- Even the ancient Romans already gave an engagement ring to their fiancée.
- Due to the economic depression in the 30’s, people bought more modest jewellery.
- A simple slogan changed the tradition of the engagement ring.
Even the ancient Romans already gave an engagement ring to their fiancée. At a later age, these iron engagement rings were replaced by golden ones. Only in the twelfth century, pope Innocent III set up rules about marriage. For example, marriages had to take place in church and the bride needed to receive a ring. The gold ring with diamonds, however, only became popular in the nineteenth century, but still is. Today, the choice is not limited to a yellow gold ring with diamonds, you also have the option to choose a white gold ring with diamonds or a red gold ring with diamonds. But do you know how the marriage between the engagement ring and the diamond came about?
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Although the tradition of the engagement ring has existed for years, using a gold ring with diamonds as an engagement ring was introduced much later. This is because diamonds were very rare. Only around 1870, many diamond mines were discovered in South-Africa and exploited to make diamonds famous all over the world. The tradition of a proposal with a gold ring with diamonds arose only around 1938 and was nothing more than a successful marketing plan of the diamond jeweller De ‘Beers’.
Due to the economic depression in the 30’s, people mostly bought modest jewellery. ‘De Beers’ was in need of a new plan to bring their diamonds into the spotlight. They collaborated with an agency that encouraged Hollywood’s celebrities to wear rings with diamonds. A successful move, because diamond sales arose with 50% in the next 3 years. Nonetheless, the tradition of the gold ring with diamonds as an engagement ring was not born yet.
This only happened in 1947 when copywriter Francis Gerety came up with the slogan ‘A diamond is forever’. This slogan underlined the significance of a diamond as an unbreakable symbol of love. This turned out to be highly successful, as the sales of the gold ring with diamonds as an engagement ring were boosted enormously. Within 20 years after the arising of the slogan, 80% of all American brides wore a gold ring with diamonds. Even here this engagement ring is still tradition. On which hand you traditionally should wear your engagement or wedding ring, depends often on where you live, your belief and your culture.