The majority of engagement rings feature a diamond, or diamonds. Whether it’s just one small stone or a cluster of large, sparkling gems, the diamond has come to signify engagement in modern times. But not many people know why the diamond is the gem of choice for couples getting hitched; nor are they aware of the diamond’s long and illustrious history with regards to the evolution of marriage traditions.
The History of Diamond Engagement Rings
The custom of proposing with a ring goes back centuries, but diamonds are actually quite a modern innovation. Engagement rings before then had occasionally featured diamonds – although the majority of people couldn’t afford them – but they would usually be paired with another gem type and were rarely featured by themselves. As a preferred engagement gem the diamond rose to popularity in the early 20th century, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that they became the gem of choice for engagement rings.
The clarity and brilliance of a diamond has long symbolised power, beauty and purity, but the diamond’s gradual affiliation with marriage has resulted in the gem taking on an additional symbolism. Diamonds now also stand for love and a couple’s 60th wedding anniversary is commonly referred to as the ‘diamond anniversary’; this having previously been the 75th wedding anniversary until the event of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
Different Diamond Rings
Modern diamond engagement rings take many shaped and forms. The three most common cuts are princess, oval and round. Examples of these cuts can be found at Chisolm Hunter Ltd. It’s also become common for wedding rings to also be inlaid with diamonds, especially if the woman intends to wear both her engagement ring and wedding ring on the same finger after she is married. In this case it’s not unusual for the wedding ring to be chosen based on the proximity of its appearance to the engagement ring.
Modern Affordable Diamond Rings
Because standards of living have improved markedly since the early 20th century, increasing numbers of people are now able to afford to purchase a diamond engagement ring for their beloved. Traditionally, the price of an engagement ring would equate to three months of a man’s salary, although in modern times this notion has become slightly antiquated. Both men and women now purchase engagement rings and there are plenty of beautiful rings to choose from, from both the upper and lower ends of the market.