Let’s face it – Diamond solitaires are boring. The term, “so passé” comes to mind, and yet diamond solitaires are still the most popular engagement ring. In fact, most people would agree that diamond solitaires are synonymous with engagements.
For years, women have said “yes” to solitaire adorned gold and silver bands. The diamond engagement ring’s rich history began in 1477, when Archduke Maximillian of Austria presented his bride-to-be with a diamond engagement ring. Following that, diamond rings grew in popularity among European nobility. Today, over 500-years later, diamond solitaires still reign, and are considered the most popular engagement ring style.
Do you really want to be presented with something as antiquated as the diamond solitaire when your partner proposes? Or, are you seeking to transcend marriage norms, and opt for a ring that’s as unique as your free spirit? The following is a brief history of the engagement, as well as some modern-day examples of engagements where unique bested traditional, and the bride’s ring exemplified her individuality.
The History of the Engagement (Spoiler Alert: It has nothing to do with diamonds!)
Sadly, the world’s first engagements weren’t the spectacles of romance they are today. Reader’s Digest reports that cavemen would tie braided grass around their mate’s waist, ankles, and wrists to signify that she was under his control.
It was the Egyptians who first romanticized the engagement ring. As with our modern tradition, the Egyptians would tie bands of gold or silver wire around the ring finger. In the Western World, rings were placed on wives to denote the husband’s ownership over her. These rings were gold, silver or iron. Overtime, love became an important part of an engagement, and thus engagement rings became the modern symbol of romance we know them as today.
Unfortunately, the history of engagement rings is a bit sordid, and not very complimentary to a marriage built on equality. Unless you believe yourself to be your husband’s possession, don’t ask him to present you with one of history’s first rings. Unfortunately, an iron ring or a band of braided grass carries a negative history.
Unique Engagement Rings worn by Real People
When Chloe Malle’s fiancé proposed, she was delighted to find out he’d followed her family and friend’s advice and purchased her a non-traditional engagement ring. The Vogue editor’s fiancé, Graham, cleverly chose for her a vintage 1920s Art Deco cushion-cut sapphire set in a diamond surround. The beautiful ring is dazzling, and features a diamond, but isn’t the traditional karat-laden diamond solitaire Chloe had grown to find extremely boring.
In order to get the unique ring you want, and not something dated and boring, do what Chloe did — Ask your friends and family members to speak on your behalf to your fiancé.
“I picked out my own ring,” says Rebecca D., a stay-at-home-mom from Delray Beach, Florida. “Tom didn’t mind. I fell in love with the pink sapphire rings from FrontJewelers.net, but my mother didn’t agree. She wanted me to have a diamond. She didn’t believe a sapphire was an appropriate engagement ring, but I felt like the sapphire was far more beautiful than a diamond. The sapphire said something wonderful about the uniqueness of our love. To this day, I receive daily compliments on the ring, and because it’s on my ring finger, people know it’s my engagement ring. I’m glad I followed my instincts, instead of following tradition.”
To guarantee your happiness, do what Rebecca did and pick out a ring together.
Unique engagement rings are growing in popularity, and for good reason. They allow couples to reflect their love, without reflecting possession. If you want an engagement ring that speaks volumes about your distinctive love, choose an engagement ring that as unique as you are.