This is the history of the engagement ring. Not the wedding band. Although some of the histories definitely intertwined their Eric Deeds often are slightly misaligned or they overlap among references. So we're focus on the historical historical relevance. Not necessarily precise dates. We know that current Traditions differ around the globe. So we do tend to focus on the United States when discussing more current trends as we move down the timeline and finally, I don't speak French Italian or Latin, so please forgive any of my mispronunciations. So let's first discuss how the tradition of the engagement ring began. Although it is worth noting that the term engagement ring actually didn't exist until relatively recently in history. They would have considered this gift more like a token and so it was actually often referred to as a hoop in earlier times. So when we talk about the invention of the concept some credit the ancient Egyptians with inventing the engagement ring, they were using things like braided hemp and reads and hair and then it said, Add that the ancient Greeks adopted this tradition using things like leather and Bone and ivory but reliable data really just traces back to the ancient Romans. We have written accounts and archaeological finds that are evidence of this. So in 200 BCE in ancient Rome, this is where our Story begins. So at first they were using things like chains and bracelets, but this eventually evolved into the symbolic Ring The Ring really signified a business contract. It wasn't romantic. symbolized obedience is it meant that one was owned? Although some others did believe that it represented handing over control of the household goods, but we started to see Metals being used during this time. So things like bronze and copper and silver and even gold although typically gold was reserved for public officials. So women tended to wear a very simple band typically made of iron pictured here. We have a Roman key ring made of iron obviously much more ornate than the average person would wear And then we can move forward into the second century BCE. So the Common Era so things are becoming slightly more romantic. It's started to represent a financial sacrifice that engagement ring was a symbol of true commitment. But marriage remember was actually a vow of present consent. It wasn't religious there was Betrothal ceremony it wasn't even legally binding at this time. But also during this time the bride-to-be was often given to rings. So there was an iron ring to be worn at home and then perhaps a gold ring to be worn in public and this was a way for them to show off their affluence. So if you're looking for an excuse for two rings blame the As we move forward into the fourth Century, we started to see some inscriptions some elaborate but most were quite simple and they embellish the inside of the band. So the ornamentation was really meant to emphasize the symbol of the man's trust with the home. It certainly wasn't meant to ornament the woman or the wife-to-be. So let's talk real quick about some historic references of where to wear it and we'll sort move backwards in history in the 17th century during chore. Word. First of England's rain it actually wasn't unusual for them to wear the engagement ring on the thumb because they were so large. We can move even farther back in the 11th century. There's french rituals that dictated it be placed on the right hand middle finger. We move further back and we have documents of in the 7th century Christian priests touching the betrothal ring to three fingers stating in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Ghost. First and then the priest would be the one to place it on the wife's finger, but we can go even further back in the fifth century where Marco be has who was a Roman writer is typically credited with declaring that the betrothal ring be worn on that fourth finger of the left hand because it said that's where the Venus Amorous as or that's Latin for the vein of love. He spoke of this vein, which runs from that particular finger straight to the heart. He wrote because of this. Irv, the newly betrothed places the ring on this finger of his spouse as though it were a representation of the heart this information. He said he derived from an Egyptian priest and the tradition has endured Through Time, although it's actually based on false information. There is no specific vein that goes from that finger to the heart eventually. We know that all of our veins lead to our heart the ring here is a gold ring that's dated around the fifth century. So as we move forward to the 9th century specifically 850 Pope Nicholas the first stated that the engagement ring symbolized a man's intent to marry. So Pope Nicholas was asked to explain the difference between the Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox practices. And so this was the first written account of the connection of the engagement ring with the Catholic tradition specifically and this time gold became the material of choice, although it wasn't Uncommon for the man if he wore a ring to wear the Gold version and the woman to wear Silver version and the signified the ranking within the household pictured here.
