Engagement rings have been symbolizing a commitment between couples for many centuries. These rings signify the intention of two people in love that they are ready for a lifetime commitment that starts on the day they tie the knot. From simple rings made of gold to ones studded with precious diamonds and other gemstones (rubies, sapphire, emeralds, and the like), engagement rings continue to remind couples of their mutual intent to stay true to one another.
Maybe you’re currently looking at some shops selling high-quality engagement rings, trying to find the perfect pair of rings that you and your partner would wear before your wedding day. (Wait, men also wear engagement rings?) They do, although not common as the custom varies by culture. But if Ed Sheeran could wear one, why won’t other men like you, right?
Here are other fun facts about engagement rings that you might be interested to know:
- First diamond engagement ring. Austria’s Archduke Maximillian holds the distinction of giving the first-ever diamond engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy back in 1477. Since then, members of elite societies began a trend that would continue to this day (and probably would go on for many decades or centuries more).
- Of gods and the heavens. In Ancient Roman culture, diamonds are thought to have come from the heavens – splinters from the stars. Meanwhile, ancient Greeks believed that these precious tones were tears of the gods, which explains a lot about their precious market value. Surely, with the mesmerizing luster and beauty of diamond jewelry pieces, they do deserve to be treated with such heavenly regard.
- Straight through the heart. Have you ever wondered why engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of a person’s left hand (the finger next to your pinkie)? Well, it’s because people once thought that there was a vein in that same finger that is directly connected to one’s heart, which is a universal symbol of love.
- The best marketing slogan ever for diamond rings? Some people may debate that there are better marketing slogans out there but the phrase “a diamond is forever” from world-famous diamond mining company De Beers is easily one of the most iconic marketing pitches ever. If you have doubts, then consider this: De Beers made this incredible marketing pitch during The Great Depression and in just four years spiked its profit up to 55 percent. If that’s not enough proof of the slogan’s effectiveness, then what else would?
- The best time to propose. Are you struggling to decide when to pop the question to your partner? There’s no exact science to it but statistics-wise, around 19 percent of all wedding proposals in the U.S. occur in December, and 1 out of 3 such proposals are done at home.
- How much money do people spend on an engagement ring? Again, De Beers’ marketing team pulled a genius move when they pushed for the idea of rings that cost about “three months’ salary” of people buying them. But hey, you don’t have to spend that much on yours just because De Beers said so.
These fun facts don’t necessarily have to influence your actual purchase. They’re just there to infuse some context into this age-old tradition. The bottom line is if your intention is pure, any engagement ring is worth the same as the most expensive ring.