Romance and Rings Through the Ages
Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
They are not renowned as historys most romantic couple, but Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn did share a lengthy affair before finally becoming husband and wife in secret 1533. To woo Anne before they wed, Henry is supposed to have written her over 17 letters full of traditional courtly love, before finally proposing. During their courtship and marriage, Henry adorned Anne with jewellery from ruby and pearl chokers with matching bracelets to diamond rings, lavishing her with jewels befitting her new status. Unfortunately, none of Annes personal Tudor jewellery survives to this day, but shes often seen with a large Boleyn B pearl necklace in portraits.
Elizabeth Taylor (x8!)
When thinking about famous weddings, proposals, and rings throughout history, you cant fail to mention Elizabeth Taylor.
Married a remarkable eight times - twice to the same person! her ring collection kicked off with a 4-carat diamond engagement ring from Conrad Hilton. Her next engagement to Michael Wilding saw her start a trend for wearing sapphires as an engagement ring, a trend followed by many new brides, including Kate Middleton when she became engaged to Prince William in 2010. Elizabeths next ring was a 27.4 carat emerald, which she paired with a stunning emerald tiara for the 1957 Academy Awards.
Her next relationship didnt follow the conventional engagement ring route, and she was gifted a 50 diamond, 40 carat bracelet by her then beau Eddie Fisher. With the arrival of Richard Burton into her life, her ring collection surpassed the dizzying heights of its earlier pieces. Richard proposed with an 18.61 carat emerald ring, surrounded by diamonds and was so large it could be detached and worn as a brooch. Later in their relationship, he then gifted her one of the most famous diamond rings renowned for its unique cut, known now as the Elizabeth Taylor ring, which even at its remarkable size, she was rumoured to have worn daily.
Captain Matthew Phelps
A more recent proposal that will be remembered through history was that of US Marine Corps Captain Matthew Phelps, who proposed to his boyfriend at the White House. The location marked the same place the couple shared their first date, at the LGBT pride month reception. Matthew made history by being the first gay man to propose at the White House on the couples six-month anniversary!
Princess Diana and Prince Charles ( and Prince William and Kate Middleton)
Being the first commoner to become a princess, theres a lot to William and Kates story that rings of traditional romance. None more so when Prince William proposed to Kate with his mother Princess Dianas beautiful and famous sapphire engagement ring; a 12-carat oval deep-blue sapphire in a ring of diamonds.
Now a popular choice for engagement rings, the design was at the time considered unusual, harking back to the classic Victorian-style ring with a halo of diamonds around a central stone.
When looking for your wedding ring, or that of your significant other, consider the love and history thats intertwined into a vintage wedding ring and that youll be passing this onto the new owner of the ring. The memories and sentiment attached to antique rings make the jewellery so much more special than a ring which has newly been produced. Have a look through our extensive collection of vintage engagement rings today.