Engagement rings are worn as a sign that its owner is planning to marry. They date back to the Roman Empire, when women who were to be married would wear gold rings in public and iron rings at home. As the centuries passed, the tradition of wearing a ring to signal impending marriage spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
One of the most famous engagement rings in history belonged to Mary of Burgundy. In 1477, her fiancé Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave her a diamond ring, using the hardness of the jewel to symbolize the strength of his love for her. Diamond engagement rings have been popular since. Diamond rings received another boost in 1947, the year DeBeers started its “A Diamond is Forever” campaign. More people than ever before learned about diamonds as a symbol of everlasting love. The majority of engagement rings today shine with diamonds.
Diamonds and Engagement Rings
It’s a common practice for people planning to marry to wear rings boasting one or more diamonds. Diamond engagement rings are full of symbolism and tradition, ranging from the cut and number of stones to the finger it’s worn upon. One detail regarding diamond engagement rings may be more utilitarian than romantic, but is essential to consider; the ring’s durability.
Diamonds have been renowned for centuries for their supreme hardness. Only a diamond can scratch another diamond, making it an ideal gemstone for everyday wear, on a piece of jewelry subject to accidental bangs and blows. If paired with metal resistant to corrosion such as gold or platinum, diamond rings can last for lifetimes.
While diamonds are the hardest mineral on earth, they’re not invincible. Pear cut diamonds, marquise cut diamonds and other diamonds with narrow corners are prone to damage if hit the wrong way. Diamond engagement rings are also vulnerable to cuts and chips from other diamond jewelry if improperly stored.
To help keep your ring as beautiful as the day it was made, try to ensure that any corners are covered with special prongs. When storing your diamond ring, take care to prevent it from brushing against other jewelry. For extra security make sure your ring stays away from extreme temperatures and harsh chemicals.
Choosing an Engagement Ring
Diamond engagement rings are a symbol for a powerful love that promises to grow stronger. Many who own engagement rings wear theirs daily, sometimes continuing to wear it after marriage alongside their wedding band. Not only should a diamond engagement ring be a beautiful sign of a couple’s love, it should be in a style its owner is happy to see every day.
Diamonds’ unrivaled hardness make them able to withstand daily life, reflecting a bond that holds strong over outside forces and making them an ideal choice for engagement rings. Diamond cuts and ring styles have waxed and waned in popularity over centuries. At the same time, jewelers are constantly innovating, finding new ways to make diamonds and their mounts shine like never before.
Those who enjoy a classical look may want to consider a round brilliant cut diamond engagement ring. Solitaire diamond engagement rings on a plain band made their modern debut in 1886. Round brilliant cut diamonds are a popular choice for this style of ring as they maximize sparkle using only one jewel. People seeking an Edwardian or earlier style may choose cushion cut engagement rings, while those who enjoy geometric vintage looks would do well with emerald cut engagement rings.
Those looking for something more unusual have a wealth of designer engagement rings to choose from. In addition to newer cuts like the princess or radiant, there are side stones, pave and band embellishments in endless permutations. If one has trouble deciding what cut to have on their ring, they can compromise with a center stone of one shape and side stones of another.
Solitaire Diamond Rings
With so many cuts, mounts, embellishments and other factors to consider, choosing the right diamond engagement ring can seem like a daunting task. There are ways to make a selection easier, such as consulting your beloved about their tastes, deciding on a firm budget, and asking jewelers which rings they recommend. One style that remains a classic is a single diamond mounted on a band, also known as a solitaire diamond ring.
If you choose a round brilliant cut diamond or other brilliant cut for your diamond engagement ring, specific mounts will help draw out the diamond’s shine. Prong mounts, which hold diamonds in place with thin wires, allow more light to enter a stone. Illusion settings help create the impression of a larger, brighter diamond by surrounding the stone with a rim of highly polished platinum or white gold. The precious metal acts as a mirror, reflecting more light to the viewer’s eye.
Diamonds are famed for their beauty and hardness. They are still prone to damage, especially around thinner areas like the girdle. To protect their jewels, some people choose settings like the bezel mount. The bezel set uses a rim of precious metal to surround the girdle, giving the jewel extra protection from accidental bumps.
While solitaire diamond rings have only one jewel, there is still room for embellishment. Depending on the designer, diamond rings may have scrolls or other flourishes engraved or embossed on the band. The shank may also be grooved, split, given a double shank or other embellishments. There are also polishes which influence the final shine of the precious metal, and finishes which add texture to the ring.