Do you ever dream about what your perfect engagement ring should look like? Would it be of gold or platinum, and what stone will it have? It is no wonder that there could hardly be anyone who is not excited about their engagement ring.
Engagements are beautiful. They show love and commitment between two people who make their way into each other’s life until death do them apart. Buying rings for such a special occasion is no easy feat – it requires a whole thought process according to your partner’s taste. People spend a significant amount of time buying the perfect ring for their future spouse.
It is said that every story has two sides to it. Have you ever wondered what could be the story behind engagement rings? As romantic as it sounds, engagement rings have a dark and surprising history of their own. They also have quite a few interesting facts associated with them. We are determined to provide you with such facts; some of them might just blow your mind.
1. A Sign of Ownership
The real history of engagement rings leads back to ancient Rome. Back in those days, rings were part of the bride’s price – meaning that the man has ownership over his bride and has literally bought the woman. A bag of gold usually accompanied the ring for the bride’s father as part of the price. Not very romantic, right?
2. Official Status in 850
Pope Nicholas I declared that an engagement ring implies a man’s intent to marry the woman. Before 850, rings and bands were worn as a sign of business deals and other commitments. The most expensive material of that time was gold, so men would give their beloved women rings made out of it.
3. A Symbol of Eternity
During the Victorian Era, men gave their women snake rings. These were thought to be a symbol of eternity and everlasting love.
4. First Diamond Engagement Ring
Diamonds appeared on engagement rings only after the 1400s. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed Mary of Burgundy for marriage. His engagement ring had long diamonds mounted on a gold ring in the shape of “M.”
5. The Vein to the Heart
In most western countries, engagement rings are worn on the left ring finger. It is believed that there is a vein vena amoris that leads to the heart. It is only fair that a symbol of love and commitment is to be worn to connect directly with the heart.
6. Engraved Messages
There are a lot of references to engagement rings in Shakespeare’s work. At that time, people would exchange commitment bands with messages engraved on them. It is said that most of these engravings are from popular literature. Even today, people choose to engrave phrases of love or the date of their proposal on their rings to enhance the importance of the occasion.
7. A toi et moi ring
When Napoleon Bonaparte proposed his future Empress Josephine, he gave her a ring with the engravings toi et moi, which means “you and me” in French. The ring had two stones mounted – a diamond and a sapphire.
8. Spending a Year’s Salary?
It was popularly believed in the past that a man should be willing to spend at least a year’s worth of his salary on buying the perfect engagement ring. This might be a bit of exaggeration, but today it is estimated that a man spends one to three months’ worth of his earnings on a ring for his bride. They also spend months choosing the perfect one.
On average, men visit four retailers and choose from various 27 rings until making the final choice. That is why it is becoming increasingly common that couples go ring shopping together to choose the perfect ring for their special occasion with a mutual decision.
9. December – That month of The Year
Because of Valentine’s Day, you thought of February, didn’t you? Well, the answer is that December is the month in which most men prefer to propose to their partners. It is kind of evident that the whole atmosphere around Christmas and New Year’s Eve can motivate anyone to get down on their knees.
10. Engagement and Wedding Rings – A Set
It is commonly seen that fancy rings are chosen for engagements while simpler bands are preferred as wedding bands. Nowadays, a set of both engagement and wedding rings can be purchased that match with each other when worn together. After their wedding ceremony, women often get both their rings soldered together to form one band to symbolize their commitment.
11. Rings can be a Deal breaker!
According to Bustle, about 53% of women would reject a marriage proposal if they didn’t like the engagement ring. This may sound a bit cruel, but what good is a man if he can’t get the right ring for his future wife. After all, it is a commitment of a lifetime, and no one wants to wear a ring they don’t like.
12. Diamonds are Indeed Forever
Arguably, diamonds are a girl’s best friend. There would hardly be any girl who has not dreamt of getting a piece of diamond jewelry for herself. Engagement rings are no different. Men know that women love diamonds; hence they save up for the best-looking diamond ring. Diamonds are a solid 10 being the hardest on the Mohs scale, followed by Ruby and Sapphires on number 9.
13. Most Popular Diamond Shape
The Round Brilliant Cut is the most demanded shape for a diamond for an engagement ring. It was first created by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. Apart from that, Emerald Cut is also very famous among celebrities and commoners alike these days.
14. The Kimberley Process
This process ensures that the diamond in your engagement ring is genuine and not a dupe. Kimberly Process was set to stop the trade of smuggled diamonds by enforcing specific rules on members. 99.8% of the rough diamonds’ global production goes through this process to ensure that only ethical diamonds get utilized in engagement rings.
The Most Expensive Engagement Rings
In no way can engagement rings be compromised upon. They just have to be the perfect one for your partner. Celebrities around the world are famous for their talents and money. It is quite natural that their engagement rings would be among the most expensive pieces of jewelry on the face of the Earth. Following are the most expensive engagement rings that celebrities ever receive:
1. Melania Trump – $3 million
The United States’ former president presented this 25-carat ring to Melania in 2004. Designed by Graff, it received fierce backlash when it appeared in official portraits for the White House.
2. Vanessa Bryant – $4 million
The legendary star Kobe Bryant gave this rare 8-carat purple ring to his then-girlfriend Vanessa in 2003. However, the ring is controversially known as an “apology ring” because Kobe was charged with rape allegations two weeks before his proposal. RIP the legend!
3. Paris Hilton – $4.7 million
The hotel heiress Paris Hilton got engaged to a Greek shipping heir Paris Latsis who spent a painful $4.7 million on a 24-carat emerald diamond ring in May of 2005. So much money spent only for the couple to be separated by September of the same year.
4. Kim Kardashian – $8 million
Kanye West felt a need to splash his love for Kim in the form of money. He gave Kim a dazzling 15-carat cushion-cut diamond ring in 2013. It was designed by Lorraine Schwartz.
5. Mariah Carey – $10 million
With a 35-carat diamond and a platinum band, Mariah Carey really enjoyed the love that came with the ring. Her Australian fiancé chose this ten-million-dollar ring for Mariah, only to be separated after ten months. Mariah insisted on keeping the ring, and honestly, who would not drool over such a beauty.
Engagement Rings – An Important Piece of Jewelry
For most women, engagement rings are a big deal. They would love to brag about the ones their partners got them among friends and family. This particular ring is not a mere piece of jewelry – it’s a commitment and a symbol of love.