The Origin of Diamond Engagement Rings
By Maury Kauffman
8/1/2017 at 3:33 PM
Of course Tucson jewelers can't claim to have invented the diamond engagement ring, its history predates The Old Pueblo.
Did you know, until the 15th century, only kings wore diamonds as a symbol of strength, courage and invincibility. Over the centuries, diamonds acquired their unique status as the ultimate gift of love. In fact, it was said that Cupid's arrows were tipped with diamonds which have a magic that nothing else can ever quite equal. Since the very beginning, diamonds have always been associated with romance and legend. The very word "diamond" comes from the Greek "Adamas" meaning unconquerable, suggesting the eternity of love. The Greeks also believed the fire in the diamond reflected the constant flame of love.
A man presents his prospective bride with an engagement ring upon acceptance of his 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 which grew into the tradition we honor today.
It was the discovery of diamonds in South Africa in 1867 that truly brought radical change in engagement and bridal jewelry, as the world's diamond supply was drastically altered. By 1872 those diamond mines were producing over one million carats annually. Plus the creation of the De Beers Mining Company in 1880, diamonds were on their way to becoming a girls best friend.
In 1886 the classic Tiffany setting debuted. This ring with its six prong design highlighted the gem's brilliance and was a vast departure from the traditional bezel setting.
Over the years, the most popular cut for diamond engagement rings has always been the round brilliant, consisting of 58 facets that divide the stone into a top and bottom half. Runners up include the princess cut, the emerald cut and the oval cut, with the cushion cut quickly gaining popularity as a recent trend.
Another historical fact, the reason why women wear diamond engagement rings on the fourth finger of her left hand dates back to the early Egyptian belief that the vena amoris (vein of love) ran directly from the heart to the top of the third finger, of the left hand.
As you know, I'm not a typical Tucson jewelry store, but I can show you diamonds of every size, shape and quality. Please view this two minute video The Secret: Why Guys Buy Diamonds from MKPJ to learn more. Of course I can custom design your diamond engagement ring and bridal jewelry to your taste and budget. Please read my client's testimonials to learn what dozens of my clients say about me.