The evolution of engagement rings has been quite extraordinary, we have been able to witness the rise and fall of some rings, as some styles and designs make their comeback well known! This year alone has seen diamond halo engagement rings and pear-shaped diamond rings become popular yet again, and it sure does help when well-known celebrities are seen supporting them! Engagement ring trends this year were expected, but it still doesn’t stop us all from falling in love with them anyway!

Now, choosing an engagement ring is a big deal – you present this after your significant other has accepted your proposal, so it needs to say something about them and evidently, they need to like it A LOT if they’re going to be wearing it for the rest of their life. Although it can be daunting, there is enough inspiration. out there for you to choose the perfect ring and if you’re into a bit of history, we’re going to have a look at how far engagement rings have really come!

The History

So, how were engagement rings first introduced? Who came up with the idea to give the person you love a ring? Ancient Egyptians believed that circles were symbols of eternity and therefore made it a tradition. Married couples exchanged rings made out of braided reeds and they were worn on the left-hand ring finger – this is because apparently, the finger has a vein that runs directly to the heart. This is named Vena Amoris, which is quite romantic, right?

Skip ahead a few years to the 2ndcentury B.C, this is when the ancient Romans started the tradition of betrothal rings in lieu of gifting the bridge money or a valuable possession or object. Although the ancient Egyptians appeared to be quite romantic when it came to love, the Romans were more focused on ownership. Diamond engagement rings didn’t actually become a thing until centuries later because they were a rarity. It’s known that a diamond engagement ring was first used in 1477!

Diamonds Are Forever

Let’s head on over to South Africa though – where diamonds were discovered in 1880, so relatively late compared to most countries. Cecil Rhodes founded a mining company, named DeBeers and within a decade they controlled 90% of the world’s diamond production! Because of their popularity and business, diamond engagement rings became nothing more than an ad campaign. In order to boost sales and grab the demand back for the expensive rings, they enlisted a New York ad agency.

Ever wonder where “diamonds are forever” came from? Thanks to N.W. Ayer & Son, they launched the ever so famous slogan which to this day is still as popular as ever. It was also known that men should spend 2 months salary on an engagement ring! 

We’d love to know what your budget is for an engagement though and which one are you to focus on more – color, clarity or carat?

Let’s Talk Shapes

Victorian Style (1837 – 1901)

In the Victorian times when the middle class was on the rise, it meant an increase in demand for jewelry. It was no surprise that women were dreaming of the new fashion piece, a beautifully crafted diamond engagement ring.

Edwardian Style (1901 – 1915)

Moving on from the Victorian era and the designs, the Edwardians focused more on delicate, pretty rings. In 1903 a new invention was produced, which meant that it was possible to work with platinum. Because of this, it also meant that yellow gold wasn’t really needed in jewelry creation and fabrication.

Art Deco Style (1920 – 1930)

This era was arguably the defining point when it came to engagement ring styles and designs. White metal with millgrain accents was all the fashion in Art Deco era engagement rings. New techniques and cuts with gemstones were introduced, with jewellery designers paving the way for future designers. This era featured bold geometric designs with large stones set in the center.

Retro and Vintage Style (1940 – 1950)

During the war, diamonds were not seen often. Jewelry switched again and therefore was made from gold and not platinum, as this was reserved for the war effort. Engagement diamond rings from this era featured inexpensive gemstones and old diamonds.

Square Shaped Stones Style (1960 – 1980)

The era where princess cut stones were defined and perfected. During this era, engagement rings focused heavily on quantity, and not really quality. Rings featured a large stone, surrounded by smaller stones in order to form the overall ring. These are still often chosen in today’s market, for those who are looking for something with a different and vintage touch. The 1980’sis when one of the famous engagement rings was brought into the world – the oval shape!

We can thank Prince Charles of England for that as he had given this ring to Lady Diana Spencer. The oval shape engagement ring is amongst the favorites and famous engagement rings still to this day.

Popular Modern Designs Today

Solitaire– The solitaire is one that will never go out of style. The simplicity and beauty are what makes the traditional and classic ring what it is. Solitaire engagement rings have a diamond or stone which is found in the center of the ring. These types of rings are best suited for those who like classic, traditional rings with a touch of sparkle and shine.

Halo –One of our favorites! Halo engagement rings are the most popular and famous rings to this day. This ring features smaller diamonds around the center stone, and then other additional stones. These are extremely popular because the style and design make the center stone look bigger than what it is, and it’s a ring you’ll definitely want to flash about. Halo engagement rings are more suited to the modern woman.

Three Stone– Three stone rings were popular back in the day, but now over recent years, they’ve made a comeback. These types of engagement rings feature three stone rings with innovative and beautiful designs. They are also known as trilogy rings as the 3 stones represent past, present, and future.

It’s safe to say engagement rings have developed for the better, and with the many styles and designs available, we totally understand how scary it can be to walk into a jeweler and have thousands of rings staring back at you. If you already know what message you want the ring to provide when you make your proposal, you’re already halfway to picking the perfect engagement ring.