Vintage Engagement Ring
It used to be said that the Victorian jewellery fashion lasted as just long enough for the lady of the house to find her maid wearing a one-and-sixpenny version of it.
This is a simplification: some styles were so evergreen and never out of fashion for long; others were so crazy or tasteless that they did not survive the season. Between these two extremes many fashions came and went.
By the time Victoria came to the throne in 1837 the whole mood of jewellery had changed: it was no longer neutral, a mere adjunct to the costume, but frankly romantic, a statement, a challenge even.
In the years before the First World War, rings were worn in considerable numbers, sometimes one or more on each finger. The diamond jewellery made between the closing years of the 19th century and the outbreak of the First World War has probably never been matched in any period. There was a distinctive 18th century flavour about many of these jewels and 18th century styles with their rococo scrolls and latticed backgrounds were in evidence.
Gold and diamond scrollwork emerged in the last quarter of the 19th century, bordered by a somewhat architectural frame, which to this day is used in our modern version of Vintage designs, now called “bright-cutting”.
Swags, garlands and ribbon bows are characteristic of Belle Époque. As this style moved into the 20th century, the designs became more stylized.
Many modern brides want a unique engagement ring and selecting a vintage design is an excellent choice. Vintage engagement rings have an old world charm and are perfect if you want a bit of history with your ring. The 1920’s was an era of immense change, reflected in the stunning engagement ring designs.
The Art Deco era spanned from 1920 to 1930, and was defined by artistic rebellion and a very distinct look in jewellery design. After World War I, the Roaring Twenties became a time of change. People needed an escape from the aftermath of war, and women enjoyed a period of liberation through their lifestyles, clothing, and jewellery. A dramatic shift in fashion style required re-inventing of jewellery designs, along with engagement ring styles.
The engagement ring styles were also influenced by two design periods that preceded Art Deco: the Art Nouveau and the Edwardian era.
All three of these design eras have a strong influence on our modern day Vintage designs but have evolved into more practical every day engagement rings, comfortable to wear, but still strikingly elegant and very popular amongst young brides-to-be.
Diamonds and Platinum
Diamonds were the gemstone of choice on engagement rings during the Art Deco era. However, in the 1920’s diamonds weren’t cut to precise proportions, which made them less brilliant. Today, with our much evolved precision diamond cutting process, the Art Deco design Vintage ring has a new brilliance without losing the old world look and feel.
Diamonds with yellow tints were also common and because these were usually worn in the evening, low lights masked the yellowish tint of the gemstone, making warmer diamonds acceptable for flappers of the 1920’s.
Today we celebrate the vibrant yellows and champagne tints of diamonds and make them the star of the ring by mounting them as the centre gem.
White jewellery became a trend in 1920’s. Diamonds were often mounted in platinum engagement rings. Platinum is still the ultimate diamond mount metal, as it is a pure metal and its brilliance when polished is unique, creating a mirror for the lustre and sparkle of the diamonds.
Filigree designs of vintage engagement rings
During the Art Deco era, jewellers and artisans paid attention to detail. The malleability and strength of platinum allowed them to create intricate designs on vintage engagement rings without compromising the security of gemstones. These filigree rings took the influences of Art Deco motifs, featuring small intricate cut-outs and geometric lines.
This influence in design is visible in most modern Vintage rings as geometry and balance still plays a role. With the softer designs the Art Nouveau era comes into play but still leaving the design light and open.
Marrying the old with the new
Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Edwardian and Victorian jewellery design are the most enduring movements in jewellery design that inspired many trends in engagement rings. Most modern-day engagement rings took inspiration from these eras. Some couples prefer antique engagement rings, while others embraced modern styles with Art Deco influences. Strong lines with no compromise on balance and simplicity.
We see these influences in modern engagement ring styles that feature halo rings, double halo rings, filigree settings, solitaire rings and even unconventional gemstone shapes and geometric lines.
Whether it’s an antique engagement ring from the 1920s or a modern revival of Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Edwardian or Victorian designs, couples can find something unique that fit their style.