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How the Diamond Engagement Ring Came to Be

Written by: Sue Fritz | | Jewelry

History of diamond engagement ring and How the Diamond Engagement Ring Came to Be

As more couples are choosing a unique, custom, or even colored gemstone engagement ring, you might wonder how diamonds originally became synonymous with dropping to one knee. Even more interesting is that today’s symbol of love and a lifetime of happiness together started out as nothing more than a mark of ownership in ancient times.

A Historical Progression

  • The ring itself – as a symbol of marriage – began as a Roman custom in which wives wore a ring attached to a small key, indicating their husband’s ownership.

  • The diamond first appeared as a symbol of engagement in 1477 when Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned a diamond engagement ring for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy. This began a trend among the aristocracy and nobility in Europe. It continued through the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

  • In 1947, the now famous De Beers campaign – “A Diamond is Forever” – made sales soar as it implied the durability of a diamond meant the marriage would last equally long. Before this ad debuted, diamonds had gained some traction but giving them for proposals was still not a huge practice in the United States. However, after the campaign, diamond sales increased 50% in just three years due to this slogan.

Choosing the Cut

The most popular cut through history has been the round brilliant cut. But close behind in this hunt for the most favored diamond include:

  • Princess
  • Emerald
  • Oval
  • Cushion (the up and coming chosen cut)

Today’s Trends

While diamonds have been the popular option for decades and still remain desirable for an engagement ring, today’s millennials are choosing more unique designs and colored gemstones than ever before. Some of these trending styles can be traced back to celebrities leading the charge in the new trend.

  • Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, said yes to a stunning blue sapphire
  • Blake Lively showed off a light pink oval diamond upon her engagement
  • Katy Perry wears a ruby with a unique floral halo design
  • Ariana Grande has a beautiful bauble with both a pearl and a diamond

No matter which ring is picked for your proposal, choose one that fits your story and your partner’s style. Once that shiny sparkler is on their finger, don’t hesitate to get jewelry insurance and give your diamond the protection it deserves. Contact Lavalier for your personalized insurance quote.


  1. The History of the Diamond as an Engagement Ring. (Accessed February 16 2021).
  2. The Surprising History of Engagement Rings.  (Accessed February 16 2021).

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Lavalier is pleased to share this material with its customers. Please note, however, that nothing in this blog should be construed as legal advice or the provision of professional consulting services. This material is for general informational purposes only, and while reasonable care has been utilized in compiling this information, no warranty or representation is made as to accuracy or completeness.