The background of engagement rings made of diamonds

Have you ever pondered how and why diamond engagement rings came to represent passion and marriage globally in contemporary society? You might be surprised by the origins! Continue reading to learn more…

Read More: Diamond Fashion Rings

Ancient history of rings

Since at least the period of ancient Egypt, rings have been associated with unending love. Because rings are round and have no beginning or end, they are the ideal symbol of unending love and loyalty.

Following the conquest of Ancient Egypt by Alexander the Great, the Greeks and Romans took over Egypt, and the custom of exchanging rings at marriage ceremonies—which were often made of copper or iron—became deeply ingrained in the cultures that preceded western civilization.

The custom of exchanging rings was brought over from Egyptian culture, as did the notion that the vein on the ring finger flowed straight to the heart. Unfortunately, this isn’t physiologically right, yet the custom has persisted throughout the ages until this day.

Around the fourth century, gold rings were worn by the wealthiest members of society as a way to display their riches. Gemstones and intricate engravings also began to proliferate, particularly as civilization advanced into the Middle Ages.

During this time, diamonds were not a popular gemstone to wear as they were still quite expensive and out of reach for the majority of people in society. Numerous jewels were popular; rubies were thought to symbolize passion, sapphires the sky, and diamonds unwavering fortitude. Numerous other less costly gemstones, such as garnet, amethyst, and onyx, were also utilized.

The advent of wedding bands

Over time, the custom of exchanging rings evolved to represent true matrimony rather than merely romantic love. The word “wedding” really originates from the customs that were common between the eighth and the twelfth centuries, when being married only needed the bride to accept an object known as a “wed” as a symbol of each party’s consent. Typically, this item was a ring.

Due to pranks where individuals denied they were married at all since ceremonies had no formal criteria, the Christian church intervened at some point in the 12th century and declared marriage to be a sacred institution. It was deemed disgraceful for a man to place a ring on the finger of a lady he did not plan to marry, even if the church had decreed rings to be required for the rite.

Engagement rings become commonplace

Before the 14th century, engagement rings were uncommon. That is, until the handsome man below made the decision to propose to his future bride and win her hand in marriage by giving her a diamond ring.

Since this guy was Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian the First, it stands to reason that high society in the Middle Ages took notice of his acts, and engagement ring gifting became popular as a result.

He coincidentally proposed to his wife with a diamond engagement ring, but at the time, this was never well-received.

The popularity of diamond engagement rings is skyrocketing.

Diamonds were never a common choice for engagement rings, as we have indicated. They were just too expensive and uncommon, even for the majority of high society.

By the end of the 1800s, things started to alter with that. Large diamond deposits had been found in Africa, and early traders had immediately started to circle like sharks, helped along by the British Empire. Cecil Rhodes and his recently established business, De Beers, emerged victorious from this chaotic and brutal land grab.

Over a 50-year period between 1890 and 1940, De Beers controlled around 85% of the global diamond trade and harvested diamonds in large quantities. Diamonds were so abundant in the market that De Beers was able to set the price at which they might be sold.

Regretfully, there wasn’t enough of a market for diamonds. Industrial applications were limited, and De Beers’s avarice was unsatisfied by the size of the consumer market.

They hired Philadelphia advertising firm NW Ayer & Son, who created the now-famous “Diamonds are forever” campaign, promoting diamonds as the sole way to show your lover how much you care and how much you love them.

They created the absurd “rule” that you should spend three months’ pay on an engagement ring, gave celebrities free diamond jewelry, and marketed on a never-before-seen scale. They also created a lot of additional customs in order to sell more stones. The trilogy ring, or eternity band, is made up of three diamonds, which stand for the past, present, and future of love. After a few years, diamonds—which increased from 10% in 1939 to 80% in 1990—became the standard option for engagement rings.

Today’s diamond engagement rings

Although diamonds are still the most popular choice for engagement rings, other gemstones like emeralds, sapphires, and rubies are becoming more and more popular. Many of our clients at Nightingale combine different gemstones to create eye-catching and distinctive designs.

We can obtain additional ethical lab-grown gemstones in addition to lab-grown diamonds, so if you want to go against the De Beers trend, you may do it in the most morally responsible manner imaginable.

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