Diamond Engagement Rings – Then & Now

Diamond rings are no doubt icons for engagement and wedding. The resplendent diamond rings on one’s finger can be easily recognized as the symbol of wedding and engagement. So when did this tradition start and why were these treasures of nature chosen to symbolize a new journey for the couples ‘in love’. Let us give you an insight into when diamond rings became an iconic symbol of engagement.

First Diamond Engagement Rings

Contrary to what many people believe, diamond rings were seldom used in jewellery. Diamond was first discovered in India thousands of years ago yet at that time, diamonds were mostly used as decorative pieces or an amulet to keep evil spirits away. At some point, people started using them to cure illness and we believe that jewellers only started incorporating diamonds into their work perhaps a thousand year ago.

It was only in the mid part of the last millennia when the diamond was first used by a man, namely Archduke Maximilian from Austria to propose to his beloved, Mary of Burgundy. It started the tradition of proposing with glittering diamond rings. However, the practice was limited to only wealthy people as a diamond has always been one of the most precious stones.

The custom has strong roots dating back to ancient Egypt where couples used to place reed rings on each other’s finger to symbolize their commitment for each other. An engagement ring is placed on the ring finger because according to belief, the vein in the finger is directly connected to the heart.

Why Diamond Rings are Chosen for Engagement?

The first diamond engagement ring was not as beautiful and romantic as today’s designer diamond rings. In ancient time, these rings used to symbolize ownership instead of romance and betrothal between couples. Husbands used to gift rings, made of gold or other strong metals, to their wives to wear at home. The gift was symbolic of men’s possession over women. Over time, the tradition has evolved and become synonymous with love and respect for each other.

Diamond was the original gemstone first used in engagement rings. The practice of using diamonds for engagement rings soon became widespread after the dazzling gemstone was found in abundance in South Africa as the world-famous diamond companies started spending a larger sum of their advertisement campaign for the purpose. The Great Depression caused the market to slow down in the 1920s but the tradition is truly strong today and diamonds rings are a highlight sought after.


These days, diamond engagement rings symbolize partnership, commitment and love instead of ownership. Diamonds are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours so that couples can celebrate love as per their taste and preferences.

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