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jewelry_history

Conversation Starters: Jewelry

As the old saying goes, diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

Jewels have a long history, and not just regarding the gems themselves. Do you know which ad campaign it was that invented the diamond engagement ring? And where was the world’s first diamond created? What are some of the reasons you might want to consider getting an engagement ring that's within your budget?

These are some fascinating facts to share with your social network when it comes to fine crystals and sparkly jewelry.

1. History of Jewelry

The earliest recorded finding of jewelry dates back to 25,000 years. A fish bone necklace was discovered in Monaco in a cave. The necklace could have been used by a village chieftain or it could have been gifted to a princess. We cannot determine the necklace’s purpose, but there’s no limit to what our imagination may come up with to think about how people lived in ancient times.

Jewelry was also commonly worn as amulets in early societies to ward off diseases and misfortune.

Later on, jewelry was association with human commitments. Wedding rings continue to be a symbol of two people’s commitment to each other. And historically, there were points in time in Europe where only officials of prestige and status were to be seen wearing gemstones. This was a reflection of their power and wealth.

2. The Crown Jewels

The Crown Jewels of Britain are the ceremonial treasures that were acquired by English kings and queens since 1660.

Two of the biggest cut diamonds on Earth can be found in The Crown Jewels collection. They both came from the Cullinan Diamond, which was a 3,106-carat gem found in 1905 in South Africa.

Famous tiaras in The Crown Jewels collection include:

1) Cartier Halo Scroll Tiara – this was worn by the Duchess of Cambridge during her wedding day. It was originally an anniversary gift to the Queen Mother from her husband, King George VI. The tiara was then gifted to the Queen by The Queen Mother to commemorate her 18th birthday. There are over a thousand diamonds on the tiara, which was occasionally worn by Princess Margaret.

2) Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara – this is a pearl and diamond headpiece that was made in 1913. Queen Mary had asked British jeweler Garrard to create a replica of the tiara that Princess Augusta, her grandmother, wore. The tiara was gifted to Princess Diana upon her marriage to Prince Charles. The Queen received the tiara after Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorced in 1996. The tiara is owned by the Queen today and is adored by the Duchess of Cambridge, who has been seen wearing it on special occasions.

3. History of Diamonds

The diamond is a symbol of everlasting love. It’s also the hardest substance on earth, rating a 10 on the Mohs scale — meaning that diamonds can only be scratched by other diamonds.

Diamonds have been used as the April month birthstone and to celebrate 60 years of marriage.

Diamonds are believed to have been discovered at least three to six thousand years ago in India.

Diamonds were first used as engagement rings during the Renaissance. The trend began in 1477 when Mary of Burgundy received a diamond engagement ring from Archduke Maximillian. At the time, this trend was only popular in wealthy and royal circles.

4. Ad Campaign for Diamond Engagement Rings

During the 1930s, it wasn’t common yet for Americans to propose with a diamond ring.

It was during the late 1940s that a copywriter created the slogan, “A Diamond is Forever,” which De Beers has since featured in its advertisements.

Between 1939 and 1979, the wholesale diamond sales of De Beers increased from $23 million to $2.1 billion in the U.S.

De Beers and the company’s team of marketers were well skilled at crafting public perceptions. When the company sought to globally expand in the mid-1960s, it entered markets like Japan where diamond rings were marketed as a symbol of modern Western values. As a result, by 1981, Japan was the second biggest market in the world for diamond engagement rings.

5. A Cheaper Ring…Might Mean a Longer Marriage

What’s the ideal amount you should spend on an engagement ring?

A study in Singapore reported that men who spent an average of $2,000 to $4,000 on an engagement ring experienced a higher divorce rate than individuals who spent $500 to $2,000.

This was also mentioned in Episode 548 of Optimal Relationships Daily, where Dr. Samantha Joel discussed how expensive weddings and rings could lead to relationship problems.

Regardless of the price tag, perhaps the main thing we should focus on is creating a solid foundation for a marriage. After all, a wedding is for just one day of celebrations. What would bring most people more satisfaction is a loving relationship that’s long-lasting, instead of a lavish lifestyle that’s more concerned with appearances and materialism.


References:

Gem Society, Royal.uk, Harper’s Bazaar, Jewels for Me

The Atlantic, NBC News

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Jess Chua

Jess writes and edits content for the Optimal Living Daily podcast network. Her interests include personal growth, cooking, and spending time with her pets.
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