Recently, a coworker of mine proposed to his girlfriend. He showed me the ring beforehand, just to see what I think about it. The ring was gorgeous, 2.13 carat solitaire set in platinum. I told him what I thought and he said “I like it too but I know she’ll want to change it.” This statement baffled me. Why do women put so much importance on the engagement ring? Shouldn’t they focus more on the quality of their relationship and the life they will have with their future husbands? With this thought in mind, I did a little searching on the internet and found this article (see below) on the origins of the diamond engagement ring tradition. Ladies, enjoy! (On a side note, my coworker is now engaged and his girlfriend had the ring changed. The ring is now bigger and more ostentatious as they added more diamonds because apparently a solitaire is not good enough for her. Further, she does not want to be called his fiancé until she receives her custom-made ring.)
The marketing of diamonds
By Robin Edgerton Issue #16
In the 1930s, De Beers set out to establish social status for large diamonds through giving a number of starlets hefty stones, arranging for glamorous photo shoots, and script-doctoring
Other techniques De Beers used are familiar today; they sent representatives to high school home ec classes to teach girls about the value of diamonds and feed them romantic dreams. The diamond went from being a status symbol to an emotional one–love measured in carats.
Ten-year anniversary rings were created and heavily advertised in the 1960s after De Beers was forced to purchase large stocks of Russian diamonds. Most of these diamonds were small, white gems of less than one-quarter carat. As De Beers had been pushing engagement rings with larger (and mostly South African) stones, they had to adjust their campaigns. Hence the eternity ring–equally expensive but with smaller stones–was marketed specifically for anniversaries.
In 1967, De Beers contacted advertising agency J. Walter Thompson to popularize the diamond engagement ring in