Old School Style: Choosing a Vintage Engagement Ring

Sep 22, 2011

Vintage engagement rings have an unmistakable air of classic romance. It could be the delicate filigree or the slightly off-color diamonds that inspire such feelings of nostalgia, but these details will insure that a vintage engagement ring will be unique above all else. The selection of a vintage-style ring shows the love of your life as the exceptional person that she is.

Vintage or antique generally refers to a ring that is older than fifty years. When purchasing an antique engagement ring, there are a few things to keep in mind. The Gemological Institute of America’s diamond grading scale for color and clarity wasn’t developed until 1952 so standards for diamonds were very different before this time. Vintage diamonds often have inclusions or slight coloration, and often feature unusual cuts. Be sure to check the quality of the diamond before you purchase it to make sure that the diamond doesn’t have any weak spots or fractures that may cause it to chip.

A true vintage engagement ring may not be for everyone. Because of their age, these rings often require special care and maintenance and may not be able to withstand the rigors of daily wear. It is recommended that a vintage ring not be worn with another ring on the same finger as the friction between the two might damage any filigree or carved details the vintage ring might have.

However, there is a way to get the best of both worlds. It is possible to have an engagement ring with all of the Hollywood glamour of an antique design and the solidity of modern metalwork. Many luxury jewelry designers today have added a selection of vintage-inspired mountings to their bridal collections. If this is the route you decide to take, here are the details to look for in a ring to help you stick to an era:

Victorian Engagement Rings (1835 – 1900)

The Victorian era is named for Queen Victoria of England, who came to the throne in 1837. Rings from this period often feature natural elements such as floral designs or animals and other romantic symbols. Queen Victoria herself had a serpent-shaped engagement ring from Prince Albert. These engagement rings were also set with several rows of mine-cut diamonds in yellow or rose gold. The Asscher-cut diamond was developed in Amsterdam in 1902 and cushion-cut diamonds were the popular choice for engagement rings for the duration of the early 1900’s.

Edwardian Engagement Rings (1900 – 1920)

King Edward, the person whom this era was named after, came to the English throne in 1901. Edwardian-style rings are primarily made of white gold or platinum with beautiful filigree, which is a lace-like carved design. The design elements often included scroll-work, milgrain, foil, hearts, flowers, and metal beading. Engagement rings from this time featured sapphire accents or rose-cut diamonds. The round-cut diamond was developed by Marcel Tolkwsky in 1919.

Art Deco Engagement Rings (1920 – 1930)

Art Deco rings are dominated by highly geometric designs with softer filigree accents. Art Deco rings generally feature a center stone with smaller gemstone accents of contrasting colors and incorporated into leaf-like and floral patterns. These chic designs with their streamlined look are currently the most popular choice for vintage-style engagement rings.

King Jewelers offers an exceptional selection of stunning engagement rings, wedding bands, eternity bands, cufflinks, watches, and other wedding accessories. Please visit www.kings1912.com for more information on engagement rings and bridal accessories.

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