The History of the Diamond as an Engagement Ring

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    Diamonds signify enduring love because of their unmatched strength and beauty. The versatile look of diamonds enables them to be worn with any outfit, from an elegant cocktail dress to jeans. Diamond engagement rings are the most popular accompaniment to popping the question.


    Although the tradition of giving a ring to the woman who has promised to become your bride goes back centuries, diamond engagement rings are a relatively recent innovation. Diamond engagement rings first became popular in the 1930s.



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    A man presents his prospective bride with an engagement ring upon acceptance of her marriage proposal. Anthropologists believe this tradition originated from a Roman custom in which wives wore rings attached to small keys, indicating their husbands' ownership. In 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring on record for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy. This sparked a trend for diamond rings among European aristocracy and nobility.



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    The sentimental Victorians popularized ornate engagement ring designs that mixed diamonds with other gemstones, precious metals and enamels. Often these rings were crafted in the shapes of flowers and were dubbed “posey rings.” Diamond rings crafted during the Edwardian era continued the tradition of pairing diamonds with other jewels, commonly mounted in filigree settings.



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