What makes diamonds so special?
There are many different answers to this question depending on the person you ask. For example, a research scientist might say it’s the conditions under which diamonds form in the earth. An economist might say it’s their rarity. A consumer might say it’s their association with love and beauty. And they’d all be right.
History of the Engagement Ring
Why are diamonds so special and alluring? It can go back to De Beers, when the world's largest diamond company launched its famous slogan, "Diamonds are Forever" in 1947. With this one simple statement, the company was able to associate the diamond with love and a commitment that will last forever.
Today, proposing with a diamond engagement ring is essential. Although diamonds come in a number of shapes and sizes, it has a universal meaning across the world, which expresses that love is forever.
A diamond engagement ring has come to represent the quintessential testament of love and commitment. But how and when did the tradition of presenting you fiancé a diamond ring begin? In actuality, the concept of a diamond engagement did not gain popularity until the 1930s and by the 1960s it is estimated the 80 percent of brides in the United States received a diamond engagement ring. Below is a brief timeline of the history of the engagement ring.
1477 - The first diamond engagement ring on record was given by Archduke Maximillian of Austria to his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy. The ring was set in thin, flat pieces of diamonds in the shape of an "M." This then ignited a trend among the European nobility and aristocracy of presenting a diamond ring when proposing.
1800s - The Victorians popularized originate engagement rings not only set with diamonds, but also other precious gemstones such as emeralds, rubies, and amethysts. Often, the gemstones in these rings were set in a shape of a flower and were dubbed "posey rings" and were engraved with flowery sayings that were in vogue in Europe at the time.
1867 - Diamonds were very rare and expensive for those who were not part of the elite class to afford until 1867, when diamonds were discovered in the Cape Colony, which is now a province in modern day South Africa, beginning an increase of diamond supply in the market.
1880: The De Beers Company was the sole owner and operator of the newly discovered mines in South Africa and within a decade, the company control 90 percent of the world's diamond production.
1886: Tiffany and Co. launches its classic six-pronged diamond ring design known as the "Tiffany Setting", which raises the diamond from the band, which allows for the maximization of the diamond's brilliance.
1890s: Mail-order catalogs such as Sears & Roebuck, which were popular at the time, began to offer affordable diamond engagement rings.
1940s: In the early 1940s engagement rings became the most popular line of jewelry at department stores.
1947: De Beers launches its now classic slogan "A Diamond is Forever" which catapults the popularity of diamonds even further. This one slogan was able to symbolically associate the diamond with commitment, durability, and most importantly that like a diamond, marriage is forever.
Top 12 Engagement Ring Settings:
There are many different engagment ring settings you can choose from, so we wanted to help you choose from the most popular engagement ring settings. Please see the top 12 engagement ring settings below.