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Engagement Ring Trends of the Past, Present, and Future



The modern engagement ring has a history that dates back to the ancient Egyptians, if not earlier. Here’s a timeline of how the ultimate symbol of love and commitment has evolved from then until now.

History of Engagement Ring Trends


Ancient Past
Egyptians have been found buried with metal wire around the third finger of their left hands, which was believed to be directly connected to the heart by a vein. Engagement rings were also used to some degree in ancient Rome.

Middle Ages
Most historians agree that the first use of a diamond ring to mark an engagement occurred in 1477 when Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a gold ring with the letter M spelled out in tiny diamonds.

There are references to engagement and wedding rings in Shakespeare’s plays, and in the 1600s and 1700s lovers in Europe often exchanged poesy or posie rings, silver or gold bands with a line of poetry or a love message engraved on the inside.  Sometimes a silver ring would be given to mark an engagement, and it would be replaced by a gold ring upon the wedding.


The Victorian era  in England is considered a very romantic time, in part because beloved Queen Victoria was very much in love with her husband Albert (rare for royal marriages, which were often arranged for diplomatic or economic reasons). Victorian engagement rings often feature whimsical and romantic motifs, such as hearts, bows, flowers and even snakes (which were seen as a symbol of eternity). Toward the end of the Victorian era diamonds became a more common feature of engagement rings, after a large deposit of diamonds was discovered in South Africa. Tiffany & Co. introduced the six-prong “Tiffany Setting” which raised the diamond up above the band to maximize its brilliance, a style that has influenced engagement rings ever since.

Early 20th century

The Edwardian era saw engagement rings become a widely accepted social custom. The industrial revolution had brought about increased prosperity and a growing middle class in much of Europe and America, so fine jewelry was within the reach of more people than ever before. Edwardian engagement rings often contained diamonds in lacy and ornate platinum designs.

Engagement Ring Trends by Decade

1920-1930’s Engagement Rings

In comparison with Edwardian rings the engagement rings of the 20s and 30s were less distinctively feminine and more geometric, reflecting the Art Deco aesthetic of the day and the era’s love of all things modern. They frequently feature diamonds set in platinum or white gold and are often accented with colorful precious gems such as sapphires and rubies.

1940’s Engagement Rings

Despite the hardships of World War II, 1940s engagement rings were often big and bold. They featured curving designs and feminine motifs such as ribbons, bows and flowers. Platinum was scarce because it was used for the war effort, so gold was the precious metal of choice. Although diamonds remained the most desired gemstone for rings, budget-conscious shoppers often turned to synthetic rubies and sapphires.

1950’s Engagement Rings

Audrey Hepburn’s husband Mel Ferrer may have kicked off the trend of stackable rings in different metals, a style that’s still going strong today, by giving the style-conscious star wedding rings in yellow, white, and rose gold so she could switch them out to match her outfit.

1960’s Engagement Rings

This decade saw the rise of the headline-making celebrity engagement ring. In 1963 Richard Burton gave Elizabeth Taylor a ring featuring a 33-carat asscher-cut diamond, which makes Kim and Kanye’s 15-carat ring look almost diminutive. And at the beginning of the decade, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s distinctive diamond and emerald engagement ring made emeralds an in-demand gemstone for many brides-to-be.

1970’s Engagement Rings

The princess cut and radiant cuts were invented or perfected in the 70s, and their square shapes became very popular for engagement rings. Fitting for a generation that embraced the new and different and did away with many of the traditions of the past.

1980’s Engagement Rings

sapphire circa ring

The engagement and wedding of the decade was that of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and her oval sapphire engagement ring set off a major sapphire trend — a trend that’s coming back in full-force now that Princess Diana’s ring was given to Princess Catherine by Prince William.

1990’s-present Engagement Rings

petite comfort fit

During the most recent decades, no one trend has ruled. In part because of the internet, couples have more access to information about engagement rings, and more ability to choose between different styles than ever before. Although styles may rise and fall in popularity year by year, the same basic look that dominated for much of the twentieth century—of a ring with a prominent, sparkling diamond—continues to be the most sought after at the beginning of the twenty-first.

Engagement Ring Trends of the Future

willow 1

We certainly can’t predict the future, but we do expect that some of the trends we’re seeing in engagement rings today will continue for quite some time. That includes antique engagement rings, antique-inspired styles, and delicate, nature-influenced designs. One trend we will go ahead and predict: Couples wanting an engagement ring that’s unique and says something about their style, whether that means an antique, a custom design, or a classic look that they’ve given a little tweak by choosing a different color of metal or an unexpected gemstone.  But no matter what the future holds, we think that the trend of socially conscious and eco-friendly rings—made with ethically sourced gemstones and recycled precious metals—is one that will never be out of style!


