Engagement rings come in all cuts and settings, reflecting their varied charms. There are so many styles to choose from- solitaire, halo, trinity, and infinity swirl, to name a few. And adding a touch of prominence to this list are vintage engagement rings- an epitome of timeless elegance. These refined rings are becoming increasingly popular lately since they defy the typical mold we often put our notions of an engagement ring into. Instead, these rings make a statement that hearkens back to the bygone era’s elegance, and least to say, they are undeniably romantic.
Vintage Engagement Rings and Their Origin
The term “vintage” is frequently used to describe items with an antique, rustic, or archaic feel. Authentic antique or vintage rings come from different historical eras and are at least 20 years old. However, the design or settings of such rings is often the focus of attention rather than the rings’ age. And they can, of course, be upgraded! Have you ever paid attention to Megan Markel’s engagement ring featuring a three-carat cushion cut center diamond? It’s a diamond ring from Diana’s personal collection, which was upgraded to reflect the Royal Duchess’s current taste.
The true engagement rings are inspired by four influential eras- Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Deco. They carry their own rich history imbued with hope and dreams of the bygone eras that remain perfectly relevant today.
Georgian Era: 1714 to 1830
Although the classic diamond engagement ring didn’t become popular until the 1950s, Georgian Diamond rings can easily be categorized under the vintage category. These rings feature elaborate forms, exceptional diamonds, and showy gemstones. You’ll also find rose cuts, butterfly themes, and ribbon works representing the yesteryears’ nostalgia and romance.
Victorian Era: 1837- 1901
The Victorian era, named after Queen Victoria, is perhaps the most popular period for producing wedding and engagement rings. Yellow gold engagement rings were the vogue of the era. Victoria’s passion for diamonds and her serpent emerald engagement ring, which symbolized enduring love, quickly became “the trend.” As a result, Victorian rings are more feminine, with more intricate designs and themes such as repousse and chasing.
Edwardian Era: 1901 to 1910
It was a period when platinum jewelry was favored over other metals. Edwardian era, sometimes known as the ‘beautiful era,’ frequently incorporated natural designs influenced by the art nouveau style. This period saw the introduction of larger stones, innovative cuts, delicate filigree, and exquisite milgrain.
Art Déco Era: 1920 to 1930
During the Art déco era, engagement rings took a geometric turn. The designs and themes, set in platinum and white gold, reflected the era’s varied, extravagant, and dazzling style. Gemstones such as rubies, onyx, sapphires, and emeralds became popular with diamonds in ancient European and Emerald cutting.
Our Pick on Vintage Engagement Rings That Make for Prized Family Heirloom
When it comes to proposing to your lover, you may be unsure which ring to purchase. You should not only purchase a ring that symbolizes your love and bond but also one that complements your partner’s style and preferences. And what if you both want the engagement ring to be passed down as a family heirloom?
Here’s our recommendation for the best vintage engagement rings for proposing and worthy of passing over as family treasures:
1. The 14K White Gold Oval and Round Diamond Engagement Rings are perfect for fusing the charm of the Victorian era into your romance. Look at the enormous, bright center stone encircled on both sides by milgrain petals, representing the love and bond you and your lover feel and cherish. Adding to this is the elegant shank that gives these rings a feminine touch, a style that shall always remain in fashion. You can wear these rings alone or pair them with a love band for a more enhanced look. Keep your rings safely secured in the box when not worn to preserve their brilliance for decades to come.
2. The trio of tiny diamond and milgrain petals with a yellow gold shank screams the style and elegance of the 1960s and 1980s, radiating passion. With its authentic vintage design, this triple diamond ring can never go wrong when it comes to preserving your love for future generations.
3. This one-of-a-kind vintage diamond engagement ring includes intricate milgrain borders and exquisite engravings flowing down the sides of the center stone over the entire shank. The 1 carat round cut diamond in a prong setting with a delicate marquise-shaped shank evokes the romantic aura of the Victorian era, making it ideal for on-the-go brides. With this vintage ring gracing your finger, refrain from accessorizing with any more rings on other fingers. Let the prima donna solitaire be the center of all attention.
4. A minor change in perspective can make things appear completely new. This is exactly the feeling evoked by this gorgeous vintage ring, crafted in two metals – yellow gold and white gold. Speaking of immaculate designing, the vitality of the yellow gold is very well balanced out by the subtle grace of the white gold metal. This ring boasts a 1-carat center stone in an octagonal setting surrounded by an etched yellow gold shank for people who don’t mind standing out. The geometric form of the ring is reminiscent of the Art Deco era, and triangular clusters of graded accent diamonds add to the band’s charm.
5. This engagement ring is neither too classic nor too contemporary, striking a balance between bygone ages and post-modern elegance. A delicate swirl of pavé-set diamonds compliments the more prominent centerpiece in this vintage ring in braided white gold. This vintage piece has a little glitter without being overpowering.
6. A yellow gold engagement ring is perfect for recreating the style of the bygone eras. And echoing this principle is this vintage-inspired 14K yellow gold engagement ring. Featuring braided strands of pave diamonds with a more significant centerpiece, this piece of jewelry will accentuate the look of a bride-to-be in a white gown.
7. This round-cut diamond ring goes back to basics with a centerpiece set on a scalloped white gold shank inlaid with a diamond belt circle. It has a timeless style that will forever mirror your timeless love, as it is inspired by Victorian-era design. To preserve the security of your prong-set diamond, have it examined every two years.
8. Handcrafted with love, this vintage engagement ring combines a graceful halo setting with the Victorian filigree pattern, complementing the bigger centerpiece. The delicate features and curves will impress brides who favor romance over realism.
9. Gift her a ring that illuminates her soul and your relationship. This 14-karat white gold vintage ring boasts a 1-carat center stone surrounded by pave diamonds, evoking the Georgian era with Victorian romance. You won’t need to wear any other finger jewelry if you wear this ring on your ring finger. Also, remember to clean it with a muslin cloth during the summer.
10. Let’s talk timeless beauty with this antique-style dual-toned engagement ring bringing forth the best of both worlds – intense depths of the color blue and calming serenity of the whites. The 1carat big stone at the center is highlighted by the velvety blue sapphires on both sides. Crafted with elegance and 14K white gold, this vintage ring shall be suitable to accessorize with any free-flowing party wear.
11. Milgrain border with an intricate design represents the floral array rings of the Victorian era that continue to charm us ever today. The ring’s overall design is enhanced by petal-shaped pave diamond clusters on the shoulders of the shank.
12. A round-cut center surrounds a cushioned-shaped milgrain border encircled by 0.39cts of pavé diamonds, creating an optical illusion. This vintage ring will transport you to the glitz and glam of the jazz era. Wear it with a cocktail dress to exude radiance from within.
13. With this beautiful hand-cut diamond ring, you may capture the romanticism of the past and pass it on to future generations. This classic cushion cut shape is easy to wear and maybe worn daily with little effort. Pair it with your flowing dress for a Sunday brunch with your better half.
If a diamond is a universal symbol of love, an engagement ring is a letter steeped in that love. And a vintage engagement ring is a timeless, passionate love letter. As a symbol of quintessential romance, these rings will never go out of style, making them an exceedingly distinctive choice for women with a fetish for classic romance and a high aesthetic sense. They’re the ideal “forever” investment, evoking feelings worthy of being passed down as cherished family heirlooms.