“I do”. Those are the famous words uttered by countless couples who’ve joined together in holy matrimony in one of the oldest and most sacred institutions in human culture. But long before these words are spoken, a promise is made that signifies a couple is ready to take the next step.

An engagement ring is the method of choice for the happy couples that decide to make the promise. It is worn around the finger as a symbol of marriage until the bond is actually set in stone. The ancient Romans used to exchange betrothal rings made of iron, and later of gold.

In the middle ages, aristocrats in Europe devised a plan to present an “engagement” ring to their betrothed while waiting for the day when they could marry them. After all, there is a lot of planning and waiting for a wedding ceremony, and they didn’t want their fiancés to fall for someone else!

Using engagement rings have always had an interesting history, but using diamonds did not occur until the Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave one to his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy, in 1477. Despite this display, diamonds as an engagement ring still did not catch on mostly because diamonds were not a part of the world market at this time, and were an exceptionally valuable and rare gem stone.

A Tradition is Born

It wasn’t until the late 1870s, when South African diamonds began to enter the market, that the stones became a viable option for engagement rings. In 1888, the top dealers came together and formed De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., that soon controlled the majority of the industry. At this time, diamond engagement rings began to be quite popular because of the De Beers marketing campaigns in the late 1930’s.

Americans fell in love with the thought of owning and wearing a diamond by seeing Hollywood stars and fashion designers featuring diamonds of their own. Diamonds became a must-have. In 1947, the phrase “a diamond is forever,” was coined through the De Beers advertising agency, and they continue to use it today.

An engagement ring is a symbol of more than the love between two people. It is the continuation of an age-old tradition that unites a couple together in a sacred bond, and legally binds them together in holy matrimony.

With the proliferation and availability of diamonds, a beautiful engagement ring is affordable to any and all who wish to take part in this timeless tradition. If you wish to learn more, we here at Randor have just the right fit for your tastes.