11th December 2023

The Tradition Behind Proposing with a Diamond Ring

Man proposing to a woman with a diamond engagement ring hidden in a Christmas bubble

Presenting your partner with a ring when proposing has been a standard practice for many generations. But how and when did this tradition start?

It is commonly believed that the tradition of exchanging rings dates back to Ancient Egypt, where circles were seen as symbols of eternity. Couples who were going to enter married life exchanged rings fashioned out of plaited reeds. These rings were traditionally worn on the left hand’s ring finger, as the Egyptians believed that a ‘Vein of Love’ connected the finger and the heart. Although the vein theory has since been disproven, the tradition of wearing rings on the left hand’s ring finger remains.

The practice of presenting brides-to-be with engagement rings was most likely started by Ancient Romans, who gave women a gold ring at the engagement ceremony as an object of value, showing wealth. However, at that time, the ring indicated the husband’s ownership of the woman rather than love. At home, the gold ring would be replaced by an iron ring, which signified a legal agreement that the woman was now owned by her husband.

While the ritual of the husband’s ownership of his wife has luckily been left in the past, it’s thought that it developed over the centuries into the tradition of exchanging rings during the marriage ceremony when you legally agree to become a married couple.

The History of Diamond Engagement Rings


When Diamonds were first discovered in India in the 4th century BC, they were so rare that only the Royalty and the Rich could wear them. It wasn’t until the discovery of Diamond mines in South Africa in the late 1800s that Diamonds became more widely available. When the Great Depression ended, men were encouraged to spend as much as two months’ worth of wages on a Diamond engagement ring, and the famous slogan “A Diamond is Forever” was created.

Centuries later, it’s still hard to imagine a proposal that does not feature a Diamond engagement ring. In the UK in 2022, the average amount spent on an engagement ring is around £2000, and the average carat weight of the ring’s Diamond is between 0.60 – 0.80.

Regardless of the cost and the size, engagement rings are seen as a symbol of everlasting love.

When and How do People Propose


There is no definite right or wrong timeframe when it comes to proposing. If both partners feel comfortable discussing their future plans, such as buying a house together, having children, or getting pets, they are probably already on a path to marriage. This could happen after a year, or several years together, as every couple is different.

When choosing how to propose, making it as personal as possible is the best way. For example, many men choose to propose in a location where they first met their partners or where they had their first date. Others prefer to pop the question privately, perhaps at home, after cooking their partner’s favourite meal.

A private proposal in a public space is the best of both worlds. It could be something like a personal dining experience at the couple’s favourite restaurant or popping the question on a private beach.

Destination Proposals are an excellent option for couples who want to capture the moment and share it on social media. Serene lakes, stunning beaches, and high mountain tops are some of the most popular choices. These destinations can be both abroad or in the couple’s own country.

It should go without saying that it’s vital to consider the partner’s preferences before proposing. For example, if the partner is more introverted, they might not like being proposed to in front of hundreds of people.


Where Can People Get an Affordable Diamond Engagement Ring


Diamond Jewelry United stocks hundreds of naturally mined Diamond engagement rings for every budget and style preference.

Whether your partner prefers a traditional solitaire band Diamond ring or something with a bit more bling, Diamond Jewelry United has something for everyone.

If you have any questions, our experienced, London-based customer service advisors are always happy to help.