Since Roman times, men have been giving engagement rings to their blushing brides-to-be. Cultural practices vary, but the tradition of wearing an engagement ring on the fourth digit of the left hand stems from the ancient Egyptian belief that the vena amoris (Latin for vein of love) runs directly from this finger to the heart.
In the Victorian era, platinum or gold engagement rings, crowned with a diamond or amethyst, were common. Both types of stones were sometimes paired with seed pearls, while small diamonds were often used to frame a center stone of aquamarine or a sapphire. The antique engagement rings from this era also featured bands with detailed filigree.
Edwardian rings from the early years of the 20th century fairly shimmered with diamonds. Some especially stunning examples boasted pairs of large-carat stones set in platinum and surrounded by rows of smaller sparklers. In the 1920s, firms such as Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels became the jewelers of choice for young men with deep pockets looking to express their boundless love.
The Art Deco era was especially good for diamond engagement rings, and the vintage bands from that time period are prized by men wishing to purchase a ring that will become a future family heirloom. A large diamond set in a platinum filigree dome studded with smaller jewels was typical of the era. Other vintage engagement Art Deco rings had geometric step-down settings. And when diamonds were not enough, rectangular sapphire baguettes were often used to highlight a ring’s hexagonal center design.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
All About Jewels Dictionary
Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry
Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery
Clubs & Associations
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Diamond Engagement Rings
Source: Google News
Love: Dierdre McKee & Douglas SmithPhilly.com, October 18th
Back in Pennsylvania, Dierdre swooned over an antique engagement ring. When Doug's mother, Marie, heard of their plans, she offered the couple her ring. Her diamond made the antique setting more meaningful. Doug didn't tell Dierdre when the ring was ...Read more
Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy: Married?!The Hollywood Gossip, September 29th
The change in MK's bling would've been particularly easy to spot, as she had previously been wearing an $81,000 antique engagement ring that featured a giant rock. Mary-Kate has reportedly now switched the ring out for an understated band, and various ...Read more