Maximilian, Roman Emporor

…and the first man ever to give his woman a diamond engagement ring! AND he married a woman named none other than…Bianca (Maria Sforza) that was his second wife, but her name is quite wonderful! I like this Maxmillian character; Clearly he had good taste in jewelry as well as women 😉

I heard a Charelston Alexander commercial this morning and was instantly intrigued by this fun diamond fact! So I did some digging around on the internet and this is what I found out about Mr. Maximilian and the diamond engagement ring:

-The first diamond engagement ring was given in 1477 by Archduke Maximilian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy. The wedding took place 24 hours later. In these times, diamonds were uncut, so they were valued as a symbol of strength and protection, not beauty. This is where the tradition began.

The rings were actually worn on the thumb in the 17th century, but the 4th finger was used during the ceremony. Some feel that during a Christian wedding, the priest arrives at the 4th finger after touching three fingers on the left hand “In the Name of the Father…Son…and Holy Ghost…”. Others believe the Egyptian myth that the ring finger follows the “vena amoris” or vein of love…which supposedly runs directly to the heart.

-The first diamond engagement ring can be traced to the XV century, when the Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave the first diamond ring engagement to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. At that time, the diamond was used in its natural crystalline structure. The octahedral or eight-sided formation, like 2 pyramid joined at the base, was mounted with the lower pyramid completely hidden in the ring setting and the upper half rising out of it. Light would be reflected from all four sides of this exposed upper point. The structure of this diamond mirrors the symbolism of the Egyptian pyramids.

info via Diamond Symbolism and Mythology and Sparkle N Dazzle

So there is a little history for you! Learn something new everyday!
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