Over a course of many decades, the diamond has developed a symbolic meaning that soon became a worldwide tradition. The stone is more than just aesthetically beautiful. It has become an enduring symbol of love, romance, and commitment. The stone’s name is derived from the Greek word adamas, which translates to “unconquerable.” This symbolic meaning lends itself well to the diamond’s historic commemoration of eternal love. One of the first recorded uses of a diamond engagement ring was when Archduke Maximilian of Austria’s proposed to Mary Burgundy with a ring set that included flat diamond pieces. This historic moment was the beginning of a new trend for diamond rings among European aristocracy and nobility.
The use of diamond rings as a symbol of commitment is dated back to the ancient times. Romans often created rings from twisted copper or braided hair and wore them on the third finger of the left hand. The placement of the ring was significant because the Romans believed that the vein in that finger ran directly to the heart. These rings were given as a sign of affection and friendship.
In the 1700s, Victorians popularized engagement ring designs that mixed diamonds with other gemstones, precious metals, and enamels. These rings were often crafted in the shapes of flowers. The Edwardians era also paired diamonds with other jewels, commonly mounted in filigree settings.
In 1873, Cecil Rhodes found the DeBeers Mining Company with other investors. Within a decade, they controlled 90 percent of the world’s diamond production. In the 1930s, when demand for diamond rings declined in the U.S. during 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 percent.
Today, diamond engagement rings are almost a must for couples. Most couples don’t consider a betrothal to be “official” without a diamond ring. There are approximately 2.3 million marriages per year in the United States, and 81% of all brides receive an engagement ring, according to the latest figures from De Beers.
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. Diamonds still signify the celebration of a union and cherished memory, but have also become a status symbol and signify wealth and class.Over a course of many decades, the diamond has developed a symbolic meaning that soon became a worldwide tradition. The stone is more than just aesthetically beautiful. It has become an enduring symbol of love, romance, and commitment.