If you like the idea of wearing a vintage engagement ring, you have a range of choices. The growing appreciation for the designs of yesteryear mean that in addition to restoring vintage and antique jewelry, today’s designers are creating pieces styled after these bygone eras.
Antique and Vintage Jewelry
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between antique and vintage? Antique is at least 100 years old, whereas vintage jewelry is identified with a specific era’s style and would usually have been made within the last 100 years.
- Art Deco (1920s–1940s): Known for its bold geometric shapes and colors.
- Retro Style (1940s–1950s): Characterized by bold, feminine lines.
- Georgian (1714–1837): Features pieces typically made of gold, silver, and foil-backed jewels such as diamonds, garnets, and topaz.
- Edwardian (1890–1915): Known for complex detailing, platinum, and plenty of diamonds.
- Victorian (1837–1901): Offers ornate, varied, and often nature-inspired rings, brooches, and other jewelry.
Some antique and vintage rings stand out so far from the rest, they inspire handmade replications. Trumpet & Horn has a line of vintage and vintage-inspired rings that are handmade from antique materials.
If you would like something simple yet classically beautiful, a piece from the art deco or retro eras may be what you’re looking for. With bold lines somehow still influenced by nature, these styles can speak to both our down-to-earth and whimsical sensibilities.
The Diamond Halo Engagement ring, from Estate Diamond Jewelry, is in the classic art deco style. With lovely yet bold detailing all over, this is the jewelry version of a decadent cupcake. Its cutout work underneath is reminiscent of vines and leaves, balancing the loads of sparkle on top, and giving it a down-to-earth, soft feel. The face of the ring is centered on a large, old-European cut diamond encircled by smaller, old-mine cut ones.
Those that love intricate detail, platinum, and diamonds will identify with Edwardian era rings. The introduction of platinum in the late 18th century allowed jewelers to create complex and beautiful designs, and these pieces are usually diamond saturated. For example, the Abernathy, found at Trumpet & Horn, is rich with both diamonds and hand-engraving along the shoulders. It is a classic Edwardian ring in the bombe style.
If your tastes lean even more heavily towards the diamonds, check out the Edwardian Three Stone Diamond Ring in Platinum from Beladora. Totaling close to four carats, this ring is truly dazzling.
If something elaborately extravagant is more to your taste, there are many vintage inspired designs full of diamonds. Many incorporate beautiful emeralds, opals, and other gems. Take, for example, the Amelie at Trumpet & Horn. Drawing its inspiration from 18th century France and set with an oval faceted, deeply purple amethyst, this gorgeous ring is antique refinement through and through.
With the varied historical eras that vintage pieces are from, there are many styles to become familiar with. You are sure to find a few that speak to you, and at least one that you love.