Engagement Ring Styles - Your Definitive Guide.
Talk of engagement rings might conjure up an image of a lone diamond solitaire in gold, but don’t let modern tradition define your choices when it comes to selecting a personalized engagement ring. If you were to ask your grandparents or their parents about engagement rings of the past, you’d soon learn that there is a rich and varied history relating to engagement or betrothal rings.
The diamond solitaire is gorgeous and most popular with good reasons and remains the hallmark of all engagement rings, but is certainly not the only option for your engagement ring, and if you’re seeking a sparkling diamond, your options are still staggering on designs, cuts and combinations of stones.
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Why the Popularity of the “Traditional” Diamond Solitaire?
The Diamond solitaire engagement ring has been the most popular form of engagement ring for decades, but this has not always been the case. Even the most traditional form of the solitaire continues to evolve with new cuts and styles being developed every year brining us even most beautiful diamond rings.
Diamond engagement rings have been in use for centuries, with the first being recorded as a gift to Mary of Burgundy from her betrothed, Archduke Maximillian of Austria, in 1477. During this time, diamonds held symbolic values including love, purity and fidelity. The diamond still symbolizes those virtues today, but is not the only meaningful gemstone.
The diamond engagement ring of Mary of Bugundy began a small trend among the very wealthy to include diamonds in engagement rings as they were exclusive and out of the price range of the common man.
In 1888, a huge cache of diamonds was found in South African and the collection of diamond mine investors, collectively known as The De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., began to flood the market with the gemstones that were now much more affordable.
Still, the tradition of the diamond solitaire engagement ring did not begin in earnest until a clever marketing campaign introduced the men of the World War II generation to a “Real Man’s Ring” – one that would show her how much he cares with a diamond rather than a simple band. Incidentally, it was the same time period that De Beers instructed men to spend two months’ salary on an engagement ring – never a practice before the 1940’s.
Embrace the classics or venture beyond.
The diamond solitaire became the ring of choice for an entire generation of young adults and while lovely, the diamond solitaire is not the standard of engagement rings the world over, nor has it been a classic for more than a few generations. The lovely byproduct of a clever marking campaign has changed the face of engagement rings in less than a century, but there are other contemporary, unique and even more timeless selections as well.
Today’s engagement rings can be as time-honored as the traditional gold bands still worn after thousands of years across the globe or contemporary colored stone designs in sleek titanium or platinum. And the diamond has become a shining beacon of style and design with countless options to personalize this, the most elegant of classical designs.
To find the perfect engagement ring, you need to consider factors ranging from personal tastes and characteristics to budget. Fortunately, you’re not alone as you work to shift through the millions of potential combinations of stone cuts, precious gems, band selections and metals.
Whether you are a man seeking the perfect ring to suit your love or a lucky women seeking the best rings to match your personality, physique and preferences, our detailed ring style descriptions will help you narrow your choices to find the ideal design, stone, cut and color of your engagement ring.