Valentine’s Day sees the blossoming of many journeys towards a lifetime commitment of love. The beauty of our home town of Edinburgh makes it one of the best places to propose in Scotland. Couples can continue their connection with Scotland through their choice of engagement rings.
Here we explore historic Scottish engagement rings and their meanings. As well as suggesting subtle ways to blend such sentiments into your own engagement ring.
Historic Scottish engagement rings
This symbolic pattern of a looped knot with no beginning and end signifies an eternity of loyalty, friendship and love. It represents the strong bond between two people and an unbreakable connection. The design is rooted in the time of the Celts, before Ireland and Scotland were established as separate nations.
Another Celtic design is the ‘Claddagh’ ring of two hands clasping a heart, with a crown above them. It can be worn as a friendship ring, as well as an engagement ring or wedding ring.
In the sixteenth century, a particular style of ring from France became popular in Scotland. The shape of a heart, or two hearts entwined, symbolises love. A crown represents loyalty. It can also be decorated with a Scottish thistle.
Available to buy from the ‘locked booths’ or ‘looking booths’ on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the ‘Luckenbooth’ design appears on both rings and brooches. They were exchanged as tokens of betrothal, affection and friendship.
Weave in some Scottish magic
All our engagement rings are crafted by hand here in our Edinburgh workshops. Our skilled craftspeople can incorporate any traditional Scottish designs elements you desire into your one of a kind piece of jewellery.
They can also advise on gemstones, cuts and types of metals. Learn more in Bespoke commissions.
Scotland to the core
The Hamilton & Inches hand-crafted Engagement Collection is deeply influenced by the landscape and architecture surrounding us:
The Forth Bridge
The area beneath an engagement ring’s setting resting on the top of the wearer’s finger is known as the ‘bridge’. Our bridge design is appropriately inspired by the iconic curves of the Forth Bridge.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this railway bridge spans the Firth of Forth nine miles to the west of Edinburgh. This wonder of the Victorian age was formally opened by the Prince of Wales in 1890 and has most definitely stood the test of time.
From sand dunes to soaring cliffs
For even more shimmer and brilliance, scallop set diamonds can be added to nestle either side of a ring’s main setting. The design of our own Diamond Set Shoulders is inspired by the curves of the Scottish coastline.
A symbol of consistency
Edinburgh Castle looms high above our jewellery workshops. The tapered finish of our engagement rings evokes its powerful silhouette.
Lock Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
The Hamilton & Inches Engagement Collection is available in platinum and yellow gold. There is also the option to have your ring handcrafted from rare Scottish gold. This comes from the Cononish mine, north of Loch Lomond.
To denote its unique origins, any jewellery made from this precious metal is marked with the Scottish gold mark of a stag.
A lifetime connection with Edinburgh
Turrets of perfection
All our engagement rings are assessed by the Edinburgh Assay Office. Because of this, your ring will forever carry the exquisite hallmark of the three turrets of Edinburgh castle, taken from the city’s coat of arms.
In the Victorian language of flowers, tulips represent eternal love. So what setting could be more fitting for our Engagement Collection? The elegant tulip shape elevates the central gemstone above the rest of the ring. This allows in the maximum amount of light for a stunning sparkle.
We should add that The Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh conserves more than 50 rare wild species of tulips from as far away as Spain and Kyrgyzstan. If a Valentine’s Day proposal isn’t possible, a visit there in April or early May could provide the perfect backdrop…
A welcome return
Not that anyone should ever need an excuse to visit ‘The Athens of The North’. However we encourage all our clients to take advantage of our lifetime clean, polish and check service. This is especially important for an engagement ring which is so visible a piece of jewellery.
It is recommended you return for two checks in the first twelve months of wearing your ring. After this, you will continue to receive a warm welcome during your ring’s annual check here in our George Street townhouse.
Secrets from the soul
Having an engagement ring engraved can be a magical surprise. Especially when your partner has been involved in the rest of its design.
Our resident engravers use French chalk, oil of wintergreen and specially shaped gravers in their work. These expert artists will discuss with you the best way to tell your love story, advising on details such as typefaces, fonts and styles.
Here are some possible ideas and suggestions:
- Aye dae – a play on I do
- So deep in love - a quote from the Scottish poet Robert Burns
- Coordinates of where you met or proposed - 9486° N 3.1999° W is Edinburgh Castle
- The silhouette of Arthur’s Seat or a Scottish mountain
- Notes from a favourite song
- Traditional Claddagh, Luckenbooth or Celtic Knot elements
Welcome to the clan
It could be that your Scottish surname has a clan motto perfect for engraving, such as:
- Clan Anderson: Stand sure
- Clan Campbell: Forget not or the Latin Ne Obliviscaris
- Clan Frasers of Lovat: Je suis prest – from the French ‘I am ready’
- Clan MacKenzie: I shine not burn
- Clan MacLeod: Hold fast
Partners for life
It is essential your accompanying wedding band shows off the engagement ring to its best advantage. We have a wide range of hand crafted, contemporary wedding rings which can be designed in differing metals, styles and fittings.
A lifetime commitment
Did you miss the opportunity for a Scottish-inspired engagement ring? You can always make amends with another special type of ring. And Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to surprise your loved one.
From sapphires to rubies, emeralds to diamonds, we invite you to browse our stunning range of beautiful eternity rings.
Whatever you choose, we wish you a lifetime of happiness.