The History Of Engagement Rings

The History Of Engagement Rings

We know that if someone proposes to their partner, they always give them a ring as a symbol of their undying love and devotion. However, the question is when did this become a norm? Who came up with this idea? Let’s have a look at the history of engagement rings.

Ancient Times

The history of engagement rings date back to the time of ancient Egypt because they were the ones who invented it. This idea was later carried forward by the Greeks, and was then adopted by the Romans. In a lot of countries, the engagement ring is on the left hand’s third finger because of the belief that a vein in the finger went  to the heart in a straight line. This idea was made popular by Henry Swinburne in the book he wrote, A treatise of Spousals, or Matrimonial Contracts (1686) .At that time it was a common belief that that engagement ring was a part of the bride piece, which represented the fact that the bride is now owned by her fiancé.

In the second century BC, brides in ancient Rome were given two rings. One of the rings were made of gold that the bride was supposed to wear in public and the other was made with iron, which she was supposed to wear at home while she did her household duties.

Middle Ages

In the 7th century, according to the visigothic code, the ring was given as a pledge and even though nothing was in writing, the pledge could not be broke n under any circumstances.  In 860 A.D, Pope Niocholas I wrote a letter to the Boris I of Bulgaria and asked them the differences between Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic practices. The Pope replied that in the Western church when a man got betrothed, he gave an engagement ring to his bride to be. In 1215, Pope Innocent III made it mandatory on people to announce their weddings in public in advance. Scholars think that this was the time that engagement rings became a tradition.


In 1477, the Archduke Maximilian of Austria in Vienna got betrothed to Mary of Burgundy and was the first became who got a diamond ring made for his betrothed. This was a turning point in the history of engagement rings as most of the European royals and nobles adopted this practice.


During the enlightenment era, posie rings and gimaml rings became extremely popular and were used as an expression of commitment.

Victorian Era

The Victorians loved to wear ornaments and had engagement rings that were designed with diamonds and other precious gemstones.

20th Century

Diamonds gained a lot of popularity in 1947 because of a campaign by De Beers that said "A Diamond is Forever". It implied that a diamond will last forever just like the buyer’s marriage. This caused the diamond to become a symbol of a man’s commitment to his fiancé.

21st Century

Things have changed with the passage of time, and people are using stones like moissanite, emeralds, and sapphires for their engagement rings.  Earlier on the most popular cut for a diamond was a round brilliant, but today the engagement rings boasts of different cuts like the oval, emerald, and the princess cut.