Myths and facts


Engagement rings must use diamonds.


While this stone played a role in the first recorded engagement ring, this tradition didn’t take full force right away. During 1447, Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a ring design that spelled out her initials in small diamonds, but this was before this stone was regularly mined. Most noble members initially used colored gemstones, more readily available than diamonds, following this basic beginning of the tradition. When diamonds were discovered and mined in Africa, and the DeBeers Mining Company started, the idea of a diamond engagement ring began to get its foothold in culture. While diamonds are often seen as the ideal choice for bridal jewelry, gemstones were the original normal and they are back in style today. More and more brides are either opting for a mixture of diamonds with colored gemstones or simply colored gemstones on their own for their engagement rings.