When his marriage proposal is accepted, a man gives his future wife an engagement ring as a token of his love. Some anthropologists believe that in Roman times, wives would wear rings attached to small keys to signify their husbands' ownership of the ring or key.
A diamond engagement ring made by Archduke Maximillian of Austria for his betrothed Mary of Burgundy was the first of its kind. As a result, European nobility and aristocracy began wearing diamond rings.
Diamonds and other gemstones, precious metals, and enamel were popularized by the romantic Victorians in ornate engagement ring designs. Posey rings" were a common name for these rings, which were often made in the shape of flowers. During the Edwardian era, diamond rings continued to be set with other precious stones in filigree settings.
De Beers' now-iconic slogan, "A Diamond is Forever," was first introduced in 1947. For many Americans, the permanence of marriage was symbolized by the diamond's indestructibility. In nearly every country, the purity and radiance of a diamond are now recognized as symbols of a couple's unwavering devotion to one another. Diamonds became more accessible when the DeBeers mines in Africa were opened to the public. The De Beers Company launched a marketing campaign in the 1930s using images of glamorous movie stars encrusted in diamonds to resurrect demand for diamond rings in the United States during a time of economic hardship. An increase of 50% in diamond sales was achieved in just three years.
However, more cuts allow diamond lovers to choose from a wider variety of styles, diamonds still signify the celebration of a union and cherished memory.
Popular Cuts Through the Years
The round brilliant cut has long been the most popular choice for diamond engagement rings, with its 58 facets dividing the stone into two halves. While the cushion cut has recently gained in popularity, the princess cut, emerald, and oval cuts have also been gaining in popularity.
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