We have a gold ring that dates around the 9th century. So a reminder up until now marriage was that simple vow of present consent. It wasn't legally binding men could and often would not follow through with the formal marriage ceremony. And this would leave the woman shamed and Sully I'd but at 12th century there the Christian Church established the betrothal ceremony. So perhaps this was when that separate engagement ring and wedding band came to be. In the early 13th century specifically 12:15 Pope Innocent. The third stated that marriages must be made public in advance. So this symbolizes an agreement to marry in the eyes of God and it really solidified the tradition of a man presenting an engagement ring for that established period before the ceremony. so historically It wasn't until 1477 that we have the first record of a diamond in an engagement ring. Now. This wasn't the first time in in jewelry. Just specifically in an engagement ring and Archduke Maximilian of Austria is credited with this for when he proposed to Mary of burgundy. It said that the engagement ring had tiny diamonds in the shape of an M. Now whether the M stood for Maximilian or Mary, I don't know but this actually influence those of high social class to start giving die. Diamond engagement rings, although it did not set the Precedence for diamond engagement ring that really didn't come until the 1900 s so just a side note add this time in history, very few diamonds have been discovered. So India was actually the only source of diamonds and these were alluvial which you can think of as kind of randomly found diamonds only the wealthiest possess them. They typically weren't cut. In fact the first polish polished Diamond wasn't until the late. Eighteen hundreds and this was called the point cut. So here we have pictured one of those Point Cuts. It's unfortunate that the point is actually chipped off. But again, this is the earliest technical cut but really what they did is follow the octahedral shape that natural shape of a well-formed diamond and they just smooth the rough exterior. So very few of these Point guts exist today because they were recut once technology improved now improve technology during this time, really Simply meant grinding that point down and the table cut was developed in the 15th century popular through the 16th century and those who could afford diamonds might have had their point cut diamonds into these table Cuts with this development. So really it's just a flattened top a flattened culet and it ends up looking like a square in a square. So here's some additional examples of table cut diamonds and engagement rings. These are from the 17th century and I want you to know the ornate metal work and a bit of enamel on one of them and that was meant to counterbalance the diamonds because the table cut really did not have a lot of Sparkle like we think of modern-day Cuts they didn't accentuate a diamonds ability to return light at this time. So in Brazil they were Darting to discover diamonds in the Seventeen hundreds and more diamonds that more diamonds ending up and engagement rings. Also more diamonds meant more experimentation with cutting thing. So in the late 17th century the rose cutting merged and that's where the diamond has a domed shape to it. And it definitely offers more Sparkle more light return. However, remember that the diamonds were only for the affluent so a respectable substitute for a diamond was often referred. Crystal during this time rock crystals are far easier to cut and polish than diamonds, excusing and diamonds at this time. They were mainly coming from the Golconda mine in Faraway India a little bit coming out of Brazil. So these rock crystals. Although this one looks dark. Typically, they are colorless that like diamonds they resembled diamonds and these were mined in Europe. So in the Alpine regions of Switzerland and Southern Germany and France so completely Lee respectable substitute for Diamond. So at this point in history engagement rings are definitely becoming more commonplace. Although they're fairly simple because of the materials available and those rudimentary methods of fabrication. So I want to look at how those designs really evolved well popular on the 14th century lasting through the 17th century was the fit a ring from then of the fitti, which means Italian or it's Italian for Your hands in faith. It's two right hands that are clasped and it's meant to be a symbol of pledging vows or Eternal friendship. It is worth noting though that this style actually does date back to Roman times. They were found to have been used as engagement rings in medieval and Renaissance Europe amazingly enough. This one is from the third Century CE. So we're actually going to see how the fit Arirang evolved into other styles in later years. This is an interpretation of a fade airing which is incorporating that table cut diamond. This one was probably given as a friendship ring it supposed to an engagement ring. So popular around the 15th century lasting through the 17th century was a gimmel ring. It's from gemellus, which is derived from Go - which is Latin for twins. It's also known as the puzzle ring, as you can see sort of from the back of the band.
It was traditionally two or more bands that fit together to form one ring. And this was meant to symbolize the intertwining of two lives. So each the man and the woman would wear one part during the engagement and then reconnect them at the betrothal ceremony. For the bride to wear so many Royals used camel rings to propose marriage most notably and 1525 Martin Luther married. Katharina bone Von Bora using a gimbal rang and the one pictured here dates back to the late 16th century. So today gimmel rings can still be found. In fact, this is a more recent design by the designer, Todd Reed. We could also see a combination of design elements like this one, which we could refer to as a fait ring. So that puzzle ring with clasping hands. In fact, this one pictured here the hand separate to reveal two hearts that are engraved with the letters f and M. So these Rings were often engraved with things like romantic mottos or phrases from the marriage ceremony or just the names of the couple's and so this really suggests that they were being used as wedding rings Popular in the 15th through the 18th century was the Posey ring many different spellings for that but it's named for posse, which is French for poetry. So they would be engraved with short love poems or ballads. And this was meant to reflect the givers literacy giftedness or their education level. I imagine someone was really trying to show off with this ring and but these these Posey Rings were actually mentioned quite frequently by Shakespeare and this one pictured here is from the Mid 16th century. So there is many varieties of posie rings. These were really popular in England and France and they were typically exchange between friends or relatives lovers and definitely at those betrothal and wedding ceremonies. Typically, the engagement version would be silver and then it would be exchanged for gold at the marriage Ceremony. This one here is from the 17th century and it's engraved on the