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There are many ways to choose a meaningful engagement ring, including a special engraving or choosing a gemstone with symbolism that resonates with your relationship. While these are thoughtful and creative ways to stand out, why not consider an acrostic message using gemstones?
According to the dictionary, an acrostic is a “poem, word puzzle, or other composition in which certain letters in each line form a word or words“.
How does this translate to engagement rings? Let’s find out.
What Is An Acrostic Ring?
Acrostic rings use gemstones to represent a letter of the alphabet to create words. For example, D for diamonds, E for emeralds, A for amethyst and so on. When you put them altogether, in the correct order, the gemstones spell a word. This custom originated in the Victorian Era, when people would send covert messages to each other, using objects like flowers and gemstones.
The two most popular acronyms used in Victorian times were the words DEAREST and REGARDS. DEAREST and REGARDS rings were commonly designed with the gemstones in a straight line, placed in the appropriate sequence to spell the word.
The stones could also be placed in the shape of a simple flower, with the gemstones for petals and the first stone as the center.
Sometimes the acronym ADORE was used, but this was less common. Variations such as the word LOVE also became popular and were frequently used. These words were ‘spelled out’ in the following ways:
- DEAREST: diamonds, emeralds, amethyst, ruby, emerald, sapphire and topaz (also tourmaline or turquoise)
- REGARDS: ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby, diamond, sapphire
- ADORE: amethyst, diamond, opal, ruby, emerald
- LOVE: lapis lazuli, opal, vermarine, emerald
Acrostic Rings in the Victorian Period
But why did the Victorians send secret love messages using gemstones? Why couldn’t they just say the words out loud?
To understand this, we have to recognize how difficult it was for a man and a woman to ‘date’ during the Victorian Era. Victorian men had to use a complex system of rules if they were interested in a woman and wanted to court her, which involved calling on her family, leaving calling cards, attending events, and requesting the family’s permission to spend time with the girl (with a chaperone).
Because they couldn’t kiss or touch in public (a big no-no), men had to find ways to express their intimate desires, like giving a bouquet of flowers containing various symbolism. Or an acrostic ring that hinted at his feelings for her.
Because of the series of precious and semi-precious gemstones used in the design, acrostic rings were valuable, and were sometimes given as engagement rings. Even today, you may be lucky enough to find gorgeous Victorian acrostic rings in antique shops.
Where Can You Find Acrostic Rings?
What makes acrostic rings so amazing is their gorgeous color, with all the gemstones working together in unison to create a perfect cohesive look. You can find modern replicas that mimic the rustic look of these Victorian designs, but you can also find genuine antiques from the Victorian and Georgian eras that were once worn by people who wanted to showcase their love for someone else.
Some designers take it a step further and create rings with words that are more relevant today, such as this PEACE acrostic ring. There’s no need to limit yourself with the choice of words, as there’s a gemstone for every letter in the alphabet. If you’re having your engagement ring custom made, you can always ask for special words to be included in it.
Because acrostic rings are a niche type of jewelry, it can be hard to find them in local stores. We suggest starting your search on Etsy for a variety of high-quality options. Alternatively, you can also choose to have one custom made.
Acrostic rings are an excellent way to add meaning to your ring and to play around with colors and gemstone combinations.
You don’t have to limit yourself to the words used in the Victorian era. Instead, you can opt to choose words and names that hold meaning for the two of you.
With plenty of gemstone options available to spell out even the most bizarre words, get your creative hats on and come up with your very own unique and stylish acrostic engagement ring!