The diamond is used in many pieces of exquisite jewellery and comes in various sizes. It is, however, in its smallest form that catches our interest the most: the diamond ring given in token of love and marriage.
But when did people begin offering diamonds as a sign of love and marriage? The actual history of this tradition transcends the perception of its creation as marketing hyperbole. The modern solitaire is just the most recent step on a long road from the past.
Rings date back several millennia, but those that are given as a token of love were first noted by the comic Roman poet Plautus in the 2nd century BCE. In those times, wedding rings were known for their interior inscriptions that recorded the marriage contracts signed in the presence of the Emperor's image. This custom was continued and Christianised by the 4th century, when priests would not permit weddings anymore without the exchange of rings.
Still, it wasn’t until 1477 that diamond rings came about to signify romance, love, and marriage. At this time, Archduke Maximillian of Austria ordered the first diamond engagement ring for his wife-to-be, Mary of Burgundy. This pivotal point started a trend for diamond rings among European aristocracy.
Then, in 1947 leading diamond company De Beers launched its memorable ‘Diamond is Forever’ campaign, which solidified that diamond rings signify eternal love and life-long marriage. This wide-spread message strengthened the connection between romance and diamond rings, which still lasts today as diamonds are so often purchased with this intention.
But how does all this relate to diamond investment? It’s important to understand public perception of these precious stones so you can make the most of your investment and best understand its value.