You've already made the biggest decision - to ask her to marry you and spend the rest of your lives together. The next step? Planning when, where and how to pop the question. Will it be a romantic dinner for two at an expensive restaurant? A bouquet of roses with the ring hidden inside?
Those details are all important, but the biggest detail of them all may very well be the selection of the perfect diamond engagement ring, the one she'll treasure for years to come, the one she'll proudly show off to family and friends, the one she'll love just as much as you.
Diamond Rocks offers a wide assortment of engagement rings, including popular solitaire engagement rings, princess cut engagement rings and multi-stone engagement rings. You'll also find settings that include high quality platinum engagement rings and 18ct white gold engagement rings.
But before embarking upon an engagement ring quest, we would like to inject some history in you, so you could realise the gravity of the centuries-old ritual you are going to participate in.
The History of Engagement Rings
Have you ever wondered about the origins of engagement rings? Where did the idea of giving one's bride-to-be this expensive gift come from? Doesn't it look like the man has to buy his woman's love and commitment? It doesn't, because behind the practice of engagement ring giving, are many centuries of peoples around the world presenting their loved ones with rings. The circular shape of a ring and its conformity to the body led people to associate a number of magic concepts with it. Representing mostly the cycle of life, in the case of betrothal the ring would mean eternal love and commitment to one another.
The earliest uses of engagement rings are ascribed to different peoples, including Romans, Greeks and Egyptians. In fact, the custom to wear an engagement ring on the left-hand ring finger takes its roots in an ancient Egyptian myth. According to it, the finger contains the vena amoris, or the vein of love leading directly to the heart. In the Middle Ages, prior to actually finding a mate, many men kept a ring tied to their hats, and would present it to their chosen woman once she was found. These medieval engagement rings were often inscribed with love poems or other messages.
One of the first uses of engagement rings can be traced back to the year 1215, when Pope Innocent III declared a longer waiting period between betrothal and marriage. During the time, plain bands of gold, silver and iron were used as an engagement ring, whilst jewels containing diamonds and other gemstones, marked the status of the aristocracy and could be possessed only by the privileged. This resulted in jewelled rings becoming popular among the upper classes. But as far as diamonds are concerned, there is a historical figure considered to have officially established the tradition of gifting an engagement ring with a diamond as a centrepiece.
In 1477, a love-struck Austrian, the Archduke Maximilian of Hamburg gave the first-recorded diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy. There is no telling if their marriage was a success, but the fashion spread like wildfire among royalty and nobility. However, it was impossible to be adopted by most people of the Renaissance due to the diamond's high-sky expense at the time. Diamonds remained the privilege of royalty and the wealthy for the next 400 years, until the discovery of the South African diamond mines in 1870. It wasn't until then that diamonds became more affordable to the public.
Today, as many centuries before, diamonds are thought to be the ultimate symbol of eternal love and commitment, and diamond engagement rings are regarded as an essential part of the magic ritual called wedding. There are plenty of shapes, styles and types of rings nowadays and here at Diamond Rocks, we stock an extensive selection of the finest diamond engagement rings to fit almost any budget.