inside with hearts United live contented. Although we're at the mid 17th century now and the Puritans actually repealed the idea of the engagement ring. They linked it to the clergy. They linked it to the church ritual. They thought of it as very frivolous. And so instead they would present the woman with a symbol a very practical item and but after the woman would actually insist on it on the basket portion being cut off to create a band after they have the ceremony and I think that this this is actually a unique lesson because sometimes we can think of jewelry as being frivolous or an Expendable luxury, but really some people find very very deep symbolic meaning with it that just can't be ignored. so in the 17th century, we also saw the cluster ring come to into play and I haven't talked too much about colored stones in engagement rings, but definitely the affluent would want to sort of flaunt their wealth by way of rubies or sapphires or Pearl's just to name a few here. We have a cluster ring from the late 17th century with those table cut rubies. Popular in the 17th and 18th century was the Claddagh ring notice. This is a type of fit airing remember fitted meaning the hands clasped and Faith. Although we have some additional elements. So the hands represent friendship that heart their represents love and the crown is meant to represent loyalty. So the clouded design is said to have originated in a small fishing Village in Galloway. Although it has definitely come to be known as just a symbol of Ireland itself and it's kind of neat. To have this secret language ring because how or where it's worn actually conveys the where's relationship status. So whether it's worn on the right hand or the left hand with the heart facing in or the heart facing out. It's supposed to have this secret language of that relationship status. They're still popular today. Although not commonly used as engagement rings. I myself actually wear a cloud of band that I purchased in Galway when I visited just a few years back the one pictured here. However is from the 17th century and it has some of those Rose cut diamonds. Here's a Dutch adaptation of the clattering from the mid-eighteenth century. All right. So popular in the 18th and 19th centuries was acrostic ring. So this was like the secret language of gemstones another one of those secret language rings. So typically not worn as an engagement ring more often. It would be used as a promise ring. So sort of a promise of exclusive commitment and intent to engage Marie Antoinette's jewelry designer. Jean Baptiste narrow is credited with inventing this style. So it is when you take the First letter of each gemstone in that piece of jewelry or in that ring and it spells a secret message to the recipient.
So these are special styles for those who could afford and some of them are common messages that they would write are things like regard or beloved oradour. So you could spell out that you adore your loved one by using an amethyst diamond opal and Ruby and an emerald what I have here is actually a A kunzite and Alexandrite tanzanite and an emerald spelling out my name Kate. So it's just kind of fun to think what message would you spell out in gemstones popular in the 19th late 19th and early 20th century was the 12 mm. Mwah ring French for you and me it's also known as a crossover ring. So this is a modern interpretation of that fit a ring instead of the hands coming together. It's gemstones and these two stones would be Side by side or kind of passing by each other and this was meant to symbolize Two Souls intertwining. So in 1776, this trend was really attributed to French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his first wife Josephine. However, it was revived in 1953 when JFK gave one to Jacqueline really revived this twat in WASP style pictured here. Both of these are from the late eighteen hundreds. Another hybrid here the Joachim o-ring. This one is from 1814. So remember twice in one those two gemstones coming together and gimel you can tell from the back of the band that it's that puzzle ring. Another hybrid. Here is the twine. Mwah Posey ring. So this is from the Fourteen hundreds. It's a sapphire and Garnett side-by-side inscribed with we to Monkey, which is French for with all my heart. And pictured here a unique mixture of Design Elements. This is from the mid 18th century get ready for this. So it has the twine y element of the to Stones the Claddagh element of the heart created by those two pair cuts and the crown the fitted because the hands are coming together the gimel you can tell from the back of the band that it's a puzzle ring and it's actually a posey ring as well because it's engraved with Gaz de mate. I think I hacked that. I'm sorry and but it's a token of friendship. So let's recap some of the styles that divined engagement rings throughout some historical periods and you will know that some of these historical periods tend to overlap in dates, but let's start out with the Georgian period so this was 1714 to 1837 this period is divided sorry defined by Grandeur elegance and there was an excessiveness of affluence and there was lots of fine silver. Hi karadzic gold large gemstones. However, they were typically set enclosed back mountings because of that often. We would see foil back to counteract that lack of cutting ability during this time and we'd even see them use something called paste, which is really just a simulant or an imitation gem. There's some sub eras in the Georgian period Brock. Sorry Baroque, which is the symmetrical grandeur. Nate and showy period the Rococo which is asymmetrical very elegant and light and delicate and then the neoclassical which is really inspired by Greece and Rome. So it's that boldness but refined. And then we move into the Victorian period so this is 1837 1901. to This was a profoundly creative period for jewelry. There was a Resurgence of silver as a really stylish metal and there were a lot of symbolic themes that started to flourish. So we saw a lot of animal motifs particularly serpents and snakes because those represented wisdom there were a lot of flower motifs because it was said that each flower. Bauer would symbolize a feeling or an emotion without words kind of like the language of flowers. And then this is when acrostic jewelry that acronym or initialism jewelry is really popular. Remember the language of gemstones. So this Victorian period can definitely be divided. We have the early part where we saw color garnets and amethyst and turquoise and enamel to bring color into it and the sub error during this period was The Romantic Period so it was influenced by classical and Gothic Renaissance and then even ancient Greek and Roman mythology. And then as we move into the later part of the Victorian period there was an emergence of middle-class and then we have some sub arrows there the grand period which was very much influenced by the Queen's mourning period so we saw a lot of black materials Jet and Onyx and even black class during that period and that moved into the aesthetic period where we saw a return to refine designs smaller and lighter diamonds were actually reserved for evening events.
