1477 marks the first year engagement rings were first recorded in use. It is the year that Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave an engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy when they were betrothed. If 1477 sounds like a long time ago, that’s because it is. Since the first engagement ring was given over 500 years ago, a lot has changed. Diamonds have become a symbol of love, commitment, and marriage. However, they have also become increasingly rare. Even beyond that, diamond mining has become an ethical concern.