Ancient Egyptians believed that a vein in the fourth finger of the left hand ran straight to the heart. Though modern medicine disproved its existence, it is amazing to think that we still wear the ring around the “vena amoris” to symbolise our bond with a life partner. Perhaps the phrase "mani in fede" provides more concrete insight. The first Roman wedding rings depicted the joining of two hands, forming the circle of a fede ring. The year 1477, when the Archduke of Austria Maximilian I proposed marriage to Mary of Burgundy with a ring – set with thin, flat diamonds, marked the birth of the engagement ring.
Our romance with the stone truly began in the Victorian era when Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria an engagement ring in the shape of a snake, a symbol of eternal love, set with an emerald, her birthstone. Besides mixing precious coloured gemstones with diamonds, the Edwardians took it up a notch with intricate filigree settings. But the diamond engagement ring finally became a global phenomenon after major mines were discovered in South Africa during the 1870s.
Europe was abuzz with fresh supplies. American jeweller Charles Lewis Tiffany acquired important diamonds here and invented a new setting in 1886, using a set of prongs to hold the solitaire diamond above the band. Catching light from every direction, unprecedented brilliance was achieved and the rest was history. For over 130 years, the Tiffany Setting engagement ring has been synonymous with one of the happiest moments in a woman's life ever since.
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Harry WinstonHarry Winston’s enduring love affair with diamonds plays out in the Belle collection. With a touch of antique charm, engagement rings, pendants and earrings bring to mind estate jewels, featuring a round brilliant centre diamond, surrounded by micropavé diamonds, all stunningly hand-set in Art Deco-inspired bezel.
Gemmologist Eduard Josef Gübelin once said, “Diamonds are gemstones that mark the momentous occasions in our lives with their brilliancy and remind us of them anew – birth, engagement, marriage, first child, and anniversaries, to name but a few important events.” What better way to celebrate the special moments in our lives than with Gübelin Jewellery?
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While the iconic Happy Diamonds collection feature dancing gems in a feat of craftsmanship, Chopard takes it up a notch with its ever-so-fresh designs. The Precious Chopard blends haute couture with haute joaillerie with exquisite gold lacework. The necklace and earrings shine with diamonds of three cuts: pear-shaped, brilliant- and marquise-cut. Perfect match for any diamond ring.
And if you want to make your engagement a little more memorable, with something more than that all-important engagement ring, how about Mikimoto’s Day & Night Japanese Akoya cultured pearls pieces? Great for everyday, a classic strand of pearls, delicate earrings, a pendant, or a bracelet – she will be reminded every day of your union.
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