The use of gemstones in engagement and wedding rings dates back to ancient times. In ancient Egypt, for example, rings were made from a variety of materials including reeds, rushes, and papyrus. These rings were worn as a symbol of love and commitment. In ancient Rome, rings were made from iron and were seen as a symbol of strength and durability in a marriage.
During the Middle Ages, engagement and wedding rings were made from a variety of materials including gold, silver, and various gemstones. The most popular gemstones at this time were sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. These gemstones were believed to have special powers and were believed to protect the wearer from harm.
It wasn’t until the late 19th century that diamonds became the most popular choice for engagement and wedding rings. This can be attributed to the marketing efforts of the De Beers diamond company, who began a campaign in the late 1800s to promote diamonds as the ultimate symbol of love and commitment. They were successful in creating the idea that a diamond engagement ring was the ultimate expression of love and that the size of the diamond was directly related to the strength of the love. This campaign was so successful that by the 1930s, 80% of engagement rings contained a diamond.
Today, diamonds are still the most popular choice for engagement and wedding rings, but alternative gemstones such as sapphires, emeralds, and even moissanite are becoming increasingly popular as well. Many people are choosing to go with these alternative options for their engagement rings, as they can be just as beautiful and meaningful as diamonds, and often come at a more affordable price point.
In conclusion, the history of gemstones and engagement/wedding rings goes back centuries, but the diamond has been promoted as the ultimate symbol of love in the late 19th century. Today, many people are choosing alternative gemstones for their engagement ring, but diamonds remains the most popular choice. Ultimately, the choice of gemstone for an engagement ring is a personal one, and should be based on personal preference, budget, and meaning.