A Brief History of the Diamond Engagement Ring


A Brief History of the Diamond Engagement Ring

One of the most followed and loved traditions around the world is the gift of an engagement ring upon a proposal for your loved one’s hand in marriage. You may wish to present her with a diamond solitaire, a diamond trilogy or a vintage engagement ring and thankfully we are no longer in Roman times, because you may have been giving her a ring with a key attached to it – to represent ownership… No. Way. She’d definitely leave you if that happened today.

My chat with Jeremy Vine a few weeks ago sparked my interest on this subject (it’s not something we’re taught in the trade really) and I wanted to learn more about the history of engagement rings so I can share it with you, just for some fun!


So, yes, as you read above it is thought that in the Roman times, wives wore rings attached to small keys to resemble ownership. I don’t think that would go down very well today thankfully!


Fast forward a little, and in 1477 Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave his betrothed the first ever (on record) Diamond engagement ring which sparked the trend among royalty and nobles.


In Victorian and Edwardian times, engagement rings took on a floral and ornate look with designs using diamonds and other coloured gemstones and used a lot of filigree patterns, making some very pretty rings with similar designs now being given the ‘vintage’ title. (Read my blog on buying a vintage engagement ring here.)


Let’s fast forward some more to 1947 to the famous ‘A Diamond is Forever’ campaign by diamond giants, De Beers. After the Depression, this campaign encouraged people everywhere to purchase a diamond as an engagement ring, solidifying the tradition of a diamond engagement ring given upon proposal.


Symbolising that marriage, just like diamonds, are forever!


I am not usually one to follow tradition, but this is probably my favourite (as well as wedding rings, obviously). I think it celebrates love and commitment and I love the thought that they are forever (with the proper care, that goes for marriage and diamonds!)


I hope you have enjoyed my brief history of the diamond engagement ring and if you’re looking to buy the perfect engagement ring for your future wife, then please contact us below and I’d be more than happy to help you choose the perfect engagement ring design for you both.

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