Symbolism is present even in simple engagement rings: The engagement ring symbolizes a couple's love, devotion, and loyalty. Couples often incorporate additional symbolism into the shape and design of the ring when they design their custom made ring or select the perfect ring to represent their relationship.
General Engagement Ring Symbolism
For decades engagement rings were a symbol of one’s commitment of marriage. Originally, engagement rings in Canada and other western cultures may have been part of the bride's dowry or bride price. She wore the ring not only as an advertisement for her committed relationship, but also as a status indicating the wealth, social position and prosperity of her husband. However in different cultures and times the engagement ring held different symbolisms and carried with it many traditions.
One of these traditions was the practice of wearing an engagement ring on the left ring finger. This practice is believed to be started by the ancient Romans who thought that a vein called vena amoris present in the left ring finger directly connected to the heart, connecting the ring to the love in one’s heart. Other ancient cultures, such as the Egyptians, used such symbolism as well, and even today the tradition continues, both with engagement rings and wedding bands.
Nowadays, we see many happy couples flaunting a beautiful diamond and moissanite engagement ring on their left ring finger for everyone to see. However it wasn't until the 15th century that diamond engagement rings were even introduced. Prior simple bands made of plain metals were used.
Commoners exchanged rings made of iron and those who could afford it would craft rings made of gold or silver with a few inexpensive stones. This all changed in 1477 when Archduke Maximillian presented the first ever recorded diamond engagement ring to his betrothed Mary of Burgundy. With a much wider and more accessible selection available in the modern day, solitaire with round or oval moissanites have become a popular choice as a symbol of one's proposal. The variety of different shapes of moissanite make it a unique and special stone, justifying its growing popularity.
Ultimately, engagement rings are circles of metal, and circles are a part of very sacred symbolic geometry. The lack of beginning or end represents renewal, eternity, wholeness and perfection. A circle represents the sun, moon, planets and all celestial bodies that bring life together, just as an engagement ring brings together the life of two.
The Double Ring Ceremony
During the second world war, double ring wedding ceremonies became very popular especially in North America with many younger men leaving their wives and fiance's behind as they are sent off to fight.
The bride and groom receive wedding rings during a double ring ceremony, as opposed to earlier traditions of only giving the bride a ring. The majority of couples today have double wedding ring ceremonies, and the popularity of men's engagement rings in Canada is growing as a continuation of that symbolism.
Personal Engagement Ring Symbolism
Couples often choose engagement rings infused with their own symbolism. A Celtic engagement ring is heavily symbolic with family knots and ethnic traditions, while antique rings could be heirlooms that carry on close family traditions. Unique elements are often found in custom-made engagement rings. Delicate filigree patterns that spell out words or dates, as well as unique settings that incorporate the couple's personal symbolism can often be found within these rings.
Engagement rings with three stones are themselves imbued with personal meaning. Every stone represents one stage of their relationship: the past, the present, and the future. There are different shapes of three stone rings, but the most common shapes are round, oval, and princess cut.
Engraving is another unique way to add a little symbolism into an engagement ring. Some cultures believe that by engraving the metal is weakened and with the metal's weakness comes misfortune. However, no actual difference in strength or durability is caused by engraving, which presents the opportunity for some couples to strengthen their intimacy and beyond by adding this special detail to their ring.
Regardless of the level of personalization, engagement rings play a significant role in the choice of a couple's ring. Choosing a ring that truly represents love, honor and commitment for a lifetime is one of the most important things to consider. Whether it be a classic solitaire moissanite engagement ring to honor tradition, a family heirloom to symbolize family, or completely new design to represent a unique relationship, the perfect ring is waiting out there for you.
Engagement Rings: The Move to Moissanites
The history of wedding and engagement rings has been influenced by different cultures' use of precious stones and precious metals. Most wedding rings are made up of diamonds.
The promise represented by a marriage union is symbolized by diamonds, the hardest substance in the world. They are also brilliantly beautiful. The best examples are clear and colorless, but they manage to capture and redirect light in stunning displays.
Unfortunately, diamond mining from the ground is not a sustainable process. Diamond mining can create thousands of pounds of mineral waste and displace tons of earth, leading to ecologically disastrous deforestation and soil erosion. Conflict diamonds (also known as blood diamonds) are also mined at a human cost, with the proceeds funding violence throughout certain parts of the world.
Lab-grown moissanites and lab-grown diamonds are outpacing mined diamonds in popularity, and this is good news for modern couples.
What is Moissanite?
The gemstone moissanite is born from the stars. It was first discovered by Henri Moissan in 1893, and for this discovery he was later awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Henri Moissan discovered microscopic particles of the gem in a crater created by a meteorite that fell in Arizona, these particles being the gem that would eventually carry his name. Initially, he believed he had discovered diamonds, but later discovered that the crystals were silicon carbide.
Moissanite is an extremely rare gemstone, which is why moissanite available today is laboratory-created. As a result of many years of trial and error, Moissan's particles were able to be synthesized to produce what is now one of the most scintillating gemstones in the world.
Moissanite is engineered to have a strong similarity to diamonds, but is compositionally quite different from a real diamond. Both gems are quite different in regard to their durability, brilliance, and color. Diamonds and moissanites have one thing in common: they are both excellent thermal conductors.
As moissanites are grown in controlled environments with high-tech equipment they do not require mining to be sourced and have easily traceable origins.
Compared with natural gemstones, lab created moissanites have a smaller carbon footprint and result in less environmental impact. Engagement rings in Canada made with moissanites and recycled metals are the more responsible choice.