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The Story Behind the Pearl Engagement Ring

Feb. 13 2014
The pearl engagement ring has a long and varied history. It only adds to their natural charm and appeal.

The other day, L and I had been looking at engagement rings made by some of our designers that featured exquisite pearls, and L had appeared quite charmed by them.

It was fascinating to find that, much like other rings that held precious and semi-precious stones (the omnipresent diamond ring, for example, or the sapphire ring), the pearl engagement ring also has an extensive and diverse history and comes from a long line of highly prized and treasured jewellery.

Unlike the diamond ring, the pearl engagement ring is not a recent fad. Far from it, actually.

Its history harks all the way back to Ancient Roman times when the stones were seen as a source of power and worn as a form of tribute to the goddess Isis, who symbolised the perfect mother and wife and was the patron of nature.

isis and horus by torbakhopper, used under a Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

In ancient times, pearls were worn as a form of tribute to the goddess Isis

Early Christians expanded the significance of the pearl, believing it to represent values such as purity and humility and using them as physical icons of these virtues. The origin of the pearl engagement ring may be found here, as unmarried young women in those times were usually seen as virgins, and therefore pure.

Over the following centuries, pearl wedding and engagement rings continued to retain their popularity, before going out of style with the discovery and subsequent mining of diamonds from the 19th century onwards. However, pearls remained somewhat ‘in fashion’ as symbols of romantic affection as late as the final decades of the 20th century, at least.

The Comeback of a Historic Symbol

Nowadays, the pearl engagement ring is making something of a comeback, as more and more people willingly stray away from the standard diamond ring and discover charming precious and semi-precious alternatives.

The fact that the pearl engagement ring has been treasured throughout history seems absolutely justified. These stunningly beautiful gems are exquisite in their simplicity and versatility. Their rich and varied history only adds to their appeal and makes them more timeless than ever.

Have these designers create your perfect ring

Susan PeiresLondon
David and Barry McCaulLondon
Jessica PooleLondon
Alexis DoveSussex
Karlin AndersonLondon