Symbols of Love

Falling in love is a blessing that many of us have savoured at least once in our lifetime. Most of us dream of what our engagement ring should look like but do you actually know the history behind the symbol of true love? In many cultures , the engagement and wedding rings are the ultimate symbol of love, devotion and commitment. Today the diamond engagement ring is common practise but historically , this tradition is fairly recent, beginning only in 1939, when De Beers launched a giant advertising campaign featuring diamonds as the engagement ring. Although the exact origin of the engagement ring is unknown, it was believed that it all began in the caveman days. A woven cord of rushes was tied around the hands and feet of his mate so that she would not escape. Once he thought that she would stay, he just tied her hands and finally when he was assured of her commitment, the cord was only tied around her finger. The ancient Greeks probably started the tradition as we know it today. Known as their betrothal ring. It was derived from the word “troweth” meaning truth. It meant giving a truth or a pledge and an engagement ring became an indication to everyone that a woman had pledged her love to one man alone. It was the Romans however, who were thought to have started the tradition of wearing the engagement ring on the third finger of the left hand. This was believed to be the “vena amoris” which translates to “vein of love”. This vein was thought to lead directly to the heart , and the theory itself is generally attributed to the Egyptians. This romantic theory makes for good conversational starters and the same can be said about Archduke Maximillian of Hamburg. The first ever recorded diamond engagement ring was given to his love, Mary of Burgundy in 1477. We can all thank him for coming up with this brilliant idea of a huge rock as an engagement ring.

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