Final Thoughts

What are your favorite engagement rings of the past, or the present? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter or in the comments section!

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Comments (62)

Google Says:
January 16th, 2018 at 2:33 pm


Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated information, nevertheless definitely really worth taking a appear, whoa did one particular find out about Mid East has got more problerms also.

B Says:
February 15th, 2017 at 12:14 am

To each their own, right? But I cannot tire looking at my wedding rings …even after years of marriage. My center diamond is vintage from the 30s and the style of the ring is a deco recreation. Its so beautiful. And it didnt cost an arm/leg. I went wholesale. I know I paid 3/4 less than retail for all 3 rings. One being an engagement with accent diamonds, 2nd an eternity band and 3rd, a decorative band. Stacked beautifully together. (the band was 1st anniversary). 10th is coming up! 😉

sneha Says:
March 28th, 2016 at 2:52 am

The circle of the wedding Ring is also a symbol of eternity. The circle has no beginning or end and is, therefore, a symbol of infinity. Traditionally, the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. This is because the vein in this finger was believed to lead directly to the wearer’s heart. cochin weddings planner

ShariD Says:
February 27th, 2016 at 1:35 pm

First, I agree with the comments made by a few others who indicated their feeling that the styles of rings shown here were somewhat incomplete and a little misleading. Personally, I feel that the style of engagement ring shown for the 40’s hardly represents the type most commonly purchased and worn during and after WWII, and even until the early 60’s when design changes became prevalent. While the one shown is indeed beautiful, it hardly represents the majority of styles popular, affordable and accessible to the largest segment of the population, that being the range of lower to upper middle classes, represented most often by the soldiers and their wives who all fought for peace in WWII.
The very prevalent style of illusion style mountings, with small brilliant cut diamonds in white and yellow gold, which Brilliant Earth frequently displays and sells themselves in their selection of Vintage styles from that era, are the type that really should have been used as a more representative example for that time period.
The larger, more heavily mounted diamond rings were not quite as prevalent, or even available until after the war, and into the economic boom of the Post-War 1950’s. Granted, some very wealthy brides were privileged to wear such things, but they were hardly the norm.
Secondly, and as for my own rings, I was privileged to wear what my then-fiance was able to comfortably afford, and what I found attractive and appropriate for my 18 year old finger, some 41 years ago. We purchased together a quarter carat brilliant cut diamond in a 14kt white gold four prong mounting. It was joined 9 months later, in a lovely garden wedding ceremony, by a matching plain white gold simple wedding band. My husband received a matching but wider, 5mm white gold band. Unfortunately, three days later, we determined that the rash under his ring indicated an allergy to white gold! But, fortunately, not to the marriage!
Over the following years, we replaced his band with yellow gold, and in order to match, my own engagement diamond was remounted in a yellow gold ring that added four diamonds, bead set up each side in a cathedral style, and a plain yellow gold band was added, along with a 15 diamond channel set anniversary band as well, all on the occasion of our 15th wedding anniversary. Later, for our 25th, I had the mounting redesigned to add two more diamonds to each side of the center, and the center stone placed in a taller head, with a small collar of white gold surrounding it in illusion style. But not the vintage style square box mount, but a round six prong style. The illusion style is not obvious in the least, and takes close examination to detect. It does, however, increase the apparent size of the center stone to at least a half carat, with which I am thoroughly satisfied. It’s never been the size with which I have been concerned, but the love with which it was given, and the joy it’s continued to represent. Adding the new head made all the individual elements work together much more cohesively.
We will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary the end of this coming July, and with or without rings of any kind, our marriage has grown and matured in a way which has continued to give us both joy. That is what marriage is all about, not about squabbling over who has the biggest, bestest, shiniest diamond and gold or platinum rings, or who is wearing the most environmentally friendly rings. We would have marriage without any of them, as many other cultures do. Even the Amish and Mennonites, and similar sects, have managed in this country to have solid marriages completely devoid of wedding bands, or any form of jewelry at all. It’s all about what you choose to represent, and what you choose to represent you.

