Traditionally a man presents his prospective bride with an engagement ring upon acceptance of his marriage proposal, but when and how did all this start?
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. 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.
The opening of the DeBeers mines in Africa made diamonds more accessible. In the 1930s, when demand for diamond rings declined due to hard economic times, the De Beers Company began an aggressive marketing campaign using photographs of glamorous movie stars swathed in diamonds. Within three years, the sales of diamonds had increased by 50%.
In 1947, De Beers launched its now classic slogan, "A Diamond is Forever." This campaign spurred even more sales. The implied durability of a diamond conveyed the meaning that marriage is forever. A diamond's purity and sparkle have now become symbols of the depth of a man's commitment to the woman he loves in practically all corners of the world and diamonds still signify the celebration of their union.
Here at Anja Potze Fine Jewellery, we have a huge range of platinum and 18ct gold and diamond rings set with certified fine diamonds. In addition to these, we have a bespoke service where we can create a beautiful design to your own specification, making a ring as unique as your loved one. Make an appointment to discuss your requirements. We look forward to welcoming you.