The first diamonds worn as jewelry date back to Ancient India. Ancient Indians marvelled at the sparkling and refracted light of diamonds. They also believed diamonds had special healing powers.
Alexander the Great was rumored to have brought back diamonds to Europe from India around 330 BC. It took over a thousand more years for diamond jewelry to enter into European society. Royal crowns dating back to the 12th century have been found adorned with diamonds. However, cutting diamonds down smaller and wearing as diamond earrings didn't happen until hundreds of years later.
According to Brides.com, "The first time diamonds appeared on an engagement ring was in 1477 when Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy". The Gemological Institute of America further states "the ring featured long and narrow diamonds mounted in the shape of an "M."
Interestingly diamond rings didn't not become commonplace as engagement jewelry until 1947 when De Beers, the South African mining company, launched an advertising campaign proclaiming "A Diamond Is Forever". As Hollywood starts began jumping on the bandwagon the demand for diamond rings as engagement rings exploded, and the rest is history.
Pop culture further embraced the diamond ring in 1949 when Carol Channing authored the Jazz song "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend". The song was part of the Broadway original production "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes". Ever since pop culture figures from Jennifer Lopez to Rhianna have incorporated "diamond rings" into their lyrics.
Lab created diamond rings started to emerge in the 1970's but it wasn't until the 1980's when lab created diamond rings began to become high quality and commercially availabe. Lab created diamond rings have made ownership of diamond rings more affordable and widespread, although there isn't much resale value with lab created diamond rings as they are not particularly "rare".
Continue to Natural vs. Lab Created