New York Jewelry Design Institute (NYJDI) The New York Jewelry Design Institute pioneers modern programming and methods in jewelry design education. Did you know that engagement rings have a history that’s as old as, well, time itself?

It all started with the Egyptians, those clever folks from the ancient times. They believed that engagement rings symbolizes eternal love, and who can blame them? After all, the circle is the ultimate symbol of eternity with no beginning or end.

The Ancient Egyptians were also the trendsetters of ring placement – they started the tradition of wearing it on the fourth finger of the left hand. Why? Because they believed that the “vein of love” ran straight from this finger to the heart. This convention has endured throughout the centuries signifying the enduring significance of this tradition.

Emergence of The Diamond Ringdiamond engagement ring

Fast forward a few centuries to the 15th century, and voila! We have the diamond engagement ring, the star of our modern show. However, diamonds were a rare find in Europe at that time, so these rings were a symbol of the elite and aristocracy. It was not until the late 19th century, with the onset of the “Diamond Rush” in South Africa, that diamonds became more accessible to a broader populace. This pivotal event reshaped the landscape of engagement rings, making these precious stones attainable for a wider segment of society. The diamond ring soon became emblematic of eternal love, elevating the significance of the engagement tradition.

Speaking of diamonds, it wasn’t until the late 19th century when a little something called the “Diamond Rush” hit South Africa that they became more accessible. Suddenly, engagement rings were within reach for more than just the upper crust. The diamond ring craze spread like wildfire from this point on.

proposal on one knee

Chivalrous Roots

Now, you might be wondering about the whole “down on one knee” thing. Well, that charming tradition has its roots in the medieval era. Knights in shining armor,when not busy slaying dragons or rescuing damsels in distress, would propose to their beloved while on bended knee. It was a sign of respect and humility. Knights, when not engaged in heroic endeavors, would often seek the hand of their beloved while genuflecting as a sign of unwavering devotion.

Modern Engagement Rings

In the modern age era, engagement ring trends have gotten creative. Some couples opt for unconventional gemstones, vintage rings, or even custom-designed rings that tell their unique love story. But it’s not just about the sparkly gemstones. The whole concept of engagement has evolved over time, too. It’s become a symbol of partnership, love, and the promise to journey through life together.

So, there you have it, the playful history of engagement rings, from ancient Egypt’s eternal circles to the modern-day dazzlers. Who knew that a tiny piece of jewelry could carry so much meaning and history? 

Engagement Rings to Wedding Bands

As we contemplate the evolution of these symbols of devotion, it is worth noting that engagement rings are not the end of the story but the beginning of a greater narrative. They pave the way for another significant tradition – the exchange of wedding bands. While engagement rings signify the promise of a future together, wedding bands symbolize the fulfillment of that promise. The circular design of wedding bands, like that of engagement rings, represents infinity and the unending nature of love.

man making jewelry

If you or someone you know would be interested in crafting your own wedding bands for an unforgettable and romantic experience, check out NYC Wedding Rings here for more information! This exclusive workshop is a 3-4 hour private workshop where you and your partner get hands on crafting your very own wedding rings.

For those enchanted by the history of engagement rings and eager to take their fascination to the next level, the “NYJDI Ring Rendering Workshop” during NYC Jewelry Week is a must-attend event. Hosted by the New York Jewelry Design Institute, this virtual workshop offers a hands-on opportunity to explore the art of ring rendering, regardless of your skill level. Whether you’re starting a creative journey or looking to refine your skills, this workshop provides practical insights into jewelry design. To secure your spot and embark on this creative journey, visit the workshop’s page here. Don’t miss this chance to turn your passion for jewelry into a tangible creative skill!