ShariD Says:
February 27th, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Rachel – I was very sorry to read your story, especially when you said the only reason you were staying with your second husband was to “honor God and your wedding ‘vowels’ (sic)”. (I’m sure you meant to say your wedding vows.)
I would hesitate to believe that God is “honored” by you remaining with a man who married you under totally false pretenses, for free housekeeping and connubial priviledges (which I sincerely hope he is not being granted.) Marriage is not about that sort of thing, and the relationship you have chosen to bury yourself in, is not anything like the kind of marriage prescribed in the Bible. Marriage prescribes obligations on BOTH sides, and the vows your husband obligated himself to when he agreed before God and that company, he did in complete hypocrisy, and they mean absolutely nothing to him, just as they mean nothing in his obligation to you. He lied when he took them, does nothing to honor them now, and will do nothing to honor them in the future.
Under such circumstances, you are likewise under no obligation to keep them either. Any court in the land, even before the beginning of the more lenient divorce laws, had allowances in them for mental cruelty, which is certainly what you are being subjected to. If you choose to wallow in the hypocricy and martyrdom of such a relationship, you are, of course, certainly privileged to do so. But you would honor not only God, but yourself specifically, and the concept of marriage in general, by removing yourself from such a lopsided relationship as soon as possible, and making your way in the world, either single, or remarried to a partner who chooses willingly to honor you as marriage is intended so to do, away from the rotten and stinking pit of hypocrisy you feel obligated to “honor.” That requires nor appreciates your honor or your efforts. It will only continue to eat you alive and consume you in its pit of despair, until and unless you choose to remove yourself from it. Continuing willingly to remain in its grasp won’t garner you any sympathy from anyone, when the means to remove yourself exists simply by packing your belongings and walking out the door.
I, for one, hope you find your way out of that morass, for your own sake. There certainly is no benefit to anyone but your “husband” by remaining, and he has certainly done nothing to deserve it.

michelle Says:
December 20th, 2015 at 5:57 pm

This article would be awesome and more sharable if there were more pictures for each century. Feels incomplete, why describe a ring and not show a sample?

Lorraine measor Says:
December 16th, 2015 at 10:04 pm

After 25 yrs of wedded bliss my husband bought me a new setting for my 1/3 carat diamond ring in yellow gold with 2 diamonds on either side! I still love it, but I do wear my new gold wedding band more as the original band was lost!

Lara Says:
December 16th, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Articles like this should educate people. Why did you posted a picture of Art Deco on a 40s page?

Tammy Says:
December 11th, 2015 at 2:38 pm

Coco I think what you said was extremely rude! Diamonds are the result of murder in most parts of the world! If you want to wear a huge diamond that someone could have been murdered for.. you’ve got a lot more to worry about than a diamond!

Estefana Says:
October 12th, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Not so negative. Interesting factors here

Liz Says:
August 7th, 2015 at 11:31 am

regarding cluster engagement rings, these were very popular in the 1970’s. My first engagement ring was a cluster. Centre stone .45 ct with eleven smaller stones around, similar to Halo rings that are now fashionable for engagement rings. My ring contains VS stones , all of of them. Please do not disparage cluster rings as cheap versions of engagement rings. I still cherish this ring, as a sign of the times and my youth and young love. I lost my first husband to cancer. I did remarry , was surprised with a trinity engement ring , lovely sentimental. I cherish both rings as I do both marriages.

Rebecca Says:
June 15th, 2015 at 7:14 am

I asked my fiancé to marry me! This way he didn’t have to stress about a way to afford a ring he though I deserved. It would be great to HSBC one and

Meg Says:
February 24th, 2015 at 8:36 pm

My husband got me a white gold, heart-shaped emerald ring with little diamond chips in vines. I was soooo ecstatic because at that moment I knew this man loved/knew me so well to know that I would not like a “traditional” engagement ring. (Green’s my favorite color and I don’t like yellow gold. It kinda clashes with everything) in return, I got him a platinum/carbon fiber ring with a tiny diamond so he could have an engagement ring too (he has four saltwater tanks and I wanted something that could hold up in case he forgot to take it off caring for his fish). We were engaged for several years before we saved up enough for our wedding, and he loved that he had a ring too. But that’s just it… Shouldn’t the rings be about the PEOPLE, their RELATIONSHIP, not trends?

Louise Says:
January 31st, 2015 at 11:27 am

My husband and I got each others names tattooed on our ring fingers 🙂

Jimbob Slovak Says:
January 30th, 2015 at 11:30 pm

I love my wife with all my heart, and she appreciates anything I can give her. Her first diamond was a 1/5 carat Sitara diamond and she was so so so happy with it. And I know she was proud of it Because I want to show my love and appreciation of her, not for anybody else’s sake. That’s what the symbol of the ring is about. We honeymooned at the the local diner. Why are any of us judging any body else for their taste in jewelry, or the amount they spend or don’t spend, or the style of someone else’s ring. Moreover, trying to make someone feel bad about what they obviously love and appreciate. Has society really taught us to hate thy neighbor? Or are we just jealous, in any case, I hope people really get it together and start loving eachother and being happy for the success of others. I personally love seeing happy people because they are a dying breed. Thank you for reading.

