An engagement ring is a standard and nearly universal symbol to indicate love, but why? Here at the Diamond Oak, where we have one of the best pre-owned selections of engagement rings by Tiffany, we decided to answer this question. Let’s dive in!
It’s Part of our Human History
The use of engagement rings goes back way further than you may think! But the “engagement” part wasn’t always romantic. The Gemological Institute of America points out that ivory, bone, copper, flint, or iron rings were worn by women in Ancient Rome as a sign of love, but also as a symbol of a contract. So, the ring was used for love and marriage, but for other reasons where two people were “joined.” It’s also interesting to note that the metals used in those ancient rings were more of the common, and not of the “precious” variety. So, when did the ring start to become more valuable?
For that, we look back about 2000 years. The ruins of Pompeii include jewelry – and rings – that were made from gold. Perhaps the symbol of “union” across all spectrums increased in value and visibility as civilization grew.
The Early Social Influencers
These days an item of jewelry or clothing can skyrocket in popularity if worn by an Instagram influencer, and nobody was a bigger influencer back in the day than the royals! The engagement ring took a big leap forward in 1477 when Archduke Maximillian of Austria had a diamond band created for his fiancé, Mary of Burgundy. This launched a trend across the upper crust of European society, showing that diamonds were in fashion for engagement rings long before a certain marketing company told us that “diamonds are forever.”
Interestingly enough, engagement rings by Tiffany are related to this part of the timeline. In 1848, Tiffany & Co. founder Charles Lewis Tiffany started buying gemstones from European aristocrats and sold them in the US to discerning customers. This had a major impact on the ability of Americans to purchase and own such quality jewels.
However, while diamonds were indeed making a growing appearance on engagement rings during this time, they were still largely paired with other gems. It wasn’t until the mid 1940s when the “A Diamond Is Forever” slogan drew the association between diamonds and engagement rings. That one slogan alone boosted diamond sales across the nation by around 50%!
Enter Tiffany & Co.
Meanwhile, Tiffany & Co.’s history as a jewelry retailer goes back to 1837. In 1886 Charles Lewis Tiffany unveiled the patented Tiffany Setting, and that was that. The way we viewed engagement rings was changed forever. The setting was so stunning it became a physical symbol of love, and that symbol has endured for 136 years and counting.
Humankind has always held the ring as a special symbol that joined two people together. Engagement rings by Tiffany carry on this tradition that has always been, and will always be, a part of us.
Preowned engagement rings by Tiffany are an elegant symbol of your undying love and commitment to your life partner.