>Barry B. Kaplan

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Prior to the twentieth century, the proposal ritual in western tradition consisted of only two stages: a man asked a woman (in person or in a letter) for her hand in marriage, then met with her father to ask for his consent. The present day engagement proposal involving the giving of a diamond ring has augmented the erstwhile tradition and is now firmly established as a universal custom.
The inspired and brilliant marketing initiatives of one company, De Beers, and its talented throng of publicists, marketers, and advertisers has forever changed the way we perceive and value diamonds – symbols of esteem, wealth, luxury and above all, romance.

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