Free Insured Domestic UPS Shipping
Skip to content


Engagement rings have a rich and fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. From being a symbol of ownership in ancient times to representing eternal love in the present day, the meaning and style of these precious tokens have undergone a remarkable transformation. At S. Kind & Co, we are old souls who passionately create ethical engagement rings by combining contemporary techniques with time-honored styles. As we delve into the world of engagement rings, let us take you on a journey through time, exploring the symbolism, styles, and significance of these cherished symbols of lifelong commitment.

In this blog post, we will further explore the shifting symbolism and stylistic evolution of engagement rings throughout time, delving into the societal influences and historical events that have shaped their meaning and design. By understanding the engagement ring's journey, we gain a deeper appreciation for these tokens of love and the old-world artistry that inspires our own unique creations at S. Kind & Co. So, come along and uncover the captivating history of engagement rings with us.

Ancient Origins: The Birth of the Engagement Ring Tradition

The first documented use of engagement rings can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, who believed that the circle symbolized eternity. They crafted simple rings made of materials such as reeds, leather, or bone and wore them on the fourth finger of the left hand. This particular finger was believed to have a love vein connected to the heart, solidifying its status as a symbol of love and commitment.

Similarly, ancient Romans exchanged betrothal rings made of iron or copper, demonstrating the groom's commitment and financial support to the bride. However, these betrothal rings also had a darker side, sometimes symbolizing ownership rather than mutual love. It wasn't until Christianity diffused through the Roman Empire that the symbol of the engagement ring became more closely associated with love and unity.

The Middle Ages to the Renaissance - Intricate Designs and Greater Varieties

During the Middle Ages, engagement rings took on a more formal and symbolic meaning. Noblemen and royals would bestow rings adorned with precious gemstones, often representing the couple's deep love and marital unity. One popular style was the Fede ring, characterized by two clasped hands representing faith, trust, and the union of two souls. Fede rings are still prevalent in modern-day Irish, Scottish, and Welsh wedding traditions.

The Renaissance era heralded true artistry and innovation in engagement ring design. One notable invention was the Gimmel ring, a multi-part ring composed of two or three interlocking bands. When worn together, the bands revealed secret inscriptions or symbols of love. These rings remained popular until the 18th century.

Victorian and Edwardian Opulence: Diamonds, Romance, and Beyond

The Victorian period saw the rise of romantic design elements in engagement rings, reflecting the era's emphasis on love and courtship. Queen Victoria's strong affection for her husband, Prince Albert, inspired the incorporation of diamonds and intricate gemstone patterns in engagement rings. Some designs showcased the couple's birthstones, signifying the union of their lives, while others featured gems that spelled out the word "DEAREST," an acronym for diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, emerald, sapphire, and topaz.

The Edwardian era continued this trend of romantic opulence, with rings featuring intricate filigree and lace-like designs, symbolizing the delicate bond between two people. Engagement rings from this time were crafted in platinum, which allowed for greater detail and durability, and often highlighted a central diamond resting on a backdrop of pearls or smaller gemstones.

The Modern Engagement Ring: A Sparkling Combination of Past and Present

By the 20th century, the diamond's popularity soared to sky-high levels, in part due to a clever marketing campaign by the diamond company De Beers. Aided by the accessibility of diamond resources from South African mines, De Beers popularized the idea that "a diamond is forever" and established the diamond solitaire as the epitome of tokens of love.

Nowadays, engagement rings come in a myriad of styles and materials, often inspired by elements of past eras. Art deco, vintage, and custom designs allow couples to express their love story uniquely. Brides and grooms are also embracing the use of alternative gemstones such as sapphire, emerald, or natural spinel as a means of personalization and differentiation. These modern twists are a testament to the ever-evolving symbolism and design of engagement rings.


Though the history of engagement rings has seen an incredible transformation in symbolism, design, and materials, their core purpose remains the same: a promise of eternal love and commitment. As creators of ethical engagement rings at S. Kind & Co, we honor the timeless significance of these treasured tokens and the skilled craftsmanship of the past to produce pieces that celebrate both old-world beauty and modern innovation.

By understanding the journey of engagement rings through time, we gain a deeper appreciation for the artistry, symbolism, and rich history behind these symbols of love. As you embark on your own journey toward lifelong commitment, let us help you create an engagement ring that reflects not only your unique love story but also the fascinating journey of these beloved symbols of devotion.
Previous Article Next Article