Amber Says:
January 29th, 2015 at 10:10 pm

This is a nice article. I love the history, but don’t care for diamonds (hate the look actually ). I love the symbol of love, but after two years of marriage, I still have no ring. I told my husband I don’t want a ring until we visit his country to get it. He is from Egypt, where the wedding ring began, so it means a lot to me to get it from there or not at all. Besides, they have some amazing, exotic jewelry we could never find in the US. And Gold doesn’t cost much there either.

deanna thmpson Says:
December 21st, 2014 at 8:27 pm

this is a huge surprise but very welcome and thilled he choise me, we have a lot in common and yet different in other ways he is what I need to balance me and make a happy life. He is a good man with a heart of gold I will cherish him and honor our life together we help each other to see life at a different point of view.

Juanita Says:
December 21st, 2014 at 4:14 am

Thankful to read all the comments about engagement rings. Have a story for you. When I was about 12 years of age I was looking in my mom’s jewelry box and found a round cigar band. Wow what’s this for I wondered? Asked my mom she said it was her engagement ring. You see my dad was a black man share cropping on a farm, he had no money for a ring so he carefully folded a cigar band and gave my mother. She wore it for over 20 years she told me she took it off more than she wore it to keep it safe. When he bought her a small gold band over 20 years later she saved the cigar band. So you see engagement rings are not about gold diamonds stones etc. They are about LOVE AND HAPPINESS!!!

Sharon Says:
December 16th, 2014 at 9:50 am

I enjoyed reading Kate’s comment. It was encouraging, to the point, and straight from the heart. It is truly important to you and your future mate, as to what makes the both of you happy. It’s not about impressing others with the largest, expensive styles, or shapes of a diamond engagement ring. Yes, one can go to unique places to find quality rings that look like the real thing, only a jeweler can tell, sometimes they cannot, if they haven’t used the instrument to test it as to if its not real or real. Such rings or beautiful, realistic, made to please. As re-stated, it truly all comes down to personal choice.

Arson Pinnacle Says:
December 15th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Americans exchange diamond rings as part of the engagement process, because in 1938 De Beers decided that they would like us to. Prior to a stunningly successful marketing campaign 1938, Americans occasionally exchanged engagement rings, but wasn’t a pervasive occurrence. Not only is the demand for diamonds a marketing invention, but diamonds aren’t actually that rare. Only by carefully restricting the supply has De Beers kept the price of a diamond high.

Kate Says:
December 4th, 2014 at 8:16 am

My engagement ring was a beautiful 2 carat oval cut diamond. It was far more than I expected but I loved it! However, when we got married, adding a diamond band to it became uncomfortable. I later had them reset as just one ring in a wide band. My son will use this ring if he wishes when he gets engaged. I am remarried now after 12 years of being single and chose to wear a wide platinum and diamond band. I was surprised when I became engaged again just how many people asked me why I didn’t have an engagement ring. My fiancee heard it one too many times and took me to the jewelers where I found the most beautiful pink tourmaline ring, cushion cut, and set in a diamond and platinum band. I love how unusual it is and recently two of my friends who have also remarried have chosen colored stones, too. I wear the tourmaline on my right hand and my diamond band on my left and couldn’t be happier with the choices we made.

My niece became engaged and rather than spend thousands on a diamond, she picked a 1.5 ct. CZ in a 14K white gold setting, a very realistic size and quite believable. If she hadn’t told me it was a CZ, I’d never have known. She chose the CZ because they are buying a house and she said she’d rather not sit on milk crates while wearing an expensive ring. Instead they spent the money purchasing nice furniture. Her husband has said to her that he’ll replace it with the real thing when they can do so without any financial worry despite her saying that it’s the least of her concerns. In the meantime, they have a new home, nicely furnished and it’s paid for! What it all comes down to is this is a personal choice. Whatever works for you, after all, you’re the one wearing the ring and you don’t have to make anyone happy but yourself and your husband.

Jo Anne Roberts Says:
November 15th, 2014 at 9:29 pm

I’m happy to read above in the article about Princess Diana and her love for Sapphires. I too love Sapphire and my love of them goes back to Diana. She was so loved and so missed. One day, I want a ring that she had and now Duchess Katherine wears. Not sure how I could afford one or even a knock off but, what a fabulous ring!

