Maybe you are shopping for that dream ring (translation: dropping hints to your guy about the perfect ring) or perhaps you’ve just been proposed to and are busy capturing ring selfies, but we bet you didn’t know there is a long and interesting history behind left hand bling.
Engagement rings date back to ancient Roman times, but the diamond engagement ring as we know it was not widely seen until the Victorian era. The ring is worn on the ring finger of the left hand because it’s thought that finger contains a vein that leads straight to the heart.
In 1886, Charles Tiffany revolutionized the engagement ring by introducing the six-prong mount, which was trademarked as the “Tiffany Setting”. That famous setting, which lifts a radiant cut diamond up and away from the finger, allows the stone to sparkle from every angle.
The Most Popular Rings
The Tiffany setting turns 130 years old in 2016 and, incredibly, it remains the most popular setting in the Tiffany & Co. engagement ring portfolio. We were recently in New York to celebrate this monumental anniversary of the Tiffany Setting with Tiffany & Co. and spoke to Melvyn Kirtley, the company’s chief gemologist, about why the six prong setting is still tops with brides-to-be. He says it really comes down to the simplicity and timelessness of the design and how beautifully it showcases a stone. “You can literally spot this ring from across a room no matter what the size of the diamond because the stone is so shiny and bright and the setting allows the light to filter through it giving a beautiful sparkle,” Kirtley explains. “The setting itself remains the same as it was when it was introduced 130 years ago and was Tiffany & Co.’s only engagement setting for about 100 years. It is still our most requested and purchased engagement ring today.”
The Holy Grail of Bling
How does an 8.5-carat radiant cut diamond sound for your engagement bling? To celebrate the Tiffany Setting’s anniversary, the company’s design team lead by creative director Francesca Amfitheatrof crafted the ultimate dream ring as part of the exclusive 2016 Blue Book collection. This year’s Blue Book offering called “The Art of Transformation” featured 200 one-of-a-kind, eye-popping pieces, one of which was a 8.5-carat radiant cut diamond mounted in the classic Tiffany Setting and bigged-up with pave set diamonds on the prongs and band. The cost? $2.3 million. A girl can dream…