A Brief History of Engagement Rings | Stewart Kuper Jewelers

A Brief History of Engagement Rings

October 29, 2015
Helix House

Engagement rings symbolize everlasting commitment and love. A bond that never breaks. A bond that lasts forever. They are ubiquitous. Nearly every married hand you see has a ring on it. So where did engagement rings come from? How long have they been around for? Have they always involved diamonds?

Rings have been around almost as long as mankind has. Evidence has shown that cavemen often tied cords of braided grass around the wrists, ankles, and fingers of their mates. Egyptians used gold and silver wire to make rings which they gave to their deceased, rather than their betrothed. Come the second century B.C. the practice of giving golden jewelry to brides during wedding ceremonies began to rise in popularity.

The first recorded use of a diamond engagement ring occurred in 1477. The Archduke Maximillian of Austria proposed to one Mary of Burgundy with a ring set with flat pieces of diamond cast in the shape on an “M.” It still took a while before diamond wedding rings exploded in popularity, primarily because diamonds themselves were still incredibly rare. In the late 19th century major sources of diamonds were discovered, and their availability began to increase dramatically.

In 1886 Tiffany & Co introduced their iconic “Tiffany setting.” This six pronged ring setting is still popular today. It was designed to maximize the brilliance of a ring by raising it above the hand. In the 1890s Sears and Roebuck increased the affordability and availability of diamond engagement rings by making them available in mail-order catalogs. Since then, they have just been increasing in popularity. By the 1940s it became a standard to use diamond engagement rings

At Stewart Kuper, we are not only in touch with the history of the diamond engagement ring, we are masters of the elegant and modern styles as well. Our jewelers are experienced, knowledgeable and friendly. Whatever your jewelry need, Stewart Kuper is the place for you.