The history of diamond engagement rings
Maximillan I of Austria gave the first diamond engagement ring on record to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. He had the ring commissioned to unite their two houses and make their marriage a unifying symbol to the country.
The smallest diamond engagement ring ever made was given to Princess Mary who was married by proxy to the Dauphin of France in the year 1518. Princess Mary was two years old at the time.
Throughout history diamond engagement rings have become larger, more elaborate, and have included a wide variety of other jewels and metals. Diamond engagement rings settings can be made of silver, platinum, white or yellow gold or a mixture of these elements.
Famous ladies and their engagement rings
Celebrities and other famous people influence the look and style of many aspects in fashion and also set trends. Diamond engagement rings are no exception to this rule. The following is a partial list of the famous ladies and their equally famous engagement rings:
* Queen Elizabeth II received an engagement ring from Prince Phillip that was made from diamonds from his mother's tiara.
* Grace Kelly was given a 12 carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring from Prince Rainier.
* Lady Diana was engaged with a ring made of an 18 carat blue oval sapphire that was circled by fourteen diamonds.
* Elizabeth Taylor was engaged to her third husband, Michael Todd, with an emerald cut diamond that weighed almost 30 carats. However, she is more known for her other pieces of jewelry, one more striking than the other: the 39 carat Krupp diamond, the 69.42 carat pear-shaped Taylor-Burton diamond and the 17th century heart-shaped Taj Mahal diamond.
* Priscilla was engaged to Elvis with a 3.5 carat diamond engagement ring that was circled by another 21 smaller diamonds and diamond chips.
* Sharon Stone was given a three diamond, 3.5 carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring by Phil Bronstien.
* Catherine Zeta-Jones' promise to Michael Douglas was finalized with a 10 carat antique marquise diamond estimated at slmost $2 million.
* Joan Collins got a heart-shaped diamond ring in a nineteenth-century setting from husband Percy Gibson.
* Madonna received from Guy Ritchie an antique Edwardian three-stone diamond ring with a decorative platinum band. The Neil Lane ring was supposed to represent their family: mother, father and son Rocco.
* In the case of Toni Braxton, drummer Keri Lewis designed a stunning 4.5 three-stone diamond ring with an oval-shaped center stone and 2 heart-shaped diamonds on the sides.
* Paris Hilton, even though not a pop star but a diva anyway, received 2 diamond engagement rings from billionaire Paris Latsis, a $5 million 24 carat canary diamond ring and a $2.1 million 15 carat white diamond ring.
* Britney Spears has two engagement rings also: one that she bought for herself before the wedding, a $40,000 4 carat cushion-cut diamond ring with a platinum pave setting, and one that she received 9 month after the marriage from husband Kevin Federline.
* Christina Aguilera became engaged to Jordan Bratman after he presented a $54,000 20-carat diamond engagement ring designed by jeweler Stephen Webster.
* Whitney Houston sports a stunning 4 carat oval-shaped center stone with trillions on the sides which she received from Bobby Brown.
Replica diamond engagement rings
Of course there is the very famous pink diamond ring that Ben Affleck gave to Jennifer Lopez. This 6 carat radiant shaped pink diamond quickly caught the attention of the public and has become a highly sought after replica. It is completed with a platinum band as well as three baguette white diamonds on each side. The pink diamond engagement ring is reported to have been purchased for $1.2 million in 2002. The ring, while easily identified is also very feminine and modern looking.
Replicas of the famous pink diamond ring are now available for a moderate price. The cost of the replicas depends on the quality of the stones and the materials used in reproducing the pink diamond engagement ring.
Some replicas are styled as more antique diamond engagement rings. These rings have an everlasting quality and symbolize tradition and heritage. The recent engagement of Camilla Parker Bowles in February of 2005 featured such an antique engagement ring. The platinum ring has an emerald-cut center diamond with three diamond baguettes on each side. This ring originally belonged to the Queen Mother and is believed to be valued at over $1 million.
Since few people can afford the original item, there will always be a market for replicas of these one of a kind diamond engagement rings. The quality of the replicas varies, as does the price. It is important to note that the styles of diamond engagement rings that are popular with celebrities will soon become the styles that are sought after by the not quite so rich and famous.