Engagement Ring and Diamonds
This little piece of jewelry is merely the betrothal ring, meaning, it implies a troth – an old-fashioned word for a solemn pledge – of a man and woman to go through with marriage vows.
A medieval custom was that a broken piece of gold be split between the intended bride- and groom-to-be and each kept their half as a token of fidelity. The exchange of actual rings came later as a bargain-sealing tradition. Archduke Maximilian of Austria is known to have given his French fiancée, Mary of Burgundy, the first betrothal ring in diamonds.
According to Brilliance.com, the history of the engagement ring began in 1215, when Pope Innocent III, one of the most powerful popes of the Middle Ages, declared a waiting period between a betrothal and the marriage ceremony.
Englishman Cecil John Rhodes formed De Beers Consolidated in 1880 to control the diamond trade. For engagements, diamonds are a marketing venture because in 1947, DeBeers commissioned a leading advertising firm to beef up sales and the slogan “A diamond is forever" was coined. The premise of this large-scale marketing campaign was to insinuate that diamonds should be the only choice for engagement rings.