Ever since Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned a diamond engagement ring in 1477, this wonderful gem has had a special place in our hearts. Popular with the nobility across Europe until the end of the 19th century, it briefly lost its appeal as the number of diamonds became more numerous.
But its popularity resurged thanks to an impressive campaign by the company De Beers, who coined the slogan ‘A diamond is forever’ in the 1940s. Since then, it has become by far the most popular stone, whether for engagement rings, dazzling earrings, necklaces or bracelets, and its popularity endures to this day. So just how has it superseded all other gems? Here are three reasons…
1. They’re a symbol of everlasting love
The slogan created by De Beers has struck a chord with all of us, as no stone represents love and commitment more than a diamond. If a man wants a woman to know that he wishes to be with her for the rest of his life, buying her a diamond will say it all. The stone is rare, pure and (in theory at least) everlasting, making it the universal symbol of eternal love.
2. They’re visual appealing
Successful ad campaigns or not, there’s no dismissing the fact that a diamond is an utterly beautiful stone. It has no colour, and is perfect in its simplicity. It both reflects light (which gives it an impressive glimmer) and refracts it, which scatters the light, making the jewel sparkle and also creating a rainbow effect, which just adds to the magic.
3. They’re traditional
Archduke Maximillian’s diamond ring is the first such commission ever recorded, though the stone’s popularity may go back further still. That means the diamond has been a sought after gem for more than 500 years. Since the famous advertising campaigns of the 1940s the jewel has adorned the fingers, necks, wrists and ears of top Hollywood stars. It’s also become the traditional stone for the engagement ring – an item of jewellery many women dream of having from a young age. This tradition doesn’t look as though it’s going to end any time soon.
In every genre, there are timeless classics. The car world has the Aston Martin, the music world has Stairway to Heaven, and the jewellery world has the diamond. One gets the sense these will all be just as popular for centuries to come.