It was a little taboo to wear your diamonds during the daytime as we move into the Edwardian period 1901 1910. Although sometimes it's extended to 1914. So this is also known as La Belle epoque a period which translate to the good times the diamond industry really started to take hold with some major sources. Isis being discovered in South Africa during this time. So royalty was based on wealth as opposed to lineage and also the American Market emerged at this time. So we were seeing very ornate pieces. So the affluent really wanted to show off their wealth and their rank. So we Lots of immense detail things like Scrolls and lace and tassels Garland motifs open filigree milgrain embellishments on the edging very elaborate but still very delicate and we started to see platinum's first emergence into the jewelry industry because Platinum really help to achieve that as it is somewhat of a stronger metal. So this period was really influenced by Parisian architecture. Very monochromatic. Look white on white on white and this is said to have been influenced by Robert pirès historic Epps exhibition to the North Pole in 1909 to achieve that monochromatic look they were using platinum and pearls and diamonds and when it came to Diamond specifically the marquise cut because they said it was reminiscent of a racing yacht concurrently with the Already in period was Art Nouveau. So this was 1890 to 1910 and we saw a backlash against industrialization. So it's really defined by the freeform a symmetry of nature things were elegant and organic and Flowery. We saw lots of Curves and Swirls and sweeping lines and a celebration of the female form. This is a time of arts and crafts. So creativity was seen across all the Arts during this period we're seeing In lots of alternative metals to platinum so base metals were coming into play alternative gems to diamonds. So more organic gems and enamels were being used during the Art Nouveau period and then we move into art deco. This was 1922 1945 Art Deco represented the age of the machine. So it was very much influenced by cubism is geometric forms things were bold and angular with very In lines, it was all about the glamour all about luxury Platinum was the primary metal with white gold beginning to be used in jewelry. Yellow gold was not often seen during the art deco period but what we did see was pops of contrasting colors. So pops of sapphire Ruby emerald and Onyx and these would contrast with those colorless diamonds. And actually the Halo style of today is a nod to this era so there was a new way Of of feminism that rejected conservatism and they rejected the traditional femininity and the Art Deco period was once described as not for the faint of heart, but for the Bold of spirit and then we move into the Retro period this is 1939 to 1950 this overlapped with the late Art Deco period so this was really inspired by the effects of World War Two. So it was meant to counteract those somber clothing styles there. lot of softer elements like flowers and butterflies to kind of soften the arrows overarching masculinity let a florals and animals were meant to contrast that grave reality of the devastation of the war Platinum really became scarce. So white yellow and rose gold started to emerge we were seeing lower budget gems like aquamarine instead of the expensive diamonds and sapphires and rubies and emeralds. So we were seeing sort of the emergence of the concept of semi-precious gemstones during this time. We had the symmetry of the art deco, but it carried on to be bolder and larger and stronger and we often think of the Retro. As kind of chunky and playful. And then we move to Mid Century 1952 1965. So in reaction to World War II ending in 1945. We saw much more feminine and Elegant Style so lots of elements of nature or flowers. This piece here Vines and Starbursts and there was actually during this time a real rise in popularity of matching jewelry sets and then we come into modern time and some refer to it as mid-century modern but 1965 to turn of the century. So we were starting to really see abstract things organic looks textured yellow gold. We were borrowing from other cultures. So we saw some bohemian influences and really towards the end of the The late 20th century it was all about more is more.
