Custom Made Engagement Rings in History

[Posted on June 18th, 2013 by Beth Bowes-Carter]

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Common among today’s celebrities, custom made engagement rings have long held a place in history.  Although the diamond is the traditional symbol of love, many custom rings are made using other gems and a variety of metals.

Roman Engagements

The Romans were the first to adopt the custom of wearing engagement rings, according to eHow.  Based on a belief from Egypt that veins in the third finger of the left hand went straight to the heart, the Romans wore the ring on that finger.  They customized engagement rings by engraving them.

Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, people referred to engagement rings as bond or Gimmel rings. The standard rings had no stones and were designed as two clasped hands.

Wealthier individuals purchased custom made engagement rings with colorful gems like sapphires and emeralds. The richest buyers added a diamond, which as the hardest stone became a symbol of eternal love.

De Beers Jewellery says that in 1477, the Archduke Maximillian presented the first recorded engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy, whose father was Charles the Bold. This introduced the practice of customizing rings with love messages written in jewels, a tradition probably linked not only to romantic sentiments, but also to the prospective groom’s status.

18th and 19th Centuries

In the 18th century, a variety of betrothal rings were popular.  According to Ring Envy, the diamond came into its own due to the discovery of vast deposits in Brazil and other parts of South America. This made the stones affordable to far more purchasers.

De Beers indicates that custom made engagement rings were particularly popular, due in part to improved cutting techniques that made diamonds dazzle in the light. Many rings had romantic themes created by custom arrangements of love knots and bows, love birds, twin hearts with crowns and messages spelled with diamonds.

The discovery of diamond deposits in South Africa in the 19th century led to greater availability of this stone. The use of a single stone in engagement rings became popular. According to the Reader’s Digest, 1886 marked the introduction of the Tiffany setting. However, some purchasers added birthstones or gemstones to customize rings, eHow says.

Modern Rings

The current trend to consider engagement rings fashion statements in addition to tokens of love began in the 20th century.  When it comes to customization, the saying that anything goes summarizes the materials and designs a purchaser might select from a custom jewelry designer.

Fans have come to associate modern celebrity marriages with custom made engagement rings. CNN reports that when Nick Cannon proposed to singer Mariah Carey, he gave her a custom ring featuring a 17-carat, emerald-cut pink diamond with 58 smaller pink diamonds.

Perhaps the most famous contemporary engagement ring was the 18-carat ring Britain’s Prince Charles gave Diana Spencer.  The custom ring remained in the Royal Family after her death and again made the news when Prince William presented it to Kate Middleton to mark their engagement.

Whether the design or the materials are unique, custom engagement rings always mean something very special to those who receive them.

Vintage Engagement Rings: Choosing the Right Rings

[Posted on June 4th, 2013 by Beth Bowes-Carter]

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Choosing the right vintage engagement rings is a unique process. You want to choose just the right set that will be a reminder of your wedding day for years to come. When looking at vintage rings one of the first things you must do is determine a budget. Rings can get quite expensive, especially if you choose to go with a vintage or antique style design. There are several things to consider when deciding exactly what type of engagement ring you want to purchase.

Metals – Platinum engagement rings have become increasingly popular in recent years. Gold, white gold and silver are still the mainstays, but more and more people are looking to platinum for its versatility. The type of metal used in the construction of the ring must reflect the future bride’s personality and overall style. Platinum is one of the most durable of all metals, with sterling silver being one of the weakest. White gold is an affordable alternative to platinum that is very durable and will hold its shape for years to come.

Stones – Precious stones also are a big decision in vintage rings. Vintage style rings combine various settings from halo to solitaire to diamond accented. Some brides may prefer to have no stones at all. Diamonds are not the only stones that can be placed in vintage engagement rings. Rubies, emeralds and sapphires have also been used. Settings can be altered and changed depending on the cut of the stones being used. The cut, clarity and size of the stones must also be given consideration.

Styles – There are several styles of engagement rings to choose from. Varying sizes and shapes including the traditional sized bands can all be found in vintage style rings. Vintage rings have a very unique quality that normal rings just cannot do justice. They can be intricately designed and often very ornate and highly detailed. The style of ring chosen for a couple’s engagement and wedding must be carefully chosen. For the bride the style of the ring can represent tradition and hope for the future.

Personality – Vintage engagement rings must be a reflection of the bride and groom’s personality and commitment to one another. These rings will be a symbol of their love, devotion and reliance on one another for decades to come. Each person’s individual personality should be distinct and embraced within the design of each ring. Whether the person chooses to purchase a vintage ring or design one following the vintage theme, the ring should represent both the bride and groom’s distinctive personalities.

Engagement rings are the first large purchase many couples make as a team. Having prepared a budget and taking into consideration all of the information they know about their future partners, the decision making process can begin. If the couple chooses vintage engagement rings, they must put a lot of thought and effort into which rings are the right ones for them.