Diamond Ring: History, Symbolism and Significance

Diamond Ring: History, Symbolism and Significance


For Elizabeth Taylor (the most popular and the highest paid actress of the ’60s), it was her engagement to her then coming 5th husband—British actor Richard Burton. In 1969, the actor gave Ms. Taylor a 69-carat diamond ring to symbolize his deep love for the actress (they divorced in 1974, nevertheless).
However, diamond rings do not only only impact the rich and famous. These shiny stones mesmerize women of all sizes and stature. Here, we discuss everything there is to know about the diamond ring. If you’re on the market for one, knowing a bit more about this gem would surely help you decide on that purchase. Read on to find out more.

All About the Diamond Ring

Ms. Taylor adored the ring, just like most women do theirs. A diamond ring, or any kind of diamond jewelry for that matter, makes them feel special. Its value is a monumental testament to being appreciated and loved. A diamond ring stands for the promise of marriage; it symbolizes devotion and commitment to a beloved partner.

Why Women Love Diamonds

Other than the aforementioned, there are more reasons why the female sex adore diamonds. Here are other reasons why women love diamonds and diamond jewelry:


Diamond rings and diamond jewelry are made in such a way that no two items are exactly alike in features and design. They are crafted in such a way as to attract women, make them feel their jewelry is a part of their life, and define who they are.

Lots of choices

Diamonds offer women a lot of choices to complement their styles and personalities such as colors, shapes, sizes, and cuts. There is always the right kind of color or cut that perfectly fits an outfit or occasion.


A diamond’s sparkle and glow make women fall in love with it. No other stone can last as long as a diamond’s sparkle if properly and regularly maintained. One can last for years and still keep its natural sparkle and beauty.


Diamonds are packed with symbolism. For example, a diamond engagement ring, like the piece in this Blue Nile review, symbolizes love for a spouse or a lover. A diamond necklace from parents to a child symbolizes love and pride of the child.

The love women have for their diamond jewelry goes beyond the object itself. It’s for its significance.

Significance of a Diamond Ring

Since antiquity, man has been using diamonds, i.e., as tools, personal adornments, amulets, and many others. Now, it has become a symbol of opulence and/or eternal love. How it transitioned from its crude and humble beginnings to become what it is today—the diamond (engagement or wedding) ring is an interesting study in itself.

Early History

Conventional belief says that diamonds were first discovered in India and were considered holy items. As time went by, they became a tool for bartering goods and services.

On the far side of the globe, ancient Egyptians buried their ring finger with rings on the belief that it is connected to the heart. However, their rings, initially, were made from leather, bones, and/or stones.

Ancient Rome

In ancient Rome, a woman who was slated to get married was given two rings after the engagement ceremony—one ring was to be worn indoors while the other, a gold ring, was to be worn in public.

Anglo-Saxon tribes considered rings as symbols of love and should be worn from the moment the lovers are pledged to each other. It’s their way of saying, “taken.”

The First Diamond Ring

The earliest recorded appearance of the diamond ring was the one given to Mary of Burgundy in 1477 by the Archduke Maximilian of Hamburg. It has a row of diamonds in the shape of the letter M. Inadvertently, it created a trend in the European courts.

The diamond ring that Archduke Maximilian of Hamburg gave to Mary of Burgundy

During the Renaissance (14th to 17th centuries), rich Italian merchants started using diamonds and ordered diamond rings for their brides as pre-nuptial presents. Even then, they considered a diamond as a metaphor for an unbreakable connection between two people.

But it did not stop there. After the Renaissance, diamonds continued to flourish as a symbol of wealth, longevity, and strength. Soon, other western cultures also took to diamonds as symbols of power among the rich and famous.

Symbolism of Diamonds

The word “diamond” came from the Greek word “Adamas,” which means unconquerable. Roman poets took it as a symbol of unbeatable strength. In the Middle Ages, people thought they were tears from the gods that brought good fortune to those who hold them close.

So much later, kings used diamonds to decorate their crowns or necklaces, and gifted them to their queens, as a sign of stability and strength.

Then, as now, diamonds are taken as symbols of eternal love. This came from the idea of the longevity people came to associate diamonds with, among other things.

Here are a few more:


People take diamonds as an emblem of light and perfection; they represent beauty in their purest form. This is due to the fact that when you put a diamond in front of a direct source of light, it will shine brighter than anything you’ve ever seen.


Because of their hefty price tag, diamonds symbolize wealth; a status symbol. It is an unmistakable sign of their capacity to spend precious money on a piece of stone.

And this is no idle claim as royal families and aristocrats are always embellished with diamond rings, necklaces, brooches, crowns, and other valuable items that can be adorned with a diamond or two.

Not to be outdone, movie celebrities walk the red carpet adorned with diamond jewelry to show off their wealth and place.


Not the least is being taken as a symbol of love. It is, for this reason, that an engagement ring should have a diamond or two. The diamond is a sign of love and commitment and or marriage; of shared happiness in the future.

a man putting a wedding ring on a woman's finger

These days, diamond stones in small boxes symbolize engagement – the first step towards an eventual tying of the knot in matrimony.


The ring’s circular shape is an ancient symbol of eternity. When combined with the diamond’s unbreakable hardness, it makes the diamond ring a potent symbol of eternal love; the kind of love that will not fade away. This idea became prevalent in the ancient world and persists to the present day.

Diamonds are tough and they sparkle more than any gemstone—even the smallest. And they are not accessible to anyone, too. These two unique characteristics make the diamond wedding ring a symbol of lifelong commitment.

