It’s especially common this time of year for your Facebook feed to explode with diamond rings. They’re on the hands of your old college study buddy, that girl you went to ballet class with when you were seven, and the VIPs in your life, too. We’re not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but recently WhoWhatWear uncovered a doozy of an engagement ring fact that’s not very fun at all.
Stemming from a feature in The Atlantic from 2012, the not-so-new, but still not very commonly known tidbit unveils the real reason why diamond rings have been the symbol of choice for engagements for as long as anyone can remember. As author Matthew O'Brien reported, diamond rings circa the '30s were less a gesture of love and more like a claim on a woman’s chastity. "Virginity-insurance" is the cringe-inducing term used.
While it was the expectation that a woman would be a virgin until marriage, should she and her fiancé consummate before the wedding night, and he decide to leave her, said woman would be considered damaged goods. The shiny stone served as her protection — or “collateral,” if you will — in the event the nuptials were called off. In that case, “she'd at least be left with something. And, that something was almost always small and shiny,” O'Brien wrote. Well, gee, thanks? Click over for more on the antiquated and unromantic history of one of today's most popular symbols of love — and marriage. (WhoWhatWear)