Sharon Says:
November 14th, 2014 at 9:47 am

I enjoyed reading the thoughts of others on purchasing diamond engagement rings, the history of its beginning, and the true heartfelt meaning of how ones felt when the gift of love was given. When gifts are given out of love, price should never matter. If is the thought behind, the heart motive of giving the gift as a symbol of love, this symbol will be a reminder of the love that exists when given, on into the future together. I’ve been married twice, my first ring came from my first true love, which I hope would be a lasting promise of it. Things happen. When I married a second time, it was a 1. 50 carat princess cut in yellow gold, he exchanged it for a Leo Diamond, three years later, later on gave a Past, Present and Future ring. They weren’t given in love, just to show off. They weren’t given in love. Today divorced! I held on to one of the rings just to wear, later on in life I met someone special, we always talked about giving things from the heart, when he asked me to be his wife, it was a 1 caret yellow gold heart-shaped ring, he picked out. Before hand he surprised me a 1 carat diamond heart-shaped necklace, this meant more to me than anything. When we were at an open house gathering for my job, I over heard him say to people, he has the money for the ring he’s selected, etc. One day the romantic routine of marriage proposal was done, not accepted! I cherish the necklace more than it was a true gift of giving. The other was just to make waves. Welcome to giving gifts of the heart, that will be of the past, present, and future, no matter the size or cost, with the right motive, not being concerned about others opinions.

Oliviette Says:
September 29th, 2014 at 10:18 am

Nothing is more miserable than a heavy centered diamond in that dratted Tiffany style poking six prong up and catching everything awful when you bake or cook. Bread dough on your diamond? And what are the odds you won’t lose that ring if you are constantly setting it aside while you do anything clunky? Welcome to the world of the world’s greatest pleasure is cooking and eating.
My ring of this type went tossed into a city park one night with a finder’s keeper’s note attached to it—a year after my divorce. Now married again and bought rings from Santa Fe for husband and me; handmade, solid silver, irregular in design, never a worry, and so beautiful a ring you’re startled to know, indeed, they’re wedding rings.

Martha Says:
September 28th, 2014 at 11:54 am

For my first marriage I was given a solitaire diamond engagement ring – about 2/3 carat – in yellow gold with white gold prongs, and a slightly wider plain gold wedding band. I gave the diamond ring to my son to give to his fiancée, 43 years later! My second marriage – no engagement ring. I chose to have two plain gold rings, with his ring matching. That way he could give me other rings, later, to wear between them, if I wanted to dress it up. It was fun to be able to add channel-set bands and other fun rings for a different look, and still have the two bands that were a symbol of our marriage – and I didn’t have to worry about messing them up when I worked I the garden!

Mazo Says:
September 15th, 2014 at 9:14 pm

After I told my fiancé that I wanted a unique non traditional ring with an emerald or a pearl and definitely not gold– he got me a gold traditional diamond ring. Even though I said I didn’t enjoy diamonds because they have no color. But then I found out the ring was a gift from a close family friend and I loved him so I agreed to marry him. After the honeymoon we stopped by the dear family friend’s house who told me that the ring was from her divorced husband with a bad reputation. I instantly felt that made the ring very unlucky. But since I didn’t believe in luck I casually suggested for the next four to 10 years that we replace the ring with something I enjoyed that more personally represented us. I looked at antique rings and all sorts of rings. Meanwhile my husband picked out a white gold ring for himself because his father had one when he was young. I tried to explain that the rings are supposed to match each other, they aren’t supposed to match parents or other friends. This never did sink in. After 12 years I saved up some money and had the most beautiful rings ordered with all my favorite things. They were unique, artisan, silver, and even earth friendly. They had wonderful symbolic meaning, but my spouse wouldn’t help me pick them out. And wouldn’t help chose the inscriptions, so I had them inscribed in Spanish just for fun. So finally after 13 years I had these great symbolic truly great rings, a matching set with two women’s rings and the man’s ring. I think that however, if you buy and pick out the rings by yourself and it takes over a decade that maybe it’s a great clue that your spouse is out dating other people and you shouldn’t be surprised when you find him sneaking out to meet someone else and stealing all your money. Hmmm. This is a lesson I learned from rings. I still love my rings. I picked them out myself. I still wear them. They don’t really work as wedding and engagement rings unless they are truly given in love from one spouse to another. If you have to buy your own, then maybe they are symbolizing something about your independence.

