The Story of The Diamond Engagement Rings

The story of the engagement rings begin in 1215, when the engagement period was born. Pope Innocent III announced that the Catholic people were to wait an adequate amount of time between the times of the proposal to the time of marriage, which was known as an engagement period. Because the marriage ceremony did not directly precede the proposal, the couples were to wear rings on their third finger as a symbol of their commitment to each other. The third finger was chosen, as a vein in the third finger was thought by the Romans to run directly to the heart.

However, the first diamond engagement ring was not given until 1477, in the country of Austria. In 1477, the Archduke Maximilian gave a woman by the name of Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring while asking for her hand in marriage. This is particularly romantic, as the diamond was thought to be a gem that had the power to strengthen the bonds of love and marriage between a man and a woman. Therefore, this creative take on the engagement ring was not only a beautiful idea, but also a symbol of the Archduke’s love and devotion to Mary of Burgundy.

After the gift of the first diamond engagement ring, diamonds were discovered in Brazil, as well as large findings in Africa. This increase in the supply of diamonds, along with advancements in technology, marketing, and jewelry design, helped launch the diamond ring into popularity. However, the diamond engagement ring did not truly become popular until 1947.
In 1947, a company called DeBeers launched a full-blown campaign to catapult the diamond engagement ring into high demand. The ever-popular slogan, “A Diamond is Forever” was born and brought into homes across America. Soon thereafter, diamonds were the most popular stone featured in engagement rings, with 80% of engagement rings featuring diamonds today.

In current times, the proposal and engagement period is one of the most anticipated times of one’s life, especially to most women. Men are expected to get down on one knee, confess their love and endless devotion, and bestow a dazzling, diamond ring upon the woman of their dreams. How to propose to a woman has even became somewhat of an innovative and over-the-top event, with men proposing on Teleprompters during sports games, on romantic getaways, and even by renting planes to carry the question across the sky. While the words “will you marry me” instantly remind listeners of diamond rings and white dresses, the "diamond engagement ring" has a long history that is as much romantic, as it is interesting.