The engagement ring is a tradition dating back to ancient Egyptians who believed circles were symbols of eternity. Wedding rings were worn on the left-hand ring finger because it was believed that a vein runs directly to the heart, the “Vena amoris”.
In 1477, the Archduke Maximillian of Austria is believed to have commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring when he proposed to Mary of Burgundy. The ring was set with thin, flat pieces of diamonds, shaping the letter “M”. This set a precedent for European nobility and, over time, the diamond engagement ring became more elaborate with added stones and style.
In 1880, the DeBeers Mining Company was founded after diamonds were discovered in South Africa. Within a decade, they controlled 90% of the world’s diamond production. Diamond engagement rings then became part of a large ad campaign, commissioned by DeBeers, and the slogan “A Diamond is Forever” came out after the Great Depression. By the early 1940’s, diamond engagement rings became the leading piece of jewellery in department stores across the country.
Diamond is the birthstone for the month of April. Ancient civilizations believed diamonds were associated with great healing powers. It is thought to provide the wearer with better relationships and an increase in inner strength. Diamonds are also believed to bring benefits such as balance, clarity and abundance in ones life. They are a universal symbol of eternal love and beauty.