The History of Diamond Engagement Rings 2023

Posted on 23 May

If you’ve ever been shopping for fine jewelry, especially an engagement ring, or are in the process of creating your own custom engagement ring, then you know the importance of a diamond gemstone. But where did this special tradition come from? Diamonds have been symbols of love and commitment throughout history – but what about today’s diamond engagement rings? In this blog post we will explore the fascinating journey through time to uncover the evolution of diamond engagement rings and how diamonds have become an essential part of proposal traditions. Whether you’re recently engaged or just curious about jewelry history, read on to learn more about one the most beloved gemstones.

A person caressing the back of their partner's head showcasing their diamond engagement ring

The Origin of Diamond Engagement Rings

There’s no denying that diamond engagement rings are a symbol of love and devotion to one another. But have you ever wondered where this timeless tradition first began? The origins of diamond engagement rings can be traced back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Rome, where rings were often exchanged as a sign of commitment. However, did you know that it was a royal family who played a significant role in popularizing this tradition? It all started in 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria presented a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy. It wasn’t until the late 19th century, however, that diamonds became more accessible to the general public, thanks to the discovery of massive diamond mines in South Africa. It was during this time that Queen Victoria received a stunning diamond ring from her beloved Prince Albert. The image of a queen wearing a diamond ring for her engagement instantly captured the public’s attention, and soon, diamond engagement rings became the norm for couples around the world. Today, the royal family’s association with diamond engagement rings continues to inspire couples everywhere to invest in this timeless symbol of love.

South Africa’s Role in Changing the Diamond Engagement Ring Industry

It wasn’t until the discovery of diamond mines in South Africa in the late 1800s that diamond engagement rings became popularized. In 1867, a massive diamond was found along the banks of the Orange River, sparking a diamond rush that changed the future of the country forever. The diamond mines quickly became a hub of economic activity, attracting people from around the world to the region. The impact of the discovery was felt globally, as it made South Africa the leading diamond producer in the world for many years. The discovery of these precious gems has impacted generations and remains a crucial part of the country’s economy to this day.

How Diamond Wedding Bands Became a Symbol of Commitment and Love

It wasn’t until the diamond company De Beers launched its “A Diamond is Forever” marketing campaign in 1947, that the diamond became the symbol of everlasting love that we know today. Thanks to savvy marketing campaigns and a successful partnership between diamond merchants and the De Beers mining company, the tradition of proposing with a diamond ring soon became the norm. It’s fascinating to think about the evolution of this beloved tradition and the role it continues to play in our traditions today.

Although the famous slogan was launched nearly 80 years ago, it remains one of the most recognizable and enduring advertising campaigns in history. The campaign sought to promote the idea of diamonds as a symbol of enduring love and commitment. It wasn’t the first time diamonds had been marketed in this way, but De Beers’ clever marketing strategy ensured that the “Diamond is Forever” slogan was forever ingrained in the public consciousness. Today, the phrase is synonymous with diamonds and is often used to describe the eternal nature of love and partnership. It’s a testament to the power of effective marketing and the lasting appeal for this kind of perfect ring.

A hand resting on their knee showing their diamond engagement ring

Examining the Investment Value in Diamond Wedding Rings

Beyond the emotional significance diamond engagement rings have, these rings are also a valuable investment opportunity. Diamonds hold their value well and can even appreciate in value over time, making them a smart choice for those looking to make a long-term investment. However, it is important to carefully consider factors such as the diamond’s cut, clarity, and carat weight before making a purchase to ensure you are getting the best quality stone. By doing so, you can ensure that your investment will yield returns for years to come. So, whether you’re buying an engagement ring or looking to add to your investment portfolio, a diamond ring might just be the perfect choice.

History of Custom Engagement Rings

The concept of creating custom diamond engagement rings is a relatively recent development in the jewelry industry. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that jewelers began to offer custom design services for engagement rings, allowing couples to create and personalize their unique engagement ring with special elements which speak to their individual love stories. The rise of popular culture and the increased availability of diamonds in the mid-20th century further fuelled the trend of custom engagement rings. Today, the practice of creating custom diamond engagement rings has become an art form, with expert jewelers and designers crafting one-of-a-kind unique engagement rings that reflect the diverse tastes and personalities of the couples who wear them. It is important to note that many couples today are opting for lab grown diamonds in their custom engagement rings, as an ethically sourced alternative to natural diamonds. Whether set in sleek modern designs or vintage-inspired settings, custom diamond engagement rings carry with them a timeless beauty that truly captivates the heart.


Overall, diamonds are a timeless expression of the symbolic bond between two people and have endured through generations. As technology advances, so do diamond cutting techniques, allowing for more unique engagement rings to be created, giving freedom to couples looking to design their own custom ring. At Livia Diamonds, located in downtown Toronto, we understand this – which is why we offer the highest standard of quality when it comes to crafting beautiful custom diamond engagement rings. If you’re looking for the perfect way to commemorate your special day, then contact us today to see our wide range of diamond engagement rings and we will work alongside you during the entire process to help you find or create the exact ring you are looking for. We look forward to helping you find or create your dream ring!



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