Post # 1
It may seem a bit long. But if you read it all you will find a few of the following: (Scroll down to get the link.)
- Romans believed the ring to be a symbol for ownership rather than love. It meant that the husband would claim his wife. In second century B.C.E., the Roman bride was given two rings, a gold one which she wore in public, and one made of iron, which she can wear at home while doing house chores. Greeks may have been the first to create engagement rings, but to them they were known as betrothal rings.
- The first well-documented use of a diamond ring to signify engagement was by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria in imperial court of Vienna in 1477, upon his betrothal to Mary of Burgundy. This then influenced those of higher social class and of significant wealth to give diamond rings to their loved ones. Diamond mines in Africa were discovered in 1870, which then increased supply. As production increased with demand, those of lesser superiority were able to join in on this movement.
- Until the Great Depression, a man who broke off a marriage engagement could be sued for breach of promise. Monetary damages included actual expenses incurred in preparing for the wedding, plus damages for emotional distress and loss of other marriage prospects. Damages were greatly increased if the woman had engaged in sexual intercourse with her fiancé
To name a few!! Very interesting!
Post # 3
I knew the middle one, but not the other two. A couple days ago, I read where the garter toss originated. It was also interesting.
“The garter tradition originated back to the 14th century. In parts of Europe the guests of the bride and groom believed having a piece of the bride’s clothing was thought to bring good luck. They would actually destroy the brides dress by ripping off pieces of fabric. Obviously, this tradition did not sit well with the bride, so she began throwing various items to the guests – the garter being one of them. It became customary for the bride to toss the garter to the men. But this also caused a great problem for the bride….sometimes the men would get drunk, become impatient and try to remove the garter ahead of time. Therefore, the custom derived at having the groom remove and toss the garter to the men. With this change, the bride began to toss the bridal boutique to the unwed girls who were eligible for marriage.”
I definitely would be been pissed if people started tearing my dress apart.
Post # 4
Very cool! Thanks for sharing.
Post # 5
Yeah, engagement rings do not have the most purely romantic of historical purposes. I remember reading about the “ownership” idea years ago and I never thought of engagement rings the same way ever again, ha ha. I do not hesitate to admit this is partly why I forgo an engagement ring originally before we married! I also recently posted a short news article here as well about the history of the engagement ring which focused more on its history as some security for a woman’s “lost” virginity if a man broke off the engagement.
Where I live you can still sue for a broken engagement. We are one of the few jurisdictions in Canada/US where you still can, as I understand. I have yet to come across it in my own legal career though, though it would be interesting!
Post # 6
@Sweet.Sugar.Rose: Very cool 🙂 thank you for sharing
Post # 7
There was actually a radio show in my town one day recently about the last one and callers were calling it about bringing the ability to sue whoever cut off the engagement back into practice. I think almost everyone that called in was in favor!
Post # 8
I love history tidbits like that 🙂
Post # 10
- Wedding: December 2012 - Hacienda los Agaves
Ownersip? wow, it’s interesting tough.
Post # 12
I don’t look at it as ‘ownership’, even though that’s what was originally intended. I look at it as a ‘partnership’…which is why I plan to buy Fiance an engagement ring as well.
Nice article; I actually read this the other day!
Post # 13
The ownership thing doesn’t surprise me at all.