Pam Says:
September 4th, 2014 at 8:07 am

After losing my husband at the age of 53 and then finding my current husband who also was alone, was a special event in our lives. He wanted me to have a very big diamond ring (center stone is over 4 carats with 1/3 of a carat along each side). I had a pretty good size diamond ring so we traded that off and got “our ring”. He is proud when I wear “our ring” because it was a joint effort of love. Most of the time I actually wear a 10k gold band that he found way back when he was teaching school (early 60’s). Since we farm, I would not think of wearing my diamond to dig in the dirt, but I sure do enjoy wearing it to special events, plays, church, fancy dinners out. Most of you are right – a simple band should do. But after working all your lives and working very hard I might add, I think we deserve to splurge on something special. He has a 6 carat men’s one-stone ring. He really considers them like an investment in case the economy goes to hell. What’s your plan?

Grace Says:
September 3rd, 2014 at 10:00 am

My fiance gave me his grandmothers engagement ring from the 40s when we started to talk about becoming engaged. His grandmother is still alive so there is a lot of grandmotherly sentiment attached to it…. It is set with 4 synthetic rubies, as noted was popular at the time in this article. I wear it on my right hand to remind me of my new family. My engagement ring that we shopped for together is a vintage Victorian European cut sapphire set in 18K yellow gold, which was surprisingly affordable. My wedding band is also second hand, is a simple 18K yellow gold to match the engagement ring. I love my vintage jewels.

Martha J Says:
August 30th, 2014 at 2:21 pm

QUALITY should always be your guide, it reflects the character of the giver. If there is a stone, make it the best of its kind, But I agree with the eternity implied by the diamond.

jessica Says:
August 18th, 2014 at 1:23 pm

i personally love the idea of an engagement ring, although i never got one. i still married the man that asked me, and this past wednesday we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary! my wedding band is simple with a few channel set diamonds on it. i LOVE it! having said that, i did just get a gorgeous 1 ctw ring for my 10th anniversary, and i couldn’t be happier!! it never bothered me i never got one to start with, but i’m certainly happy to have my new ring! 🙂

debra Says:
August 13th, 2014 at 10:04 pm

HUM?? I see the HALO RING all over, everywhere..
To each his/her own.

Michael Says:
August 10th, 2014 at 6:40 am

I think the focus of marriage should be the relationship. Rings are nice, but only meaningful to the two people who pledge to each other to love and care for one another forever. The rest is just window dressing.

Jazmine Says:
August 7th, 2014 at 12:48 am

When my husband proposed, on his knee, we went the next day to our favorite jeweler and saleslady. She had suggested a princess cut 3 diamond ring. I chose to look around for something different. I felt that I would “know it when I saw it.” I selected a Levian rose gold ring. It has a large oval Rubilite Garnet, surrounded by tiny white diamonds, with beautiful chocolate diamonds that gleam down both sides of the shank. It’s an eye catching ring, but not “over-the-top.” I was not familiar with Levian. When I got home and looked up Levian, I was pleasantly surprised to learn about the history of the Levian family; their number of years in business. I will always treasure my rose gold, garnet wedding band. I do agree with the others – it’s not the ring but the marriage that counts – whatever type ring a couple feels happy with. It’s very personal; sentimental; and should not be used as a measure of any couples marital happiness nor wealth.

Barbara Says:
August 1st, 2014 at 3:38 pm

As a child I had loved my Aunt’s wedding ring, a small thin double band of gold with very, very small small diamonds. When she died it was all I wanted, much to my surprise it was attached to a large beautiful new ring. I only wear it on special occasions. I still love the wedding band best.

Ali Says:
July 29th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

When it came time for my engagement I told my husband there was no need for a diamond. He wanted to give me a token of his love and affection; it was absolutely his decision to buy me a ring. But he made a fantastic choice without going into debt, I adore the design, it is platinum, and it is so different because I have never seen anyone with a similar ring! I feel very special! However, if I could find the exact same design on a ring that is a cubic zirconia and white gold I would have bought it on a website that makes lookalikes, because they are such good quality nowadays and to me the design and my husbands love and affection are the most important factors in my decision for a ring!!

oifwarrior Says:
July 29th, 2014 at 4:27 am

diamonds are the most common precious stone out there, the “semi precious” stones are the most rare. but through advertisement and marketing. semi stones are flooded on to the market, while diamonds are held in reserve and marked up in price. so my wife got a 2 caret ruby engagement ring.

