Ladies (and fellas because I know some of y’all are reading too), do you remember your initial reaction to hearing Beyonce’s Put a Ring On It song? We all know one of the first things asked after a woman says she is engaged is “Let me see the ring!” How many people do you know have very little knowledge of precious gems, but can tell you exactly what the Four Cs references? Have you ever wondered why there is an expectation (by most though not all) that a diamond accompanies a proposal? Well, this Final Friday post aims to share a jewel about one of your favorite jewels – DIAMONDS. If you have ever thought why society has come to expect a diamond to accompany a proposal I’m about to share just how and when this tradition began.

The ritual of gifting a ring to the person you love, while proposing marriage dates back over a century. However, there were no diamonds – or any stones for that matter – in those rings. I’m going to start this history lesson in the 20th century to avoid using Triple B as my personal platform to convince all of you to never purchase a diamond. After acquiring a majority percentage of the diamond production and distribution markets, DeBeers (the world’s leading diamond company) made the decision to aggressively change the perception of diamonds in America. In the 1930s one of the best marketing campaigns ever was born. Along with the assistance of a prominent advertising agency, DeBeers was pretty much able to convince Americans that diamonds equated love. In fact, advertising suggested the size of the diamond in an engagement ring directly related to how much one loved their fiancée. Celebrities and affluent individuals were often photographed wearing diamonds. This contributed to the mainstream population rushing to emulate their favorite celebrities. By the way, almost all of these celebrities were given the diamonds free of charge. Not much has changed in all of these years, huh? Those with abundant financial resources receive the most freebies. Contrarily, many of those with extremely limited financial resources often over spend in an attempt of mimicking what is advertised. The development of the tag line, “A diamond is forever,” drastically helped accelerate the trend of proposing with a diamond ring. In fact, the tag line later became the official motto of DeBeers.

I hope you enjoyed today’s fun fact. Below you can view some of the awe inspiring rings (top to bottom: Beyonce, Ciara and Amber Rose) we’ve seen in recent years.

What’s your take on diamonds being a prerequisite for a marriage proposal? Would you ever accept a marriage proposal if a diamond weren’t involved? (Be honest.) Read about how many celebrities are going the colored stone route for engagement rings here.