Over The Years

Diamond engagement ring styles have changed many times over the years. The most popular shapes and designs have mostly been dictated by influential marketing and society’s tastemakers. A few styles have stood the test of time, like the brilliance and cushion cuts.

Still, to this day, the cushion cut is among the most popular diamond cuts for engagement rings. This popular cut was coined during the time when the Brazilian diamond mines were booming. The cut was originally known as the mine cut.

Because of the many intricate facets of a cushion cut diamond, it has optimal sparkle, making it stand out to customers. Cut isn’t the only factor that’s used to assess and define a specific diamond, but the modern diamond grading system we use today wasn’t founded until the middle of the twentieth century.

The 4Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) was founded in 1931 as a place to study and educate the public about diamonds and gems. Founder Robert M. Shipley noticed the need for a trusted standard for assessing diamonds from all over the world. GIA created a universal method for known as the 4Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight.

Padis Jewelry has two GIA Graduate Gemologists on staff at all times and is proud to be an accredited member of the American Gem Society (AGS). Only 5% of jewelers in the country achieve this status, so our clients are guaranteed that their purchases strictly adhere to the highest standards of measurement and quality.

At Padis Jewelry, we are honored to be San Francisco’s exclusive authorized retailer for luxury brands such as Tacori, Verragio, Gabriel & Co., Jeff Cooper Designs, A. Jaffe, Forevermark, Henri Daussi, Simon G., Scott Kay and more. Whether you are looking for a vintage style ring, something with a modern flair, or want to express yourself with color, Padis Jewelry has the ring for you. Visit our showroom to find the perfect wedding band for both of you.