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Rings A Symbol of Engagement and Marriage

Wedding rings as a symbol of marriage go back to earliest history and can be validated by the finding of rings that were inscribed.


Early forms of rings as symbols of marriage seem to have been heavier and more substantial as opposed to rings worn today, and bore various inscriptions. While some rings were inscribed with pictures, other were inscribed with writings typical of the time and locale.

The Introduction of Diamond Engagement Rings

The traditional giving of diamond engagement rings, is often attributed to Archduke Maximilian of Austria who in 1477 gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy, This is the first written account, but the practice may date back even further.

The placement of the ring on the fourth finger was established by the early Egyptian belief that the vein in that finger led directly to the heart. It would seem that romance is not a new invention.

The addition of diamonds came later. It is not definitely known when, but the earliest records mentioning diamonds date back to the fourth century B.C. Tracing the history of diamonds is a task, partly because of languages of the time and translations.

There is heavy suspicion that diamonds were on the scene much before written records indicate. This evidence has been found in archeological findings where empty holes have been left in beads that have markings unlike anything other than diamonds and the markings of artisan tools of the time.

It isn't completely clear when diamonds became a part of rings symbolizing marriage and engagement, and just what the significance is, but there could be many theories.

In early history diamonds were integrated into many religious beliefs and pagan customs. Diamonds were believed to convey any number of powers. They became a symbol of almost anything you can imagine. Power, protection from enemies, protection from disease, fertility and good fortune were just a few of the powers assigned to this gem in early times.

The diamond was often related to fire or lightning, probably because of the light and reflective attributes. It has also been equated with purity.

Certainly purity, fire, and fertility may have been important factors in the early addition of diamonds to the marriage ring.

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