Valentine’s Day was no longer than a week ago…however, I personally believe…we should celebrate LOVE every day! And, why not to celebrate with diamonds which have always been the ultimate symbol of Romance and Love?
Did you know the word ‘diamond’ comes from the Greek ‘adamas’, meaning unconquerable and suggesting the eternity of love?
And, are you familiar with the fact that the tradition of the engagement ring dates as far back as ancient Egypt? They believed that circles were symbols of eternity hence, wedded couples exchanged rings. Unfortunately, no diamonds were present in this ceremony since the rings were made out of ‘braided reeds’. Not sure I would have liked that! I'll stick to my diamonds ...
Furthermore, are you aware of why do we wear the wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand? Apparently, because the Romans believed that the fourth finger of the left hand was a direct link to the heart itself. What a marvellous and romantic idea!
The tradition of diamond solitaire rings can trace its origins back to Ancient Romans, when gold bands were occasionally set with a single uncut diamond crystal. However, we have to fast-forward few centuries before finding any kind of historical record regarding the ceremony of the engagement ring.
In 1477, Mary of Burgundy, became the first known recipient of a diamond engagement ring - the traditional gift given by a man upon his proposal to the woman with whom he wishes to spend the rest of his life in marriage - given to her by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria. They set a trend for the European Aristocracy and Nobility and the tradition of the engagement ring was born!
The ring it is actually not too far in concept from a modern solitaire ring. The biggest difference is that today with the help of technology and advanced cutting science the diamonds are much more sparking!
Later on, in Georgian time, the setting of diamond in silver was introduced. At the same time, the advancement in cutting technology meant that diamonds could now be faceted in a variety of ways, mainly as 'rose cut' and 'old cut.'
In the Victorian era the solitaire grew even more elaborate, as goldsmiths experimented with richly carved settings and whimsical forms.
Snake rings become popular thank to Queen Victoria, who received one upon her engagement to Prince Albert. The serpent was considered a symbol of never ending love.
Have a look at my choice of a modern snake ring set with a lozenge cut natural Fancy Orange Brown diamond and surrounded by small round brilliant cut diamonds all around the head and down the twisted snake shank.
As the 1800’ progressed, refinement in jewellery craftsmanship allowed diamonds to be set in more delicate jewellery while, the discovery of diamond deposits in South Africa, increased the availability of this precious stone.
In the early 1900’ diamond lapidary techniques evolved greatly resulting in the creation of the round brilliant cut perfected by Marcel Tolkowsky. He is generally acknowledged as the father of the modern round brilliant diamond cut.
Just after the II WW, in 1948, a young female copywriter working for N.W. Ayer & Sons of Philadelphia first coined the DeBeers slogan ‘A Diamond is Forever’, cementing the diamond solitaire in its role as the quintessential choice for an engagement ring.
The diamond solitaire has appeared in a variety of different shapes and forms throughout history, yet it remains a classic and timeless design.
You will find plenty of traditional yet modern solutions for your personalised engagement ring at MBC Diamonds.
NB: All images are borrowed from different media, internet sites and MBC archive.