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The History of the Diamond Engagement Ring: A Timeline

Today, in western civilisation, diamond rings are synonymous with betrothal. However, the diamond engagement ring, as we know it today, is a relatively new custom. 

Although diamonds were used as ring ornamentation for many centuries, most experts date the origin of the diamond engagement ring to the late 15th century. The man credited with starting this romantic tradition is a little known Archduke from Austria, who in actual fact presented his betrothed with a specially crafted diamond ring without any sense of amorous affection whatsoever. 

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Diamonds: The Journey From Mine to Ring

From its formation hundreds of kilometres below the earth’s surface to its brilliant metamorphosis into someone’s cherished engagement ring, the journey of a diamond from mine to ring can take up to 3.3 billion years. 

A diamond starts to form when carbon below the earth’s surface grows in kimberlite rock as eight-sided crystals. The extreme heat and pressure placed on the these carbon crystals forms very tight atomic bonds within the crystal, giving the diamond its hardness.

Powerful volcanic activity then pushes the kimberlite and diamond towards the earth’s surface and are mined down the volcanic pipe - the primary sources of the world's diamond mines.

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