A Brief History of Diamond Engagement Rings
Diamond engagement rings are a symbol of commitment. This symbol stems from the Roman Era. Twisted copper and braided hair were wound around the third finger of the left hand. It symbolizes the commitment between a couple, usually betrothed. The vein of the third finger was believed to run directly to the heart.
Engagement rings as you know it today came around in 1215. At the time, Pope Innocent III decreed that there should be a waiting period between a couple's engagement and marriage ceremony. Just like the ancient times, these rings were a symbol of commitment as they were used in the period between being engaged and married.
It was also in this period that rings were announced to be essential in the wedding ceremony, and marriages were to be held in a Church. Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to his partner Mary of Burgundy using a diamond engagement ring a few centuries later, in 1477. Diamonds were still considered a rarity and only owned by the rich. Archduke Maximilian of Austria thus invented the tradition of diamond engagement rings, which was that it was the essential meaning of being rich and being in love.
Shapes of Diamond Engagement Rings
There are various shapes of diamond engagement rings out there, no doubt popularized by the commercial aspect surrounding diamonds since they were discovered thousands of years ago. The cut or shape of a diamond is one of the four characteristics to consider when buying engagement rings, along with colour, clarity and carat weight.
The round cut diamond is a classic shape. It produces the most sparkle, and its brilliance is sure to dazzle the eye. It has 58 facets, and its twinkling factor makes it appear bigger than it really is.
The cushions cut is also called the pillow-cut diamond. It blends the brilliant round cut with an old-mine facet. The Cushion-Cut usually has a vintage feel. This engagement ring is perfect for those who adore the past, yet live in the present moment. These diamonds show fire and flashes of coloured light.
This cut boasts 49 facets in its pattern and has a square shape that is considered modern. They have a slightly smaller face-up size, but their diagonal measurement tricks the eye into thinking it's larger than it is. The Princess cut is the most popular of the fancy shapes of diamonds.
A variation of the round-cut diamond, the Oval Cut has seen a resurgence in recent years. It has the most brilliance of rounds and remains somewhat unique despite being classic. It also has a lengthening effect on the finger.
This is considered a step-cut diamond that sparkles differently from other cuts. These engagement rings are for those who like long lines and dramatic flashes. It has a hall of mirrors effect and is considered a rare shape.
You get a rectangular symmetry with a radiant cut and the brilliant sparkle of a round cut, all in one. The Radiant Cut's truncated corners make it more durable than a Princess Cut. Its popularity in the last five years has increased dramatically.
An "X" pattern is seen in an Asscher diamond when viewed from the top down. Elizabeth Taylor loved this shape and cut. These diamond engagement rings are perfect for those looking for an Art Deco look. They are great for geometrical styles.
‘A sparkling drop of water’ is often how the Pear Cut is described. In the past two years, it has become very popular. They have a unique and beautiful shape and an East-West vibe.
This cut of diamond looks thoroughly vintage. Inspired by the Marquise de Pompadour, its elongated shape makes your finger appear slimmer. It also looks huge when worn and has the largest face-up of all diamond cuts.
This cut is trendy and romantic. It is a shining symbol of love, and has been made popular in the late 2010s by both Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj.
There are several kinds of engagement rings to choose from. Research on what you like and enjoy the process. Happy hunting!