About Engagement Rings
The engagement ring is seen as a vital part of an engagement—hardly anyone gets married without one. The engagement ring represents the promise of marriage, in addition to the love and commitment the couple shares. The ring is so seeped with symbolism that many often wonder how the tradition of its use derived.
It seems that every culture and society in history, from the cavemen to the royal families of the Middle Ages to those in contemporary society, have incorporated a ring to symbolize a commitment to wed. Though the first rings were made of natural items—twine or hair—over time, metals became a more prevalent material. The ring itself is an unbroken circle symbolizing unending love and fidelity, the perfect shape to represent a perfect union.
Historically, the Greeks exchanged betrothal rings that symbolized a profound affection, regardless of whether this affection led to wedded bliss. Like the Romans and Egyptians, the Greeks wore the rings on the third finger of the left hand as it was thought that the “vein of love” ran through this finger directly to the heart. This tradition is alive today in most of the world, though those in a few countries, such as Poland, wear the rings on the right hand.
Pope Nicolas I decreed gold rings the standard for betrothal. The ability to procure such a ring was solid evidence that the suitor had the financial resources to support his future wife and be a good provider. Later, Pope Innocent III modified this decree, saying that the rings could be made of any metal, not just gold.
In the Middle Ages, rich suitors gave their beloveds rings adorned with precious gemstones, such as sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. Diamonds, still valuable and rare, were reserved for Kings. This changed in the 15th century, when Archduke Maximillion of Hamburg gave Mary of Burgundy the first recorded diamond engagement ring. Shortly thereafter, diamond engagement rings became popular among the royal set. Meanwhile, the poor exchanged rings that resemble a Claddagh ring, a ring which has hands that join to symbolize friendship and love.
Puritan suitors, averse to personal adornment as dictated by their religious beliefs, instead give their beloveds thimbles, symbolizing love and functionality. After the marriage ceremony though, the top of the thimble was taken off leaving the bottom part to be worn as a wedding ring around the wife’s finger.
In the 20th century, the demand for diamond engagement rings skyrocketed. Late in the 19th century, DeBeers Consolidated Mines, Ltd discovered a new mine in South Africa. No longer rare, diamonds began to flood the market, driving down the costs and becoming more accessible to everyone, including the poor. While the poor took advantage of their newfound ability to acquire these once precious gems, diamonds lost their luster as the stone of choice among the elites, who replaced it in the hierarchy with rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.
In an effort to make diamonds valuable again, DeBeers set out to control both the supply and demand of the stone. DeBeers undertook a massive marketing campaign to reverse public perception. In 1939, the company unveiled one of the most recognizable campaigns in advertising history. With the key slogan of “a diamond is forever,” they successfully positioned the diamond engagement ring as the ring of choice for suitors. They advised jewelers on how to sell diamond engagement rings and advised buyers to look for the 4 Cs: carat, color, cut, and clarity. Additionally, they advised men to spend at least two month’s salary on the engagement ring, painting the ring as an investment that will last forever in a major effort to sell engagement rings.
The value of diamonds increased as demand increased. More men began to buy diamond engagement rings for their fiancées while fewer people were selling diamond engagement rings. The increase in sentimental value and attachment to these rings increased the demand for diamonds further, as there was a perception of fewer diamonds in the market.
Midcentury, diamonds infiltrated Hollywood through popular movies starring Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. The diamond engagement ring became a symbol of love, eternity, and glamour, and diamonds became the standard stone setting for engagement rings. With this, jewelry stores that were selling engagement rings saw their profits increase dramatically.
Sell Your Wedding Ring
The diamond engagement ring is still the norm for couples today. While in the past, the suitor chose the ring on his own, couples may now select the rings together. Even before the question is popped, many women have an idea of what the ring will look like. With the advent of the Internet, it is now much easier to find and design the perfect ring, as well as to find jewelers who sell diamond engagement rings.
If you no longer hold any sentimental value for your gold or diamond engagement ring, you might wonder how to sell it to turn it into cash. However, unless you were trained by DeBeers in the middle of the last century, you may not know how to sell your gold and diamond engagement rings to ensure that you get a fair offer.
Cash4Gold can help! Using a state-of-the-art facility, Cash4Gold will give you a fair assessment of how much your engagement ring is worth, which you then have the option to accept or reject. With a relentless commitment to customer service, Cash4Gold is dedicated to giving you the fairest price for your gold and diamond jewelry. We strive to educate our consumers about the entire process. Turn your gold or diamond engagement ring into cash!