15 Nov 2021 | 8 min read
Gifting our loved ones with a diamond ring while proposing or exchanging vows on a wedding day has been a beautiful and meaningful tradition for the longest time. But does anybody know the real reason behind exchanging rings on special occasions such as engagements, proposals, and weddings? When did it all begin? Is it truly a tradition or just a global marketing campaign? Let’s shed some light on the history of rings and how it evolved over the years.
A Brief History on the Exchanging of Rings
Interestingly, the tradition of exchanging rings dates as far back as the era of the ancient Egyptians more than 3000 years ago. In the past, circles were considered to signify the sign of eternity as they had no beginning or end. This reflected the shape of the Sun and the Moon, which the Egyptians worshipped. The Egyptian Pharaohs were known to be the first to use rings to represent eternity.
After the Greeks conquered the Egyptians, the Greeks adopted the tradition of giving rings to their lovers to represent their lasting devotion. This tradition was carried on when the Romans eventually conquered the Greeks and rings were used in wedding ceremonies. The rings were originally made of iron and copper before gold was used and gemstones were being incorporated into them.
The tradition of wearing a ring on the ring finger, or the fourth finger of the left hand, also stemmed from the belief of ancient Egyptians that the said finger contained a ‘Vein of Love’ that connected directly to the wearer’s heart. The Greeks and Romans adopted this belief and wore wedding rings on their ring fingers.
When did the Tradition of Diamond Rings Begin?
The oldest known diamond ring was discovered in Rome and dates back to the late 100 CEs, while the oldest known diamond wedding ring dates back to the late 1300s or early 1400s. Diamond engagement rings were used by royal suitors to propose to Duchesses and ask for their hand in marriage. Diamond rings eventually became increasingly popular during the Victorian era due to the influence of Queen Victoria’s love for diamond jewellery.
Up till the 1940s, diamonds were just one of the various gems or stones being used in engagement rings. When people stopped buying diamonds during the economic recession after WWII, De Beers (the world’s largest diamond supplier at that time) launched a massive marketing campaign that would change the fate of diamonds. De Beers managed to popularize diamonds as a stylish and romantic symbol and normalized the gifting of diamond rings for men to express their love for their lovers. It was also a show of the men’s wealth and earning power if he could afford to give his lover a large enough diamond ring. This diamond ring culture caught on with the rest of the world and has since become a norm for engagements and weddings.
Evolving Threats of purchasing a Diamond
One issue that grew together with the diamond ring tradition was the problem of fake diamonds. As diamonds grew to become popular, it became a lucrative market for counterfeiters to enter and pass off fake stones as real diamonds to unknowing customers. Thus, it is important for consumers to be wary and know the best practices to protect themselves from frauds. One of the best practices would be doing your due diligence as a consumer and research on the company or seller first before making a decision. Check if the diamonds come with any official certification (such as GIA, IGI, etc.) and read reviews from real customers. Choosing an authentic and reliable seller makes the buying experience a more pleasant and smoother one.
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Don’t put yourself in danger by buying diamonds from an unreliable or suspicious source. Instead, contact us at our website and our customer service will be glad to assist you in your diamond buying journey to make it an enjoyable experience.