So at this time just for fun. I thought we could put up a poll and find out what your favorite period is for the engagement ring. We're just going to leave this up for a few moments and then reveal the results in a little bit towards the end of the presentation. But which Styles your favorite George in Victorian Edwardian Art Nouveau Art Deco retro or mid-century modern. Feel free to go ahead and fill that out just for fun. All right. So we're going to pick back up with the diamond engagement ring and we're going to look at how Styles really evolved in more recent times. So in 1867 Eureka diamonds were discovered in South Africa and the diamond industry really began. So in South Africa, these were the first primary sources so much more diamonds being discovered and then that meant an eventual trickle down to the last wealthy. So a market started to develop in the u.s. Although diamonds and engagement rings still remained fairly uncommon until almost the mid nineteen hundreds. Is worth noting however that in 1886 Charles Lewis Tiffany who was the founder of Tiffany and Company. He introduced the Tiffany setting this was revolutionary in terms of setting Styles. So until then remember Stones had been set really low typically in bezel settings were metal goes all the way around. This was a turn away from that. So this is a diamond solitaire meaning just one single Stone one main Stone its high to catch the Light very Usual from how Stones were being set in earlier times and it has sense the term Tiffany setting has since become synonymous with the setting and not necessarily the company. Although you might want to check out Tiffany & Company versus Costco if you want to know a little bit more about that backstory. So in the 1910s, we had the end of the Edwardian period so we were seeing intricate metal work a lot of that to enhance detail. They were using Platinum this the 1910s were greatly impacted by World War 1 so there was really a shift in focus to all things that supported the war as we moved into the 1920s Diamond started to gain traction because more of that Supply was coming out of South Africa. With that the industrial revolution had actually allowed for better diamond cutting abilities. So we were starting to see more cut and Polished diamonds in engagement rings and other jewelry, and then even during this time the modern round brilliant cut was developed. So this is the round modern round brilliant that we know today. And if you want to learn more you can learn all about the evolution of diamond cutting and are diamonds and diamond grading course, but this is when that art deco style really took Hold think the Great Gatsby. Everything was glamorous white white gold and platinum was big rhinestones and diamonds and geometric shapes like the asscher cut and the emerald-cut were really popular and those Rich colored accents that I talked about. We started to see jewelry houses really start to emerge during the twenties Cartier and Van Van Cleef & Arpels. Really take foothold and then just when diamonds were starting to find their way into culture and they 1830s came around and we entered the Great Depression which lasted the beginning part of the 1930s. So during this time diamond engagement rings were sacrificed luxury in the u.s. Diamond sales plummeted engagement rings really lost their importance and people would start to use substitutes. If anything so using that paste that I talked about or even rhinestones nickel silver. I came into play then but towards the end of the decade. We started to see a re-emergence of seeing luxury markets being created yellow gold coming into style and that Solitaire single Stone was really popular because it was simple and at a lower cost because of one single Stone. So with the 1940s World War Two impacted engagement ring sales immensely. So Platinum was prohibited to be used in jewelry during this. and De Beers came into play and they were really working to keep the diamond industry strong debeers was focusing on this idea with diamonds of supply and demand to keep the engagement ring tradition alive in 1940 department stores started to carry diamond engagement rings, which was sort of revolutionary to see that and the double ring tradition took hold of the engagement ring and a wedding band and then Grooms also started to more commonly wear a wedding band during the 1940s and then in 1947 De Beers marketing campaign a diamond is forever really solidified the notion that a diamond engagement ring was essential to any marriage commitment.
