For thousands of years, the representation of the bond between two people has long been a ring. These romantic and inspirational gestures have held steady, but where exactly did they come from? Though De Beers didn’t create the diamond engagement ring, they are associated with popularizing diamond engagement and wedding rings in the 1940s and ushering in the modern era of engagement rings.
The Greeks were among the first to wear rings not only to represent marriage but also as a pledge of fidelity or loyalty. Throughout the centuries, various western civilizations adorned themselves similarly. In Roman times, the Claddagh ring – featuring two hands for friendship and a crown-topped heart for loyalty – was a popular choice for betrothal ring. Today, the design is recognized as an Irish tradition, and often given between couples with Irish ancestry.
Choosing the perfect engagement ring is a monumental task. While a simple solitaire will never go out of style – and has always been the most popular choice for a diamond engagement ring – the gorgeous and remarkable trends that have glimmered over the last century may be great points of inspiration. For the magpies among us, we’ve compiled ten decades of engagement ring fashions that continue to symbolize the love shared between happy couples.
Selecting an engagement ring for your partner is an enormous step in your life, and can be overwhelming with a market inundated with choices. With our step-by-step guide, we hope to ease the pressure off of picking an engagement ring for women.