When did the practice of presenting an engagement ring as a symbol of love begin?
The Egyptians are the originators of the practice of giving an engagement ring as a symbol of commitment. As far back as 2600 BC, gold engagement rings were discovered. A circular engagement ring was worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because of the vein that was thought to lead directly to the heart in Ancient Egypt. Eventually, this evolved into a tradition that may be found in many different cultures until this day.
People who could not afford gold at first had engagement rings that were made of other metals like iron.
There is no doubt that the practice of placing a diamond in an engagement band was introduced later on. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a diamond engagement ring that was specially crafted for her. This is the earliest recorded instance of this phenomenon.
What happened throughout the years to make this behavior what it is now?
As a result of the discovery of diamonds in South Africa in 1866, the diamond engagement ring proposal as we know it today was born. A youthful Cecil Rhodes, who subsequently created the De Beers Mining Company in 1880, developed and supervised these mines over the 1870s, which initially belonged to individual miners and were ultimately owned by the company.
This company is the ancestor of the diamond giant we know today, which produced the most memorable motto in the industry: "Diamonds are forever." This tagline was first used in 1947, and Advertising Age magazine proclaimed it the best slogan of the 20th century in 1999.
There are few campaigns that have had such a profound effect on people's perceptions as this one. There is no doubt that diamond engagement rings have become an essential part of the proposal process. Originally, they were also supposed to spend two months' pay on the ring, but that has altered significantly since then as well.