In terms of romance, it was the Archduke Maximilian of Austria who ultimately set the style for engagement by giving Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring 500 years ago.
Everybody remembers Romeo and Juliet, but what about Maximilian of Austria and Mary of Burgundy?
Anyway, a style was set, and by early in the next century, diamonds, as symbols of lifelong commitment, were becoming popular for royalty and commoners alike. A tradition had begun.
Actually, according to the Austrian Institute, a cultural organization in New York, there is such a ring and it can be found in the Museum of Profane Treasury, which is part of the Museum of Fine Arts in Vienna.
The ring is made of gold and set with diamonds that form the letter M. There are some accounts that the idea for such a ring originated not with the Archduke Maximilian, who came to be known as “the last of the knights,” but with the court counsel instead.
In the past rings were actually a symbol of ownership. Women were given gold rings by their husbands to show that they belonged to them. Over time this tradition has evolved and is now a symbol of love and mutual commitment. While engagement rings once symbolized ownership, today they symbolize partnership and commitment. The ring finger was chosen because it was believed there was a vein in that finger that was connected directly to the heart, symbolizing love.
Read the full article in my blog Courtesy of The New York Times https://nyti.ms/2NkfBea There’s a Ring of History to Diamond Betrothals