Susan Says:
July 28th, 2014 at 1:20 pm

I’ve been married for 25 years – I didn’t get (or want) an engagement ring then, and I don’t have (or need) one now. Love is not about a stone on your finger, it’s about what is in your heart. We spent a whopping $35.00 on two simple gold bands in 1989 – they’ve been just fine.

coco Says:
July 26th, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Funny…this thread veers between sour grapes about the rings of others, and justification for their own cheap rings. To me, a diamond ring made from centuries of pressure, turning something plain into something beautiful was a magical symbol. Also symbolic are the indestructability of the diamond, which was a placeholder on my hand for my plain 4mm wedding band. Our wedding vows even included the history of rings made of flowers, given as gifts of promise by young men wanting to please their beloveds. So there IS a history of rings, and the preciousness matters to those of us who see them as symbols and wear them for ourselves and our men, not as something to “show off” to other women or whatever. I don’t care for large rings because they appear to be fake to me. I wanted a lovely forever symbol, so my ring is a beautiful representation of eternal love. We picked out the stone together so it flattered my eye and my finger, and my fiancee’s budget. It is for us — a gift from him to me, and it IS important to me. I don’t intend to get married multiple times. I want a marriage as strong as the diamond we chose together. And yes, HALOS are the trends of the late 90s-2000, are are those crappy princess cut rings — “mall specials” as I call them!) Cheapest cut you can get, and tacky. But if you love it, it shouldn’t matter. I preferred a classic cut, myself. Some of us do care about traditional things. (I only care about tradition for marriage – that’s about the only area!)

Anesa Says:
July 13th, 2014 at 7:50 am

Very nice article, wish there were more pictures though.

Jill Says:
July 12th, 2014 at 6:59 pm

I just got engaged in Athens, Greece and my soon to be husband bought me an amazing ring of sapphires that were lab created versus natural mined. He even got it on sale. We have 2 prior marriages and 4 kids between us, we don’t need a fancy waste of money on my finger. I will admit I love having a beautiful ring as much as I love it being practical.

Bella Says:
July 8th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Just a plain silver band!

vic.toria Says:
July 6th, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Stacey is right. Diamond engagement rings weren’t widely adopted until after the 1940s. See her comment above.

Stacey Says:
May 8th, 2014 at 11:20 am

Sandy Says:
July 5th, 2014 at 12:43 pm

When my husband was thinking of proposing, he asked me, “If a guy wanted to get a girl a ring, should he ask first of just go out and get the biggest gaudiest diamond he could?” I told him, “Better ask first, because some girls don’t want a great big diamond.” So he asked, and I selected a white gold ring with a rather smallish star sapphire. But it wasn’t meant as an engagement ring, so we had quite a time getting a matching band. Finally, the factory had to make a new mold for the band. It came in to our jewelers less than a week before the wedding–and was the wrong size! The jeweler had to shave down the head of the ring to get enough material to add the quarter-size needed. However, I love my ring set, and would do it all over again. I do love big flamboyant rings, but after he got out of the Air force and we were both working and making money enough to “splurge”, time enough to get the big flamboyant jewelry.

Leticia Says:
July 2nd, 2014 at 11:34 am

I did not get an “engagement” ring because of the costs and we just wanted to get married and live together. So I got a solid gold band when we got married. On our 15 year wedding anniversary I got me my 3 carat ring……Love it! This coming year will be our 20th. Absolutely no regrets not having an engagement ring.

Carol Says:
July 2nd, 2014 at 7:42 am

The ring is no better than the intentions with which it is given. All my jewelry was stolen, and I have only what I’m wearing. I find any sort of setting on a ring to be a nuisance while I’m working. I can put up with a lot of nuisance if it’s gawdy enough!

NCAngel Says:
June 29th, 2014 at 4:57 pm

JSi, You seem like a very unhappy person. Why do you care what someone else wears for an engagement ring? And why would you even talk about it?

Loreen Says:
June 28th, 2014 at 4:24 pm

I think that in the 2000s there is a popularity of three stone rings — either all diamonds or a diamond in the middle and rubies or sapphires on the side. I have a three stone diamond ring set length wise in descending order — 2 carat, 1 carat, half carat. The setting make the ring look exceptionally large.

JSi Says:
June 24th, 2014 at 2:13 pm

So long as cluster diamonds in place of a solitaire don’t catch on, there will be hope for the future of wedding jewelry. Nothing says “trying too hard” like a cluster of tiny, low quality diamonds masquerading as a larger than life diamond from ten feet away, when up close, they’re a big disappointment. I’d much rather have a smaller solitaire diamond or even a different stone entirely than a cluster of tackiness. Our son’s after care teacher had the gaudiest ring, and she loved waving her hand around flamboyantly, but when anyone asked to see it, you could see how uncomfortable she got. It was sad to watch.

talesha Says:
June 23rd, 2014 at 10:08 pm

mine are simple and i love them! a 6 stone rose gold band and a .25 c. princess cut in rose gold… nothing over the top just simple and elegant.

vanessa Says:
June 12th, 2014 at 2:31 pm

I totally disagree with Nia – the diamond matter far more than the person you are marrying. You can marry any old guy or gal but how often is someone just going to give you a diamond for free? Like maybe 4 or 5 times in your whole life. and isn’t 4 or 5 diamonds better than one opal? It is better.

