“‘Cause if you like it, then you shoulda put a ring on it
If you like it, then you shoulda put a ring on it” sings Beyoncé in her hit “Single Ladies (Put a ring on it)”.
We can trace the history of the diamond engagement ring back to 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy. But, the “tradition” of diamond engagement rings as it exists today, is much younger, less than 100 years old.
In the late 1930’s, when diamond giant De Beers, was unearthing huge quantities of diamonds from their mines in South Africa, they hired a New York advertising agency and tasked them with making diamond engagement rings more mainstream. Up to this point, diamonds engagement rings had purely been the realm of royalty and the rich and famous.