The engagement ring has changed forms throughout the ages, but what has remained the same is the indication of a special betrothal, vow, partnership and bond.
While early engagement rings were simple gold, iron, bronze or silver bands, as gemstones and precious metals become more accessible to the masses, the engagement ring evolved.
Today, the most popular engagement ring style of all is the solitaire diamond engagement ring. But how did this particular style suddenly become the standard, traditional engagement ring design after centuries of various gemstone and metal designs?
You might be surprised to learn that the solitaire diamond engagement ring with the six prong setting we have all come to love is a rather modern invention. In fact, while diamond and gemstone engagement rings had been growing in popularity since the late 1400s, they were typically quite extravagant, with intricate metal work and multiple gemstones.
It was only in the late 1800s that the solitaire diamond engagement ring came into its own. In the 1870s, new and plentiful diamond deposits were discovered in South Africa. This large quantity of rough stones coupled with the new technology generated by the Industrial Revolution lead to huge leaps in diamond cutting technology and made the solitaire diamond ring more appealing and more accessible.
It was in 1886 that Tiffany introduced the six-pronged platinum setting, now known as the Tiffany setting. It was this setting that brought the solitaire diamond engagement ring into the spotlight and it was this setting that kept it there.