Types of Diamond Rings

A diamond ring is generally identified by the type of diamond that adorns it. Most diamonds set on a ring are white, or colorless, that glow upon closer look. Though all diamonds are “clear” in natural form, some have traces of different colors due to the different elements contaminating them during formation.

Hence, you will often hear of pink or blue diamonds, yellow, orange, and so forth. In fact, color is one of the determining factors of a diamond and its value.

The following are a few diamond colors and their meanings:

Orange diamonds

Orange diamonds are rare and they symbolize courage and love. They represent something with immense value.

Yellow diamonds

Most people choose yellow diamonds as an alternative to the colorless type. Yellow diamonds represent happiness, sunshine, and honesty. Most yellow diamonds are bigger compared to other diamond colors.

Blue diamonds

This diamond color traditionally symbolizes nobility and power. Royal families often have blue diamond wedding rings.

Black diamonds

Black diamonds are extremely rare. And might as well as black diamonds symbolize misery (if you are superstitious). Black diamonds, being rare, can be very expensive, especially when done by a jeweler who knows his business like the one shown below.

Black diamond ring for women
Black diamond ring for women

It’s important to note that modern-day diamond ring buyers are not biased toward colorless or clear diamonds. in a world full of colors, some buyers find colored diamond rings more appealing and attractive.

Diamond Ring Styles

Defining diamond ring styles is an overwhelming endeavor. Depending on the source, they can be defined by the metal setting used, the color of the stone, the cut, and the design. On the whole, just like any other fashion item, their rise and fall in the market is dictated by social trends and, in this electronic age, social media influencers.

At any rate, here are a few examples of diamond rings that seem to be perennial favorites among diamond lovers:

Art deco

This ring style arose during the Art Deco era (1920-1935). They can be recognized by their angular and symmetrical design. It holds an old European-cut diamond set on a handcrafted platinum ring. The design is unique and straightforward and will work well with other rings.

It is essential, however, to know the distinction between a genuine Art Deco and a copycat. So consult your jeweler if this ring style resonates with you.


This style takes its name from its emerald-cut center stone with a halo of accent stones around it. An emerald-cut diamond has 57 facets around its rectangular-shaped table with cut-off corners on each side.

Emerald-cut diamonds display beautiful flashes of light due to their straight linear facets.

Old European

If you are fond of vintage rings, you must have heard of the old European-style diamond cut. They were primarily cut between 1890 and 1930 and consist of a big round diamond surrounded by tiny stones. The style is unique and appeals to people who are looking for an engagement ring of immense beauty and value.

How to Buy a Diamond Ring

Buying a diamond ring, like the one in this Brilliant Earth review, is easy. But buying without being duped is difficult. There are so many jewelry stores that sell them. But they also sell lab-created diamonds side-by-side with natural diamonds as well as diamond look-alikes like moissanite.

To be sure that you get the real deal, here are a few stores to start with (you can either buy  offline or online):

  • Blue Nile
  • James Allen
  • Clean Origin
  • Abe Mor
  • Brian Gavin Diamonds
  • Leibish & Co.

Or if a store is near you, you can buy a diamond ring Cartier. All of these are reputable stores to buy your diamond ring from. And they have a bling for all ages and all sexes. 

Diamond ring on a man's fingers
Diamond ring for men

Once the “where” question is dispensed with, the next is “how much is a real diamond ring.”

There is no straightforward answer to this. First, on the macro level, diamond prices are affected by the world’s economy. Just like any commodity, prices are determined by supply and demand. Countries such as China, India, Brazil, and the Middle East are registering an increasing demand for the gem. Needless it is to say these increasing demands will impact prices all over the world. 

At the micro level, is 1 carat of diamond a lot? Physically, it is no bigger than a pebble 6.5 mm across in size. Monetarily, it costs between $ 1,3oo to $ 16, 500. The wide price difference is due to its quality. And that brings us to the first thing to consider when buying a diamond ring.

Know the 4Cs of diamond quality

The GIA’s 4Cs are the internationally accepted method of grading diamonds. These are the first things you must know before plunging into the world of diamonds. Knowing these can help you get the best of your money.

Take note, however, that in the real world, buyers, both men and women, have varied criteria in choosing the right diamond ring for them (see chart).

Graph of the things that matter most when buying a diamond ring

That being said, here are the 4Cs:

  •  Cut: is considered by experts to be the most important. It determines how a diamond sparkles. And certain cuts like marquise and princess can make a diamond look larger than it actually is.
  • Color: the second most important as far as diamond quality is concerned. Diamond colors are graded from D to Z. Grade D diamonds are the most expensive, diminishing in value as it progresses in the color chart.
  • Clarity: is a measure of the tiny imperfections within the stone, called inclusions, or surface blemishes. The clearer a diamond, the higher the price.
  • Carat: describes a diamond’s weight. The bigger the stone, the higher its carat weight, hence more expensive. This is not the sole determinant of a stone’s price. Two diamonds of the same carat size may differ in price because of the other Cs.

Ask for a certification

Diamond certification is a test of a diamond’s authenticity. That it is not mined illegally, or not a “blood diamond.” Diamond certifications are issued by the world’s leading certification bodies like the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), AGS (American Gem Society), and IGI (International Gemological Institute), among others.

Never buy a diamond without a certificate. It’s your insurance that you are not being duped.

A diamond ring is an unparalleled gift for any occasion. It is tough and durable and sparkles like no other stone. for this reason, it has become a veritable symbol of an engagement or a wedding because it symbolizes commitment and fidelity.

Now that you know more about the diamond ring, it’s time that you learned where to purchase one. Read our post, “10 Best Places To Buy Engagement Rings.”