Jewelry Blog

What Does a Diamond Engagement Ring Symbolize?

Yellow Colored Diamond in EDJ Box

A diamond stone is a universal way to profess your love for someone. As they last forever, they have become a symbol of everlasting love. 

From tools to timeless jewelry pieces, diamonds can represent many things in different cultures. One thing is certain, they’re very special to anyone who owns one. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about what a diamond engagement ring symbolizes, this article will further discuss its meaning, and we’ll suggest some exciting models. 

History of Diamonds 

History of Engagement Ring

Early History 

Some researchers believe that diamonds were first discovered in India, and were considered holy items. Later, as more people got to see them, they became a way to barter and trade goods. 

Egyptians were reportedly buried with rings on their fourth finger, believing that it’s connected to the heart. However, unlike today, they were usually made from leather, bones, or metal. 

Diamonds in Rome 

In ancient Rome, when the husband-to-be and father arranged the marriage, the woman would receive two rings after the ceremony as a symbol of ownership. One ring was golden, and she would wear it in public, while the other one she had to wear around the house. 

Anglo-Saxon tribes saw rings as symbols of love and would wear them from the moment they’ve pledged their love. That way, everyone could see that their hearts belong to someone else. 

The First Diamond Ring 

12151 Diamond Engagement Ring

The first known diamond engagement ring was given to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. It had raw diamonds in the shape of the letter M, and soon afterward, it became a trend in European courts. 

During the Renaissance, wealthy Italian merchants started using these precious stones and ordering rings to give their brides, as one of their first pre-marital presents. The idea was that a strong stone serves as a metaphor for an unbreakable connection between two people. 

Even after the Renaissance, diamonds continued to personify wealth, longevity, power, and strength. Western culture embraced diamonds as a powerful status symbol among the rich and famous. 

The Symbolism of Diamonds 

Diamond Engagement Ring

Ancient Greeks had a name for diamonds, and it meant that they were unconquerable. Roman poets talked about diamonds as they were a symbol of strength and something unbeatable. Later, in the Middle Ages, people thought that diamonds were tears of gods, that brought good fortune to those who held them close. Later, kings started using diamonds to decorate their crowns or necklaces, and gifted them to their queens, as a sign of stability and wealth. 

Various cultures from ancient times until today have seen diamonds as a symbol of eternal love. This idea had its inception in the strength and longevity that people have always associated with diamonds. Here’s a list of a few common associations we have with diamonds: 

  1. Light 

One of the first associations connected to diamonds is light. As they are an emblem of pure light and perfection, diamonds represent beauty in its purest form. Once you put a diamond in front of a direct source of light, it will shine brighter than anything you’ve seen. 

  1. Wealth 

Diamonds have often been associated with wealth, as they’ve become a status symbol. Royal families and aristocrats often have collections of necklaces, brooches, crowns, or other valuable items involving diamonds. Today, when a celebrity or a famous actress gets on the red carpet, it’s a must to wear diamonds to demonstrate their influence and wealth. 

Not forgetting the royal weddings. Every member of a royal family has access to a gem collection that is beyond value. A royal bride gets to choose which crown she’ll wear, as a symbol of acceptance and power. 

  1. Love 

A diamond ring has become a symbol of sincere love that lasts forever. That’s why an engagement ring should have a diamond as a sign of marriage and shared happiness in the future. Nowadays, diamond stones in small boxes symbolize engagement, representing the first steps toward the wedding and a new life with someone you love. 

Why Diamonds Symbolize Marriage 

Marriage bride and groom sunset

The circular shape of a ring is an ancient symbol of eternity. When you combine two potent symbols like the circle and unbreakable stone, the result is an emblem of eternal love that will never fade away. This view became prevalent in the ancient world and has remained strong until today. 

When it comes to diamonds, they’re not just tough, but they sparkle more than any gemstone. And since even the smallest stones shine bright, it quickly became a symbol of marriage. Additionally, as diamonds weren’t accessible to everyone, when someone buys it, it becomes a long-term commitment. 

Different Types of Diamonds 

Side angle of round brilliant diamond

Most commonly, diamonds are white, and if you look closely, you’ll notice their unique glow. All diamonds are clear in their natural form, but they can have different colors because of impurities. 

You can find natural diamonds that are blue, green, pink, black, yellow, and orange. That’s why color is one of the most significant and key factors determining a diamond’s price. 

There are, of course, many diamonds in different colors that are used for engagement rings, as they add additional meaning to an engagement ring. 

Diamond Colors and Their Meanings 

Yellow Colored Diamond in EDJ Box

Next, we’ll list some of the best-known diamond colors and tell you more about their unique meaning: 

  1. Orange Diamonds 

These diamonds are quite rare and symbolize courage, love, and represent something that has immense value. 

  1. Yellow Diamonds 

A yellow color is the most common choice after white diamonds. They represent happiness, sunshine, and honesty, and many of them are quite big compared to other colors. 

  1. Blue Diamonds 

Traditionally, a blue color represents nobility and power, as royal families often use blue diamonds for their wedding rings. 

  1. Black Diamonds 

These diamonds are rare and symbolize mystery. 

Styles of Diamond Engagement Rings 

Three Stone Engagement Ring

Styles of engagement rings can vary from the most minimalistic ones to vintage art deco rings, bursting with intricate details. To help you decide which one is right for you, we’ll show you several models made in distinctive styles. 

Art Deco Engagement Rings – Chicago Ring Circa 1920 

The Chicago ring is one of the best examples of diamond rings in the Art Deco style. It has an old European-cut diamond in the middle and a handcrafted platinum ring. If you like a unique, yet straightforward ring, that work well with other rings and is not too flashy, then this is the ring for you. 

Emerald-Cut Engagement Rings – Oxford Ring 

The Oxford ring is a majestic engagement ring with a square-cut diamond in the middle and a halo of round diamonds around it. Inspired by English jewelers, and handcrafted so that every stone has its place. With its royal lines and intricate detail, it’s a ring that nobody would ever forget. 

Old European Engagement Rings – 1.10 CT Vintage Diamond Halo Engagement Ring  

Made in the 19th century, the old European diamonds have a sophisticated cut. This delicate European style-cut ring combines platinum with a big, round diamond in the middle, and many small ones around it. Its unique aesthetic is attractive to people who are looking for an engagement ring of immense beauty and value. 

Forever and Ever 

12785 Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum Mounting

Ultimately, the meaning of every engagement ring is the same – the promise of eternal love. It’s a promise that two people give each other to love and cherish one another through the good and bad times. 

Every culture had its own interpretation of engagement rings over the years. Even today, we see that diamond rings have remained the epitome of marriage. 

Now, you hopefully know a bit more about what a diamond engagement ring symbolizes. With that in mind, try to find a great ring that will convey the same for you and the woman you love. 


About Afshin Shaddaie

Afshin moved to New York City in the 1980s, and a few years later, he began his career in the fine and rare jewelry scene. He teamed up with Michael Khordipour, and they've been curating vintage jewelry ever since. He also regularly contributes to Forbes, Rapaport, CNBC, The Knot, and Insider. Afshin constantly travels to international shows and private viewing events in the hope of finding rare vintage rings that will be important enough to make an impression. He is available for appointments at our New York showroom when he's not traveling. In 2019, Afshin authored his book called The Engagement Ring Guide for Men. He is considered one of the world's foremost authorities on vintage jewelry and antique diamonds. His favorite jewelry era is Art Nouveau, and he loves rare Italian jewelry from the 1950s - 1970s. The Natural Saltwater Pearl is his favorite precious jewel.