So they used a lot of well-known artists in their campaign. They embedded this message into movies to do the campaigning for them and it worked so it's noteworthy to look at the fact that over the next 40 years. So 1980 1940 to the diamond sales Rose from 23 million to over two billion so not all diamonds were going into engagement rings, but pretty much all engagement rings were set with a diamond. And in fact, if you look at the cost difference in the 1940s, the average engagement ring was about eighteen hundred dollars. If we ingest adjust for inflation today, the average engagement ring is about $5,600. So in the 1950s, it was all about sprays of diamonds. So particularly those baguette Cuts they acted as a sign of renewed Prosperity that World War II ban on Platinum was lifted. Remember the twat in what style was revived thanks to Jackie O lots of bold colors during this time. Audrey Hepburn started a craze of these stacked delicate engagement bands. And then in the 1960s, we started to see unexpected Center Stones being streamlined in white metal. So emeralds sapphires rubies were all the rage everyone wanted something different something unique celebrity engagement rings had a huge influence during the 60s. Particularly Elizabeth. Taylor's 33 carrot asscher-cut diamond. And then we enter the 70s. So with the 70s the princess cut emerged the princess cut was developed in the 60s, but it really took hold in the 70s yellow gold and bold shapes defined. This disco era wedding sets made to fit together. Like puzzle pieces were really popular kind of a throwback to that gimmel ring and a lot of cocktail inspired statement Rings were big during the 70's and then the 80s. It was go big or go home over the top. Top oversized bling bling bling. So think of these swirling lines of baguettes. We had thicker metal bands white metal was classic but yellow was the new standard and during this decade. There was Auto of sort of greed is good. And then remember also at this time Princess Di's sapphire engagement ring caused a ripple effect of copycats of that and then in the 1990s a hundred and eighty degree turn around turn around sorry. It was a reaction to the excessiveness of the 80s. It was all about Simplicity minimalism that Solitaire setting came back remember the single Stone along with A very simple and straightforward three stone ring the Marquis cut became All the Rage it was said that it was much more refined than the boldness 80s of the past decade and remember that Marquise Cuts kind of a tip to the Edwardian era. There was a Resurgence of white metal during this time, so white gold and platinum because at this time yellow gold was really Associated sort of with gaudy costume jewelry. And then also you can't deny it the internet really The way that brides-to-be searched for inspiration for their engagement ring. With 2000s it was all about the Halo Halo Halo more bling for your buck. Yellow gold started to come back slowly by way of two-tone pieces. And as we move to to the 2010s Halo Halo Halo and especially around new shapes like the cushion cut so we can kind of divide the 2010s by the early 2010's which it was all about round versus Princess skinny pave bands. Rose gold really started to emerge and take hold and there was a Resurgence in colored Center Stones. Thanks to her Royal Highness Kate Middleton. And what was once considered precious? Sorry semi-precious gems, like maybe Morganite entered into that fine jewelry market and then the late 2010 it was round versus Princess or cushion or Emerald or especially oval because bride started to appreciate fancy cuts for the first time in a long time old was new and there was a re-emergence of Art Nouveau and Art Deco Styles the re-emergence of that three stone ring. Thanks to her Royal Highness Megan Markle. There was the placeholder ring so that temporary stand-in for the forever ring and there. I don't know if you remember but there was a Helzberg ad campaign with a posey style ring that was engraved with this is a ring not the ring. And then also we saw mangagement rings. So believe it or not. That was a Failed attempt from the 1920s but it's the man or the male engagement ring and it actually still gaining popularity today. So now we're in the 2020s. We've just started this decade but I would say anything goes although it is still about the Halo Halo Halo at least for right now. We're seeing lots of alternative gemstones like colored Center Stones lab grown diamonds. If you're interested, you could check out our Advanced lab-grown seminar coming up. And even Moissanite has come into its own as a diamond substitute. We see a lot of unique settings. So maybe the horizontal East/West setting of The Center Stone or Compass prong setting or claw shape prongs, you're interested in the jewelry like that and learning more we do offer a two-day Joy friends a seminar.
You can check out engagement bands are becoming popular as opposed to the singular Stone solitaires, and we're seeing a lot of heirloom inspired pieces. So replicas of period pieces telling us that old is still new. So my personal prediction here is engagement ring doesn't need to be expensive doesn't need have diamonds doesn't even need to have a gemstone but just it does need to honor that 2000 year old tradition. So I thought I would share with you my favorite engagement ring. So this was my paternal. Mother's engagement ring from the early nineteen hundreds. It was passed down to my grandmother and she removed the larger stones and she placed them in her own engagement ring. They were all old European cuts and she and to pass this mounting down to me in 2005 shortly before her passing. I couldn't believe it was a perfect fit and I had those orange and yellow sapphires set into the empty spaces where her larger diamonds were to give it sort of a unique mixture of old and New it's one of my most precious possessions blows my mind to think that it is about a hundred years old. So I thought I would take just a quick moment and touch on how to buy an engagement ring first off decide how much you want to spend in the 1930s. We were looking at one month's income in the 1980s. It was supposedly two months income in the two thousands three months income. So what I would suggest is calculate extra income for one year and then that way theoretically it's paid off in a year. Do your homework at the very least learn about the four C's Gia dot edu is a great free resource for that. But understand that you kind of need to have a little wiggle room because nature is unpredictable. So I would say pick which one of the four C's cut color Clarity or carat weight is most important to you and focus on that when you go looking to buy understand their taste in jewelry, do they like Or classic delicate or do they want to make a statement? Do they like white or met or yellow metal. If you can know their ring sighs just don't guess and find a jeweler that you trust. Ask