Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring on record for his future wife, Mary of Burgundy in the late 1400’s. This ignited a trend for diamond rings among European aristocracy and nobility or those who could afford the rare stone. Over the years, the diamond’s reputation was consistently held as rare and luxurious but the stone became more assessable and a more popular gesture among the middle class as years went on.
In 1947, the jewelers, De Beers, launched its now classic slogan, “A Diamond is Forever.” The campaign caused sales to skyrocket because it implied the durability of the diamond. It also is famous for conveying the message to the American psyche that marriage is forever.
Today, almost everyone gives a diamond to symbolize their promise to marry. There are so many different styles and sizes that make an engagement ring affordable for couples of all income levels. In America the most popular shape is the round brilliant, which consists of 58 percent. The round brilliant is followed by the princess cut, the emerald cut and the oval cut. While these shapes may trend differently from year to year, the tradition of the diamond engagement ring is almost a 700-year tradition that has stood the test of time.