Will you marry me?

Just a simple question. And yet it is accompanied by heart-stopping nerves, breathless anticipation and sheer relief.

That is, if the beloved – and the ring – please.

Why does so much thought go into choosing an engagement ring? Perhaps to answer that best we should go back to the beginning. The gesture has its origins in ancient Egypt where it was believed that the ‘Vena Amoris’ or ‘vein of love’ ran from the third finger of the left hand directly to the heart.

Later, the Romans fashioned ‘betrothal rings’, known as ‘annulus pronubus’, from iron to signify strength and permanence. As time went by these rings began to be crafted in gold with engravings and decoration, such as knots or clasped hands. In the year 860, Pope Nicolas I decreed that a ring was a ‘requirement’ to signify engagement and he stipulated that it must be gold. And so before the end of the first millennium, the gold engagement ring was synonymous with our Western wedding tradition.

And so when you step into Berganza today, you have at your fingertips the largest collection of antique engagement rings in Europe. Dazzled by the range, the styles and the stories, what do we advise our customer to bear in mind?

Uniqueness. An antique engagement ring is not mass-produced as most modern pieces are today. Instead they have been been created as a work of art for a discerning customer. They are like you, individual. Irreplaceable.

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