questions asked opinions. They are the professionals and don't feel rushed and I would say yes, you can buy online, but I always kind of say would you buy a car online? Maybe maybe not also check out some of those vintage and Antique Rings if you want something that feels like you have a piece of history, but just celebrate that being having an engagement ring is being part of this ancient tradition and and keep in mind the symbolism that the engagement ring really represents. So there's a lot of great information. There's an infographic to recap the history of the engagement ring. You can check that out go on Gia dot edu. There's lots of other great articles. To check out and there's a book by George Frederick Coons called rings for the finger. Oh, it's fantastic. And then also I will kind of just throw out there. There is Museum of diamonds dot-org. It's an online Museum where you get to share the story of your engagement ring, you even get to officially name your diamond. I think that's fantastic. So real quick, let's find out the results of the poll. I'm curious to know which one was the most pop art. Echo yes, I'm not surprised 41 percent for Art Deco that period I wonder if I had you guys with my little my little quote of it being described as not for the faint of heart, but for the Bold of spirit, maybe I have some people watching that really want to embrace that so I think that's absolutely fantastic. I'm kind of with you on that with art deco. It's one of my faves with that I'm going to throw it back to Natalie. Hi Kate, what a great presentation. I will have to say that my favourite is mid-century modern, but you and I've talked about that already. That is I just think it's fantastic. We have a few questions for the audience and you've got about 15 minutes left. So just a couple if this is an interesting one, if a couple breaks out who gets the rain. Oh, I've heard this question asked so many times and unfortunately, there's Really? No straightforward answer it kind of varies by jurisdiction. So sometimes it has to be legally return to the giver no matter who is quote unquote at fault for ending an engagement. But sometimes it actually depends if the marriage ceremony has taken place because it could be considered that the gifting of the engagement ring has become complete with the ceremony and some places its argue that if it was given on a traditional gift giving holiday like Valentine's Day or Christmas that it is a gift that word that belongs to the recipient.
And even there is this interesting story that I read that took place and I want to say Australia if I remember correctly. We're a couple broke up. The man said the woman could keep the engagement ring. She threw it away. She wanted nothing to do with it. He found out got really angry soon her. The amount that it costs in one so she actually had to pay about 11 thousand dollars to replace the ring that she threw away. So it is kind of different depending on where you live. All right. So do you know the average price of an engagement ring today today? So like I said, it's really interesting to look at the fact that in the 1940s we were looking at I believe it was about 1800, you know, if you adjust for today's inflation compared to what? I've read recently or most recently the average in the states is 5600. Although of course that differs and changes depending on where you are in the United States or if we're talking United States versus other countries. It's a really hard number to nail down and but there are lots of Articles out there that you can just jump online and see and it's really interesting. I think to compare prices throughout the decades and and Watch both prices and both Styles interests me. Very interesting. All right. Can you tell us a little bit about wearing the ring on the left finger does everyone wear the engagement ring on the left finger? Yeah. So I touched on that little bit about the different Traditions going through history, but really in Anglo-Saxon countries, the ring is customarily worn on the ring finger of the left hand, but Customs vary considerably across Ross the world. So in some countries the engagement ring is worn on the fourth finger of the right hand and this tradition is commonly followed in places like Russia and India Scandinavian countries some East European countries and South American countries. I myself actually have friends that are from Iran and Iraq and they wore their engagement rings on their right hand here in the states. So teach their own. Okay, that kind of leads. Our next question. What are we talked more about kind of engagement rings in Western Europe? And in the West can you tell us a little about engagement maybe in other parts of the world? engagements in other parts of the world ring, you know our engagement rings. He's all over the world or they mostly just so I will say most of the information that's out there it touches more and European cultures and then coming into the u.s. And more recent 21st century times XX R X 20th century and 21st. Century so most of the research that's out there that I could get my hands on doesn't extend, you know all around the globe as you can imagine engagement rings. They have a similar history in terms of their meaning especially if we go back to the very Beginning of my presentation where it was really just talking about the ancient Roman times where the engagement ring was that symbol and so it's so the tradition itself. We have found that it comes from that ancient Rome era, but it's sort of altered and changed in other countries. It would be impossible I think to to kind of touch on every every country. Their engagement ring Styles. Great. Okay one question. Can you tell us a little bit about the Halo? Can you give an exact definition for what a Halo is on the engagement? Oh, absolutely. So the Halo is typically when you have one Center Stone and then a circle of smaller Stones around it. So from far away it gives this big impact. So I would say that the Halo style started probably more in the late. 90s when it was revived obviously we talked about how this is a kickback or a nod to the art deco style. But in the late 1990s early 2000s we saw for engagement rings what were called jackets. So it is where a band would fit with a solitaire ring and kind of bling it up a little bit and I think from there people really wanted to always have the bling with that Center Stone and so from their jewelry. Shiners started to say hey, let's just do a circle of tiny stones to really capture the light and accentuate that Center Stone. Hopefully that answers question Perfect. All right, so did engagement rings always have a diamond. So no, I I touched on that a little bit but it's actually that fairly new tradition with engagement rings. So between the thirteen hundreds in the Seventeen hundreds, some of those diamonds were being found in the fields of India, but they really couldn't be cut during that time.