Serena Y Says:
June 12th, 2014 at 12:45 pm

My husband got me an art deco replica 3-stone princess cut ring. It’s not huge, but it is tasteful. I also appreciate that the Canadian diamonds are blood-free. He did not spend an exorbitant amount of money because he found the rings at a discount online store. I believe that each couple should do what feels right for them. It’s not about size of the ring, but the marriage after all. My husband did not consult me when he chose my ring. It is not what I would have chosen for myself, but that makes it all the more meaningful to me.

Laura Says:
June 11th, 2014 at 5:55 pm

A simple band should do, I agree. In our me, me, me society, I shutter when I see people spending thousands, even millions for a wedding ring when we have so many problems on this planet. Shame on you…

Sally G Says:
June 8th, 2014 at 5:58 am

I just recently finished reading a novel, The Engagements, about Frances Gerety, the ad executive at N. W. Ayer, who created the “A Diamond Is Forever” campaign for DeBeer’s. Highly recommmended! Also, more factually:

shaw Says:
June 6th, 2014 at 3:27 pm

If u want one get it if u don’t don’t why do you have to control what others do. Don’t you have better more important things to worry or think about. Jeez

Abigail Says:
May 16th, 2014 at 11:21 am

I personally love my bridal set that my husband got and paid off before proposing to me. It is a platinum ring with a total of 2 carats of diamonds, it is rather big. I would have been just as happy with a simple setting, but he said that he wanted everyone to know that I was his forever and that he wanted me to have something that people would compliment me on. I love him for always thinking of ways to make me feel beautiful. We don’t have a lot of money either, but there are ways that you can get really nice things and you don’t have to pay for it all at once!

Ashley Says:
May 16th, 2014 at 2:23 am

How about my husband spends what he’d like on my engagement/wedding rings and everyone else can mind their own business?

Christina Says:
May 15th, 2014 at 6:30 pm

I disagree that the 1990s-present has not seen any trends. The halo ring is EVERYWHERE!

Stacey Says:
May 8th, 2014 at 11:20 am

This is horribly misleading. Diamond engagement rings were extremely rare for all except the very wealthy until the 1930s, particularly in the US. What we think of now as the “traditional” diamond engagement ring only became tradition after aggressive marketing by De Beers in the late 1930s. In the 1940s, De Beers created the ad campaign that stated the idea that “a diamond is forever.” They completely invented the idea that a man should spend what was originally a month’s salary, and in 1980 increased that to two month’s salary. More than anything else, De Beers and other diamond companies are responsible for the notion that the cost of the engagement ring correlates to a man’s love for his fiance.

Extravagant engagement rings aren’t some kind of time-honored part of western culture that have been around for thousands (or even hundreds) of years. They’re the result of incredibly effective modern advertising.

Nia Says:
May 6th, 2014 at 6:24 am

I always believed if u were thinking about getting married, the man should have his wedding band, a sign of loyality and dedication, and a woman should have a wedding band or a simple princess cut diamond with her wedding band. Most ppl don’t have money to go all out, like myself, so I just stuck with an opal ring with a few diamond chips on each side and cost 10 times less than all the fancy stuff. Simplicity is all someone needs, because at the end of the day, its all about your husband and you, and that’s all that matters.

Samantha Says:
April 29th, 2014 at 3:41 pm

my fiance gave me his grandmothers’ ring. Its a royal blue sapphire set on a thin gold band with two diamonds on either side of the heart shaped sapphire. I love antique things and the color royal blue. So i was surprised when he proposed and i saw the ring 🙂 <3

Chayse Says:
April 26th, 2014 at 11:10 pm

Engagement rings are a symbol of the ritual which we have taken part in, marriage, and have historically been a part of the wedding tradition. Traditions have always been significant to cultures, since they embody certain values of our own past (ancestry) and hopefully reflect our own values. When I was younger, I agreed with your comment–why waste so much money on a simple ring, when we could spend it on something that we actually need for our future together? Now, though, I see that this engagement ring is a way for me to honor my family and acknowledge my heritage.

hunkE Says:
April 22nd, 2014 at 12:21 pm

How about the trend of ditching these wasteful things altogether? Shouldn’t a wedding band be enough for a secure, mature woman?