With engagement season upon us, it’s time to take a stroll down memory lane and dig in to the origins of the engagement ring and trends throughout the years.
It has been documented that engagement rings date back to ancient Egyptians as they have been found buried with metal wire around the third finger of their left hands, the same finger we wear wedding bands on in present day. The diamond engagement ring dates back to the Middle Ages when Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a gold ring with the letter M spelled out in small diamonds, though it is believed that an advertising campaign for jewelry De Beers from the 1940s is what really thrust diamond engagement rings into popularity with the slogan, “A diamond is forever,” a phrase that is well-known and still used to this day.
Now more than ever, we are seeing less traditional diamond rings and more gem stones taking front and center. Let’s take a look at how we got here.
Unlike what we think is a traditional engagement ring, 1930s rings boasted an art deco feel with not just diamonds but gemstones.
This decade saw the rise in big and bold rings, with intricate details that included ribbons, bows, and flowers.
Stacked engagement and wedding rings were all the rage this decade, which is likely due Audrey Hepburn’s trend-setting ring. This trend is something we are still seeing today!
Celebrities set off the “bigger is better” trend, with record breaking carat sizes. Just check out Elizabeth Taylor’s 33-carat engagement ring from Richard Burton:
The new popular cut was the princess cut – something I view as traditional, though at the time was viewed as a cut that strayed away from engagement rings past.
Two words: Princess Diana. Her iconic sapphire had girls ogling knock-offs!
1990s – Present
We have been seeing a mix of decades past most recently, but it’s important to mention the rise of the halo ring these past few years.
Personally, I think you can never go wrong with a classic solitaire. What’s your favorite?