Tuesday, 31 March 2009

A Diamond is Forever

Jo and I had a debate about engagement rings when sorting through the jewellery box the other day. I had imagined they were always diamond whereas Jo thought they often included sapphire, emerald or ruby.

It seems that although the first diamond engagement ring dates back at least to 1477 the real push for them came in the mid twentieth century. Because the demand for crowns and tiaras had virtually disappeared De Beers was looking for a new market and after the War people wanted bright colourful things not diamonds which were seen as colourless like the War years. De Beers set about advertising its way into the engagement ring market and created the line ‘A Diamond is Forever’.

Now 80% of engagements of Europe, America and Japan are celebrated with a diamond ring. Now De Beers is promoting diamonds for the independent woman with slogans suggesting the left hand is for ‘us’ and the right hand for ‘me’. Married couples are also being targeted since the age old diamond anniversary no longer has to wait until the sixtieth. The modern list suggests diamonds for the tenth, thirtieth and sixtieth anniversaries – thereby increasing sales to married couples.

It is apparent that Jo was right and some engagement rings do contain other precious stones but diamonds are still the favourite.


  1. I appreciate other stones, but, let's face it, diamonds ARE a girl's best friend!

  2. None of the engagement rings I bought (I bought three) contained diamonds. A preference of the recipients, I would add. Perhaps that's where things went wrong!

  3. Dear GB - all three enagagemtn rings I bought contained diamonds. I can assure you the stone makes not one iota of difference!

  4. Well chaps, my first two were diamonds but my third was sapphire - after 40 years it is still on my finger and the buyer is still hanging on in there, so what does that say about me, the sapphire, or him for that matter!?

  5. My roommate from college had a sapphire in her engagement ring, but mine was a diamond solitaire. But that's not the one on my finger now. The original ring lost its stone about, oh, five years ago and was so tight I had to have it cut off! So now I wear my 10-year anniversary band on my ring finger, with a channel band of diamonds. And that's probably far more than anyone wanted to know!

  6. Well Spesh, it says it's all the luck of the draw and you and David drew aces!


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