The Magic of Diamond Rings

By: Jonathan Blocker

What is it about diamond rings that so compel us? Is it the shine and lustre - that which jewelers refer to as "fire"? Is it the mystery and allure that you'll find in a white gold diamond ring? Or is it just good marketing?

When it comes to the precious stone that is the centerpiece of diamond engagement rings and men's diamond rings, it is all of the above. Although diamonds have long been treasured for their hardness and rarity, they were not always beautiful to look at. It took centuries of trial and error before jewelers learned to create the exotic cuts such as the princess diamond ring.

A Diamond...or a Lump of Coal?

The story of diamond rings starts hundreds of millions of years ago and miles beneath the earth's surface. You are probably aware of the fact that petroleum and coal is formed from the remains of plants and animals that lived and died over half a billion years ago. These remains went under the earth over time, where they were subjected to preternatural geologic forces, which transformed them from organic matter into oil and coal.

The precious stones that are set in diamond engagement rings are formed the same way. The difference between a lump of coal and a diamond is one of degree - the geologic forces of heat and pressure that transforms organic carbon into gems that wind up as part of mens diamond rings are thousands of times greater. In fact, it is possible to turn coal into diamond, which is essentially what happens when artificial, industrial-grade diamonds are manufactured in a laboratory. (Theoretically, it is also possible for diamonds to turn back into coal, were they subjected to hard vacuum under a complex set of highly unlikely circumstances.)

Early Diamond Rings

Diamond jewelry had been around for awhile, but diamond engagement rings and wedding rings were pretty well unheard of before 1477, when Archduke Maximilian I of Austria presented one to Marie of Burgundy on the occasion of their wedding.

Diamond rings became popular during the Victorian Period, although the custom of presenting diamond engagement rings and the concept of mens diamond rings came along much later.

Today, the tradition is found almost everywhere in the Western world as well as Japan and India (where the bride usually wears a diamond toe ring). Diamond rings can be purchased as is, or can be created especially for the customer.

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