Antique and vintage engagement rings encompass a myriad of designs and have been a popular choice for centuries. Such rings have long been associated with eternal love, perhaps because diamonds are the hardest of all gemstones, a property which is central to their link with unending devotion. Interestingly, the word ‘diamond' is derived from the Ancient Greek ‘adamas' meaning everlasting or unbeatable.
Diamond set rings can trace their origins back to Ancient Roman times, when gold bands were occasionally set with a single uncut diamond crystal. The first diamond set engagement ring on record was presented in 1447 to Mary of Burgundy by Archduke Maximilian, reputedly set with diamonds which formed a letter ‘M'.
Early diamond sources were located in India and then Brazil. These early diamond sources produced low quantities of diamonds and it was not until the South African diamond mines were discovered in the late 1860s that diamond set rings became more obtainable.
Constantly improving technological advancements meant that diamond cuts continually evolved, from basic changes to the rough diamond crystal all the way through to a fully facetted diamond displaying supreme scintillation.
In 1948 DeBeers first coined the slogan ‘A Diamond is Forever', cementing the diamond solitaire in its role as the quintessential choice for an engagement ring.
Diamond engagement rings have appeared in a variety of different designs throughout history. Visit us in store or browse our website to find the perfect ring for you.