Proposing a diamond engagement ring
Even if the wedding rings stretched all the way back to ancient times, the history of engagement rings is a bit closer to our times. The practice of having two separate rings, one for the “promise” and one for the wedding, started only in the 12th century.
The Catholic church established that a wedding is supposed to be a holy ceremony and that a ring for the woman is an important aspect of it. At that point, people started to give a ring as a “promise” and save the “real” ring for the ceremony.
Nowadays, modern etiquette rules would suggest that a man should have a ring in his possession if he’s about to propose. Even more, diamonds weren’t associated with a wedding until 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave a diamond engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy, who was the most popular bachelorette of her time.
The ring was made with small diamonds that were spelling out her first initial. Diamonds were also solidified as the ultimate engagement and wedding ring stone in the 40s, because of a slick marketing campaign made by the diamond company De Beers.