They didn't have the technology or the understanding because diamonds were harder than any other gemstone. They had come across yet. So they were actually thought to have mystical powers and because of that. Typically, they would end up with the nobility of China or definitely European nobility at that time in the Seventeen hundreds gold miners in Brazil discovered design discovered diamonds. And so it was kind of funny they were gold miners. So they're searching for gold and they came across these colorless rocks and didn't really know what they had at first and they were actually using them as gambling placeholders, which is kind of funny, but eventually they discovered what they were that they Had discovered a new Diamond Source besides India. And so that meant more diamonds it meant more kind of playing around they learned that they could rub two diamonds together and start to affect one another and smooth each other out. They determined how they discovered how they could rub a rock with olive oil and diamond dust and grind it down to make that table cut and sew because the cutting was still pretty crude and difficult at the time. We saw a lot of really Lee ornate metal work and the 18th and the 19th centuries kind of a disguise poorly cut diamonds and and then like I had mentioned in the late eighteen hundreds when diamonds were discovered in South Africa. Those were from the first primary source ever discovered. So primary source meaning they actually learned that diamonds came up from deep deep within the ground and so a lot of those diamonds are what we call. Still in the pipe so they had to dig Forum. But it meant that there was more diamonds much more diamonds than ever before being discovered and it was that discovery that changed the face of engagement rings along with the that cutting technology, the rotary saw was developed during the early nineteen hundreds and that made a huge difference in being able to cut diamonds into a shape that made it look desirable. So once it was cut into this like sparkly shape people were wanting them more. It was almost like everything coming together in unity with the diamonds being found the technology of cutting coming around and then also with the wealth changing from nobility. T22 really that monetary wealth and the u.s. Marketing merging and that's when we started to see engagement rings with diamonds in them. Very cool. Okay. So another question why why a diamond engagement ring? Why all the giant? Yeah. I know there's so much controversy over like marketing just wants you to buy a diamond. Well, that's part of it is mainly because of good marketing, but the flip side of that it's just the preferred gem to be worn every day for a lifetime and then to pass it down like my great-grandmother. To pass her ring down to my grandmother and down to me because diamonds can withstand that wear and tear they have this immense. What's the word? I'm looking for resistance to scratching. And so if you were to wear something like an opal engagement ring, although I know that they're out there. They really aren't meant to be worn every single day. So something like an opal engagement ring would be a horrible. ered for engagement ring because eventually it would probably call it crazing but it would basically crack but many other gemstones would as well now there are some alternatives to diamonds that are great in terms of their hardness their wearability things like the Ruby and the sapphire. So corundum is a great alternative Morganite. It's a great alternative topaz is a great alternative but none of those are as hard as Diamond, so you We'll see wear and tear on any of those other gemstones throughout like I said a lifetime of wearing an engagement ring, which hopefully one hopes that they're going to get to wear it for. Let's say 50 years, right and then pass it down. And so I would say that yes, it's marketing but it's it's marketing the best gemstone for it. Great great answer and can you tell us a little bit about maybe the most common cut today for engagement rings? Oh, yes by far the round. So we're starting to see and I think by cut you men shape, right? Yes, sir. Yeah, so was definitely starting to see people pay more attention to the fancy shape diamonds. I'd say some of the more popular fancy shapes still the princess the cushion the emerald the oval the mark He the heart has a following as well.
I think I touched on all the biggies but by far if you were to look at the number of round diamonds being cut versus the number of fancy shaped diamonds being cut by far people are turning to the round brilliant. And there is reason for that. It is all about light. We talked about this in our diamonds and diamond grading course here at Gia and you learn all about light returns. Turn but really light enters a diamond and it's very unique and how it bounces around and it's cut in such a way that the light bounces back up at our eyes. So when we have it on her hand, and we look at it the lights entering and then bouncing back out at us and looking sparkly and beautiful. And so it's that round cut that has the capability to maximize light return more than any other cut. So I think that that's why people tend to still gravitate towards that But I will say that I don't think I mentioned the pair the pair has probably been the shape that has not gone in and out of style throughout the decades recent decades as much as all the other shapes. We saw the princess cut really have it's time to shine in past decades. We saw the Marquis really they have it's time to shine in the oval more recently, but I will say that the downside of picking a fancy shape.