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In 1477, the first recorded diamond engagement ring was delivered to Mary of Burgundy by her love, Archduke Maximilian of Hamburg. The tradition caught on quickly among royalty and wealthy individuals, as a way of expressing sincere love for one another. Unfortunately, the average person could never expect to afford a diamond. They were scarce in quantity and valued extremely high. With that said the engagement rings that were made out of diamond, were typically engraved with love messages written in expensive jewels. They were crafted by the best craftsmen in the land. Although diamond engagement rings were effectively a sign of love, they were seen as more of a sign of status and wealth. If a woman was to possess a diamond ring during this era, it would be possible to determine that she was wealthy and/or powerful.
Diamond Engagement Rings quickly became popular with the average person after a great discovery of diamond deposits were found in South America and Brazil. During the 1800s, it is believed that miners found heavenly spots filled with diamond mines. Through mining them, the prices of diamonds were significantly reduced, and for the first time in history, were deemed affordable for the average person. As more and more couples begin to get married using diamond engagement rings, the tradition carried out into the 1900s. During this era, diamonds came in different shapes and sizes, depending on the individual budget. More diamond mines were found in Africa, which further helped to bring the typical price of a diamond down.
Today, the diamond engagement ring is regarded by most as an essential part of the act of getting married. There are many styles, shapes and types of rings to choose from and diamonds to fit almost any budget. The modern wedding ring has spawned a global business of retailers, craftsmen, miners and importers. And to think it all began with a simple little bit of rope.
This article first appeared on Jewelers Whos Who Blog.