History of diamond engagement rings
The origins of diamond engagement rings are reputed to date back to 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with what is believed to be the first-of-its-kind diamond engagement ring. Before this, rings were typically simple gold or iron bands.
However, it wasn’t until much later, the 1940s to be precise, that the diamond engagement ring trend really took off. This was largely due to a clever advertising campaign by renowned diamond specialists, De Beers, which used Hollywood A-listers and coined the now-famous phrase “A diamond is forever”.
The campaign successfully created a shift in consumer attitudes and helped increase the desirability of a diamond ring, so much so that today, it is considered highly unusual to imagine any other type of ring on the finger of a bride-to-be.
Consequently, since this time, fine jewellers like ourselves have spent years developing our skills and knowledge in diamond sourcing, cutting and shaping, all in order to offer you the most extensive range of rings to choose from.
Types of diamond engagement rings
Diamond engagement rings come in just about every shape, size and colour, meaning there is guaranteed to be a style that suits every taste and budget. Typically, colourless diamonds are the most desirable, and round brilliant cuts the most popular for engagement rings.
There are a variety of diamond cuts to choose from, including emerald, marquise, oval, pear, princess and more, and type of cut you choose will determine how sparkly and durable a ring is. You can also opt for different choices in colour to really personalise your ring. Colour choice generally starts with the band, with the option of 18ct yellow gold or platinum. Within each, the intensity and tone can vary depending on the alloy composition used to create it.
As well as the band, diamonds are available in different colours too. Although colourless diamonds are desirable, they are some of the most rare to find. What should be noted is that even though a diamond may look white or colourless to the eye, it may have a slight hint of yellow when examined more closely. The best way to assess your diamond is by checking its grading on the GIA diamond colour scale, which assigns each diamond a letter from D-Z, with D being colourless and Z being the most yellow or brown in hue.
There is also the option of fancy diamonds, which refers to diamonds that exhibit just about any colour or shade on the spectrum, including red, blue, green, pink, grey and black. These diamonds are incredibly rare and therefore, often come at a higher price. For instance, a black diamond is one that has thousands of microscopic inclusions or fractures, which on a colourless diamond would be seen as an imperfection. However, finding a diamond with such a high volume of these inclusions is rare and results in a unique black colour, which helps increase desirability and interest in the diamond.
While traditional colourless diamonds decrease in value with more colour, fancy diamonds, or those that surpass Z on the grading scale, become more valuable the greater the intensity of their colour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Read some of our most frequently asked questions about diamond engagment rings below, or get in touch with our team of specialists for any other queries.