Diamond Engagement Rings: A Shining History

Diamond engagement rings are a universal symbol of eternal love and betrothal. Ancient myth had Cupid – that famous cherub of romance – pinging lovers with diamond-tipped arrows.

The diamond engagement ring story begins as far back as the Middle Ages. Yet today it holds fast as the quintessential message of romantic union. How has the diamond engagement ring held such iconic power through the centuries? Well that’s a tale to be told.

A perfect union

Diamonds and rings represent the perfect romantic match. Diamond comes from the ancient Greek word adámas meaning indestructible. Indeed diamonds are the world’s strongest substance blending beauty, brilliance and strength. A wonderful symbol of marriage’s unbreakable sanctity. Pair this with a ring that has no beginning or end. Makes a gorgeous representation of everlasting love and union doesn’t it.

Becoming a girl’s best friend

Mary of Burgundy was perhaps the luckiest girl in the world. Her husband to be, Archduke Maximilian gave her the first recorded engagement ring in 1477. Yes – it was a diamond engagement ring. In doing so the Archduke set the bar for men across centuries.

Diamond engagement rings fast became a feature of royal and noble engagements. Privileged classes around the world lavished gorgeous diamond jewellery and even loose diamonds on their betrothed.

Even royal baby girls got a slice of diamond fever. The smallest diamond engagement ring ever made was given to Princess Mary in 1518. She was two years old at the time and betrothed to the Dauphin of France.

Diamonds say it differently

Diamond engagement rings moved with the times:

  • Lavish enamel decoration during the Renaissance period
  • Evolution from ‘gimmel’ twin ring into diamond faith ring
  • Advanced cutting techniques and diamond design of eighteenth century jewelers
  • Upsurge of diamond elements in Romantic period engagement rings
  • Modern design tradition like half-hoop of diamonds & three-stone diamond rings of nineteenth century

Diamonds are forever

Diamond engagement rings became a universal mainstay in 1947. Diamond mining giant De Beers launched a vanguard advertising campaign. This coined the slogan ‘A diamond is forever’. Radio, tv, film and celebrity placements all drove key messages home:

  • A diamond engagement ring’s sentimental value is enduring so should never be resold.
  • A man should spend at least two to three months wages on a diamond engagement ring
  • Diamonds are the world’s chief engagement ritual

The campaign hit home and continues to evolve today. With custom made diamond engagement rings, certified and wholesale diamonds and diamonds online anything is possible. But diamond rings remain the most powerful engagement ritual worldwide.

Find your perfect diamond engagement ring with the help of an expert gemologist.