Symbol of Love

According to The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette, the custom of giving a diamond engagement ring started in the 15th century when the Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy. He was told to give her a ring set with a diamond and thereafter diamonds became associated with engagement rings. However, over time the use of sapphires, emeralds and semiprecious stones like aquamarines have become popular settings in engagement rings. The general guideline for how much to spend on an engagement ring is two months’ salary. For appraisals, contact The American Gem Society ( to locate certified jewelers and gemologists in your area.