Engagement Ring Traditions

There’s been popular songs written about the subject, including Madonna’s, “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” stating, “If you liked it then you shouda put a ring on it.” So why do men propose on one knee and gift their new fiancé with a diamond ring? Was it always done this way or is this tradition more modern? 

However, it wasn’t until Prince Albert proposed to Queen Victoria in 1840 that proposing with a beautiful ring took off. He proposed with an emerald ring as it was her birthstone, but he gifted her several diamonds during her time on the throne, especially in 1887 to commemorate her 50 years on the throne. This made diamonds popular in the Victorian era.

In fact, diamonds didn’t become popular until the mid 1880s when they were discovered in mines in South Africa, and Cecil Rhodes founded the DeBeers mine. The popularity of diamonds quickly spread to America, in conjunction with the “Breach of Promise to Marry Act.”

Historically, in the early 1900s, women prided themselves on remaining virgins until their wedding day. If a man called off the wedding but she was no longer a virgin, she was often seen as “damaged”. This prompted first the “Breach of Promise to Marry Act,” where women could sue if the man called off the engagement, and the ring, which is both romantic and almost an insurance to get down the aisle. In theory, the woman was offering her hand to her partner in marriage, who promised to “tie the knot,” at a later date soon. Back then it wasn’t overly romantic, but things changed over time.

Image by Bill Young via Flickr

In the late 1940s, DeBeers developed their “Diamond is Forever,” campaign, showing that a diamond and love is both everlasting and that women want one. This prompted other ads from reputable Brisbane jewellery stores stating that your girlfriend is worth it. The campaign also started the old school etiquette of paying at least two months’ salary on an engagement ring.

Even though marriage proposals and engagement rings have existed for hundreds of years, women still have certain expectations. Even today, we expect the man to get down on one knee, pop the question and present a box with a beautiful diamond ring so she’ll feel like a princess in her favourite fairytales.  Throughout society and culture, men have always asked and most women don’t want that to change. They like the special feeling of being asked and repeating their engagement story and showing off their ring for days to come.

Recently, trends have shifted and many younger brides-to-be are interested in assisting in picking out a ring that contains elements that suit their individual style. In these instances, many men are still proposing but with a placeholder ring so that the couple can pick out an engagement ring together.

Almost everyone dreams of getting married and knows that they will either be giving or receiving a diamond ring. They’ve become the tradition and no one is breaking that tradition.


At the end of my post, I want to recommend you an amazing online wedding and prom dress store.

  Long Prom Dresses


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Disclosure: This article is published in partnership with Mediabuzzer.

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  1. It's interesting how tradition starts ... I think it's nice but I am fine without a diamond ring... they are beautiful pieces of jewelry xox

  2. Some people do take it too far. Many care for the gold and diamonds, but not the person who gave it to them or the reverse.

    When it came to get married I chose a modest silver wedding band (it could be made of copper for all I care) as precious metals are not more precious than why the ring was forged in the first place.