The History of Diamond Engagement Rings

Diamonds have been a symbol of love and commitment for centuries, but the tradition of using them in engagement rings is relatively recent. The history of diamond engagement rings is a fascinating one, full of symbolism and tradition. From the earliest days of diamond mining to the modern-day trend of custom-designed rings, this article will explore the history and evolution of diamond engagement rings.

Early Origins

The first historically recorded gift of diamond engagement ring in 1477 by Archduke Maximilian I of Austria to Mary of Burgundy. Mary was the sole heir to her father’s vast estates encompassing much of the Netherlands and Belgium. To say the least she was a pretty good catch. Although this is the first recorded instance of a diamond engagement it, is most likely that other couples would have done this before them. This ring was set with flat cut diamonds in a unique “M” shape, which is thought to be an early precursor to the modern solitaire setting. The likelihood is that the cut of diamond was in its simplest form of the point being cleaved off to provide a table.

In the 16th century, diamonds became more widely available as a result of increased mining activity in India. This made them more affordable for members of the middle class, who began to use them as symbols of their love and commitment when proposing marriage.

The Rise of The Solitaire Setting

In the late 19th century, diamond cutting technology had advanced enough that it was possible to create round brilliant cut diamonds that increased their sparkle and brilliance. Although this was far from the perfect results we see today it was still a great advance in diamond cutting . Finally in 1919 Marcel Tolkowsky came up with the mathematical  formula of diamond cutting that we know today. Due to his formula the cutting and angling of facets provided the maximum reflection of light and brilliance. This coincided with a shift in fashion towards simpler designs that highlighted the beauty of individual stones rather than elaborate settings with multiple stones. As a result, solitaire settings became popular for engagement rings during this period.

Modern Trends in Diamond Engagement Rings

Today, diamond engagement rings come in all shapes and sizes. Couples can choose from classic solitaire settings or opt for something more unique such as halo or three-stone other designs. Customization options are also becoming increasingly popular as couples seek out unique designs that reflect their individual style and taste.


Diamond engagement rings have come a long way since Archduke Maximilian I gave his betrothed Mary of Burgundy an “M” shaped ring set with flat cut diamonds over 500 years ago. Today’s couples have more options than ever before when it comes to choosing an engagement ring that reflects their individual style and taste. Whether you opt for a classic solitaire setting or something more unique like a pave diamond set band design, there is sure to be an option that perfectly expresses your love and commitment to one another!