Engagement Rings and Valentine’s Day: Modern ‘Courtly Love’

Valentine’s Day has its roots in both Roman and Christian traditions, and while the exact origin is not knows, there are several theories and more than a couple Saint Valentine’s in history. 

The first Valentine written, however, was believed to be by Charles the Duke of Orleans in 1415, whom while imprisoned in the Tower of London following the Battle of Agincourt, sent a love letter to his wife. An excerpt from the letter, which still exists, as part of the British Library’s collection, reads “I am already sick of love, My very gentle Valentine.”

The holiday was also mentioned in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as well as by the author John Donne during the ensuing centuries and has since evolved into what is considered the most romantic day of the year.  And although the day is decorated with whimsical hearts in red and pink, and the idea of a Valentine is more mass produced than handwritten, the day remains a time to celebrate the idea of love.

It was also popularized in the High Middle Ages when the traditions of ‘Courtly Love’ became more prominent.  And cynical though we may have become, every year on this day a few of us still manage to capture that long ago Valentine’s Day Spirit.

Take Stanley Brode in New York City for example, or even the hundreds of men he beat out for a chance to win his lady love an engagement ring today by taking part in a ‘diamond dig.’

The event, afforded a handful men the chance to dig through a pit of plastic balls in the hopes of finding a hidden plastic apple, which would then allow them to claim the prize: a diamond engagement ring with an estimated worth of about $10,000.

The contest was simple in design but perhaps not so simple in reality when one considers the ‘needle in a haystack’ aspect to the challenge, but Brode beat out the other nine men in less than a minute.  After which he promptly dropped to one knee and proposed to his girlfriend, Jessalyn Maguire. 

Brode beat out hundreds of other applicants who sent in a 90 second video explaining why they should win the engagement ring, and was selected to compete in the promotional dig staged by a baseball card company celebrating their diamond anniversary.        

Maguire, who accepted his proposal, was pleased to see that the ring was a perfect fit, and Brode, a manager of a yoga studio, was pleased too, telling the “NY Daily News” that his back-up plan was to be patient.

But Brode wasn’t the only person taking a dive on Valentine’s Day; 97 women in Utah dove into a giant cake today, in the hopes of finding a 2 carat diamond engagement ring hidden inside.  The promotional stunt, put on by a local radio station, also gave away Lady Gaga concert tickets to the unlucky runners up.  

Insignia-7001 diamond engagement ring from Verragio

Engagement Rings by Verragio: Insignia-7001

Personally, there isn’t much I wouldn’t do for an Insignia 7001 with and Asscher cut center from Verragio, so diving into a cake sounds reasonable.  Do you have a favorite Verragio ring you would go to great lengths for?  Share your favorite style and how you would make it your own at our Verragio page on Facebook,  and remember to spread the love this holiday.

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