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A defining piece of jewellery for millions of people, the engagement ring is a declaration of love, a promise for eternity. After 125 years of being by the side of nail-biting, eager-eyed romantics, painstakingly searching for the perfect ring, we’ve asked ourselves, what’s it all about? Read on and delve into the magical history of the engagement ring.

When did wedding rings start?

The earliest reference to engagement rings is the papyrus ring. Where there is love, there is always a cheap, and in this case, free option: all it takes is ingenuity. Egyptians wove a papyrus reed into a ring and placed it on the ring finger. As papyrus is an edible plant, you could consider this to be the original Haribo ring!

The ring finger was believed to have a vein running directly to the heart, which is why it became the righteous place for an engagement ring (a symbol of love) to live on. The notion of a ring binding two people by love was just one of the things dreamt up by Egyptians. They discovered many of the precious gems we wear in jewellery today, they were the one who dedicated them to months of the year as birthstones. You can read our birthstone guides in our knowledge hub and discover the history behind the stone of your birth month.

In Ancient Rome, an engagement ring was less a beacon of love, but more a mark of ownership — far from the romantic idea we have of it today. Rings were made of ivory, flint, bone, copper or iron. The richer class typically owned 2 rings, one made from a cheaper material to be worn at home, the other made from a precious metal to be worn outside.

In 850AD, the engagement ring was given its official meaning by Pope Nicholas as a representation of a person’s intent to marry. At this time, gold was the most popular metal and the rings were simple.

We’ve seen a demand for minimal gold rings over the years with the rise of sustainable and simple living. The beauty of buying pre-owned jewellery is you won’t be contributing to the cycle of producing new jewellery. Instead, you’ll be continuing the legacy and effectively stopping the retirement of a precious item.

Why are diamonds in engagement rings?

By H&T Pawnbrokers

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