The Olympics got us thinking! Every day we are surrounded by symbols and logos. The Olympics has some of the most famous symbols. In this blog we thought we’d look at the symbolism of diamonds and diamond rings. First though, those Olympic symbols.
The Olympics Rings logo is representative of the five continents of the world participating in the games and was designed back in 1913. Then there’s the Olympic Flame – the fire that is carried literally across the world into the host country.
The flame is lit in Olympia, Greece – the ancient birthplace of the Olympic games. And then the flame is carried in a relay run through areas of significance until it arrives in the country hosting the Olympic games, at which point it lights a large bonfire to represent the arrival of the games. The flame is a symbol of the continuity of the Olympics games from ancient history to the modern day.
Finally, there are the symbols awarded to the winning competitors in each event. The medals. As you no doubt know, they are presented in Gold, Silver and Bronze. In ancient history no medals were awarded at all, just an olive wreath or olive branch. The medals were first introduced in 1896 when the winner would receive a silver medal and the runner up a bronze medal. Naturally, the symbolic distinction is that silver is more valuable. The gold medal was later introduced in 1904.
THE wedding symbol
Weddings have several traditions and symbols, from dresses of white (symbolically representative of the virginity and purity of the bride, do remember some of these are ancient traditions) to throwing rice (the sound is representative of rain which was a symbol of prosperity and wealth). Many of these symbols though can be removed or swapped out. One symbol endures however – the ring.
There are two rings involved in weddings – the engagement ring and the wedding ring.
Reliably dating back to Roman times, though perhaps all the way back to the Egyptians, the engagement ring is the symbol indicating that someone has entered a formal agreement to marry. The offering and acceptance of a ring symbolises a contract.
These days the go-to ring of choice for an engagement is a diamond ring. Often a solitaire, though there is freedom of choice regarding styles.
The wedding ring’s existence is wholly to represent the fact that the wearer is married. It is an immediate signal of marital status but there is a little more complexity than that. The shape of a ring, a circle, is also symbolical of unending love. A circle has no beginning and no end. The wedding ring is also a physical symbol of the promise of commitment made during the wedding ceremony.
Also, the ring finger itself is said to be symbolic as well. An ancient belief is that the ring finger was directly connected to the heart. It was also believed that wearing a ring on this finger would clear illnesses!
Diamonds have their place too!
As mentioned, the go to engagement ring of choice is the diamond, but why?
To understand the symbolism of the diamond we have to understand it. Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring substance known! Most natural diamonds are 1 billion or more years old! Diamond is a form of carbon, so diamond is a form of the same material as the coal you burn on your barbecue or the graphite in your pencil.
Diamond is actually so hard that the only thing that cuts it is other diamonds! The word diamond actually comes from ancient Greek meaning ‘unbreakable’. This is where diamonds get their first symbolism – the ‘eternal’ nature of diamonds, their unbreakable nature, is a symbol of the eternal love between the engaged couple. Diamonds are also said to have a spiritual meaning relating to good health.
Just so you know, there have been many famous diamonds throughout history. The most famous in the UK is the Koh-I-Noor. It was given to Queen Victoria and weighed an astonishing 186ct! It was cut down into shape and has been used as part of the crown jewels ever since. It’s currently housed in the Tower of London. Though it’s obviously far too big to be worn as a solitaire.
These days, diamonds don’t have to be natural and super expensive. There are modern methods of growing diamonds in labs! There are several practices where carbon can be taken and used to create diamonds – this process has now become a way to take the ashes of a loved one and create something that will last an eternity.
So there you go! Tonnes of symbolism at weddings just like with the Olympics!
While you’re here, at Rings by Design, we specialise in completely bespoke jewellery. No matter how big or small the budget we are here to create the perfect expression of your love. We offer Face to Face consultations in the North-East. We also offer a completely unique national service for creating bespoke ‘shape around’ rings so you can have a wedding band that fits snugly with your engagement ring wherever you live. No matter your needs, taste or budgets get in touch to see how we can make your dreams come true.