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January 28, 1995 - Image 35

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-01-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

in his hand. "This ring is round and hath no
end, so is my love unto my friend," is one
popular posy verse.
The multi-link posy or gimmal ring mu-
tated into the "puzzle-ring," consisting of
pieces of gold wire intertwined so they ap-
peared to form a single indivisible ring. With
a certain clever (or careless) twist, they could
easily be separated into several independent,
though interlocking hoops. Gold or silver
wire twisted into a lovers' knot was also fre-
quently chosen for betrothal rings.
Though ideal for use in betrothal rings
because they symbolized invulnerable faith
and conjugal affection, diamonds were too
rare and expensive for widespread use un-
til the 19th century.
During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it
was fashionable for the very wealthy to wear
rings set with an octahedral diamond— ap-
pearing as two four-sided pyramids joined
at the base, with one of the points facing
front. These rings came to be called "scrib-
bling rings" because they were used to write
love messages on windowpanes.

Americans
continue to favor
diamonds

Though diamonds were found as early as
800 in India and mined in the early 18th cen-
tury in Brazil, it was not until the 19th-cen-
tury mining of South African diamond
deposits that white diamonds became more
affordable and popular. At the end of the
19th century, the Tiffany solitaire setting
was invented, placing emphasis on the stone
for an engagement ring.
Specific cuts of the stones came in and
out of fashion. In the 1890's, large, cut dia-
monds and diamond clusters were preferred;
in the 1920s, the emerald cut was the dia-
mond of choice; and in the 1930s, illusion
rings surrounded small stones with intricate
engraving to make the diamond look big-
ger.
By the end of World War II, romantical-
ly inclined soldiers had helped boost the di-
amond engagement ring to its full
prominence.
American couples continue to favor the
dazzling diamond: 87 percent chose diamond
engagement rings in 1990.
Despite an almost endless array of tex-
tures and patterns for wedding bands, 50 to
70 percent of U.S. couples still choose the
plain, gold band. ❑

fl

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• 33

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