Bercotts Brief History of Engagement Rings
We at Bercotts Diamonds know that picking the perfect engagement ring for your partner can be a stressful undertaking. It is natural that you’ll want to give them the perfect token to show your love for one another. If you want to give them a surprise that is absolutely perfect, you need to know their tastes and preferences without asking them. Mind-reading is impossible, but you’ll feel like you need to attempt it anyways. To make the process of purchasing an engagement ring in Glasgow so much easier, our jewellers operate an appointment system so that you can get one-on-one personalised advice and service.
However, before browsing and purchasing, maybe you should consider why engagement rings are such a long-lasting tradition. Understanding history can give you some extra insight into what you’re actually doing by purchasing an engagement ring for your loved one. You’re not just buying them a gift that shows a heightened level of commitment, but taking part in a tradition that dates back centuries.
According to a number of historians and anthropologists, the tradition of proposing with an engagement ring possibly dates all the way back to the ancient Egyptian times. Obviously, the rings given were not the same ornate diamond engagement rings that Glasgow residents propose with, but the symbolism remains the same. Found Papyrus scrolls detail the braided rings of reeds or hemp that were exchanged between married couples, with the circle of the ring being noted to symbolise eternity. These were worn on their left hand on the ring finger, due to the belief that this finger contains a vein that runs directly to the heart. It’s known as the vein of love or the ‘Vena Amoris’, and this is a tradition that still exists to this day. However, like with much of history, there is some ambiguity as to facts and fiction. There is no direct evidence of Egyptians inventing the tradition of giving a potential-bride a ring before marriage, and though many historians do still credit them with this, there are also many that disagree.
There are some that will argue that the tradition of the engagement ring was really started by the Romans. This is because, in this instance, there is some more substantial and reliable evidence. The rings proposed with during 200 BC still weren’t exactly like the stunning engagement rings that we at Bercotts sell in Glasgow, but they were definitely more substantial and long-lasting than the hemp braids from the Egyptians. While the iron rings from Roman times look more like the engagement rings that we sell now, sadly the symbolism is decidedly less romantic. It was a lot less about love and a lot more about ownership. According to the Roman author Pliny the Elder, a groom gave his bride a gold ring to wear during the betrothal ceremony and to show-off at special events, and a more plain iron ring to wear around the home. This signified that she was being compliant with a binding legal agreement in regards to her fiance’s ownership of her.
Luckily, this symbol of ownership very much isn’t the case anymore. If you purchase one of our gorgeous engagement rings in Glasgow, you are giving your future fiance a much more romantic gesture than the more grim traditions of the past. You won’t find a better or more personalised service than with Bercotts. We have been an established name in the jewellery business since 1904, offering unique rings to a number of satisfied clients. To book an appointment, please fill out our contact form. Alternatively, you can phone us on 0141 258 3606. We look forward to hearing from you.