A Brief History of Diamond Engagement Rings

A diamond ring is considered as the ultimate symbol of love and commitment. The history of diamond engagement rings is as rich and bright as the stone itself. InIndia, diamonds were discovered during the 4th century BC, and were used in talismans, ornaments, and cutting tools. During the dark ages, it was believed that ingesting diamonds could cure diseases and heal wounds.


So, from when did diamond become a romantic symbol? The history of diamond engagement rings didn’t begin inIndia, but started inAustriawhen Archduke Maximilian sent a diamond-studded ring to Mary of Burgundy in the year 1477. It is the first recorded diamond engagement ring. History says that Egyptians used to create ring designs with ivory, hemp, leather or bone that were worn on the fourth finger of the left hand.


If you take a look at Greek history, you will see that they wore plain betrothal rings, which were made from iron, copper, gold or silver. The choice of material depended on the financial status of the person. Sometimes they used to engrave messages or poems on the rings. The history of engraved rings perhaps started from here.


In the 15th century, the Archduke of Austria started the trend of presenting diamond rings to their intended, but not everyone were able to follow the tradition because diamonds were too costly. Those who couldn’t afford diamonds offered Gimmel, or Claddagh rings to their fiancés. This engagement ring is made of two rings, and both the lovers wear one each. On the day of the wedding, both the rings are put together and slipped on the bride’s finger. During the 17th and 18th centuries, ring designs featuring coloured gemstones gained popularity. These rings were not only colourful, but significantly lighter on the pocket as well.


After diamond mines were discovered inAfricain the 18th century, prices came down, making them affordable to all. The popularity of diamond increased since then; thanks to the marketing campaign of DeBeers, which came up with the slogan “Diamonds are forever”. Now, you can find numerous styles and models of these rings that are designed to suit everyone’s tastes and preferences.


Aping the west, the custom of gifting rings to fiancés slowly became a part of the Indian culture too. To keep up with the increasing market demand, numerous e-jewellery stores sprung up on the internet. You can buy rings from online jewellery stores online at unbelievable prices.


By Subash Sharma V


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