Updated: Sep 27
In this blog we are going on a sentimental journey through history to see how our tastes in engagements rings have changed & what has influenced this.
Over the ages, engagement rings have been hugely symbolic and treasured. Apart from their beauty, they represent many things. They contribute to the sentiment of eternity, are used to honour the love between two people & mark their betrothal, or simply a diamond ring may be gifted to someone special as a token of gratitude & appreciation.
I am sure in Asia diamond rings were historical given & worn with love, however the first European record of a diamond engagement being presented, was in 1477 to Mary of Burgundy, heiress to the Duchy of Burgundy, by the Archduke Maximillian of Austria. This sparked a trend for diamond rings that endures today.
The Renaissance era marked the addition of engraved messages to add value to the engagement ring design. The crystalline form of the diamond must have dazzled the beholder in candle light.
Jump forward to the 18th & 19th centuries, new discoveries of diamond deposits in Brazil & Africa, fashion styles popular of the times and the Industrial Revolution meant that diamonds became more available, although still primarily for nobility and royalty.
Thankfully in 1886, Tiffany & Co, developed the Tiffany setting which allowed more light into a mounted diamond and set it at a good height off the hand, thus making it look bigger & brighter. Coupled with the Tiffany setting design, diamonds took on a new look with the invention of cutting techniques by Marcel Tolkowsky, who developed the round brilliant cut diamond in1919.
Bringing the Tiffany setting & the round brilliant together was exactly what the world wanted in their diamond jewellery. (To further perfect the round brilliant cut Bruce Harding revisited the Tolkowsky diamond design in 1975, enabling computer aided symmetry we are used to seeing today).
To boost sales and preferences for diamond jewellery, 1947 saw a huge post-war consumer market untapped, particularly in America. Enter stage left the talented copywriter, Mary Gerety. “Diamonds are forever” arguably created the biggest emotional attachment to diamond engagement rings, now firmly embedded in the American psyche. Need we say more, De beers had a winner there and we all have become smitten ever since.
Diamonds have continued to be preferred elements in engagements rings, either as a solitaire or to accent & lift the effect of coloured gems. In 1950 - 1960's the average woman sported a diamond of 0.10 - 0.30CT in size, if they had one. Today a 0.50 - 2.0CT diamond is the norm, especially given the amount of social media influencer that helps shape the market.
When you are looking for that special gem, at Minturn Jewellery we’d never encourage you to buy a diamond that isn’t your normal style or indeed past your budget. To the inexperienced eye, most diamonds look the same, however we will guide you in your choice by using the GIA 4C’s.
We put the 4C’s into perspective by determining value in the Cut, Colour, Clarity, and then Carat, as ultimately Cut is the only aspect of a Diamond that is introduced & taken away by man.
Buying a quality diamond with Minturn Jewellery is supported by an independently certified appraisal from Gemlab, giving you further assurance that the gem & engagement ring you have designed is the ring of your dreams.
If you are looking for that special gem, get in touch for our personalised service.
Here are few little gems to help you make your Diamond buying adventure a sparklier one.
Buy at the price you are comfortable with, set your budget independent to the ring mount.
Buy quality independently certified diamonds, remember Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat.
Irrespective of what anyone else says, go with your heart and buy the gem you love.