Despite what some cynics would have you believe, the custom of exchanging rings to solidify an engagement has been around long before De Beers forever changed the diamond industry. Evidence suggests that men have been presenting their bride to be with a ring to symbolize their commitment as far back as the 1400s, if not earlier.
Inevitably, fashion trends change over the years and what we think of when someone says “engagement ring” may differ entirely from what was popular decades previously. Back before platinum and diamonds were the norm when it came to engagement rings, many women had simple gold bands featuring blue sapphires. The trend dates back to the Roman Empire, when religious leaders believed that a sapphire ring would change color if the wearer was untrue to their beloved.
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For a brief time, as the diamond industry boomed and the stone became more readily available, the public perception was that diamonds weren’t rare at all- sapphires, rubies, and emeralds were deemed to be worth far more and were therefore the engagement ring gemstones of choice, if a man was affluent enough to afford them. Today, we know that sapphires really are, in fact, rarer than diamonds, but lower demand means you can procure a beautiful, rare sapphire at a lower cost than a diamond of comparable size.
Without question, the moment that ultimately caused the resurgence in popularity of the sapphire engagement ring came in the 1980s, when England’s Prince Charles presented Lady Diana Spencer with a stunning 18-carat oval cut sapphire flanked by a halo of round cut diamonds. She famously selected it out of a catalog (it retailed for only $60,000.00 at the time!) rather than having a ring custom made. This ring, which was the envy of so many women in the 80s, now sits comfortably on the hand of Kate Middleton, Princess Di’s daughter-in-law. Decades later, this ring is still what comes to mind when you mention sapphire engagement rings. It’s timeless style appeals to an extremely large audience, and while 80s fashion isn’t necessarily our favorite, we’re confident this particular piece will never go out of style.
Would you forego the classic diamond engagement ring for something with a little more character? Is your Pinterest board overrun with beautiful blue sapphires? Visit one of our luxury salons in Nashville, TN and Aventura, FL to explore our selection of gorgeous engagement rings of all shapes, styles, and sizes!
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