Traditions often influence the world of fashions. Long veils, white gowns, and diamond engagement all are deeply embedded in traditions. No wonder, therefore, that many brides of modern times are keen on antique and vintage engagement rings to ensure that their big day takes off in style.
When you set out shopping for vintage jewellery, it is important that you position yourself as an informed buyer and have some basic knowledge about vintage engagement rings and the lookalikes. To be classified as a vintage ring, in the first place, the ring should be at least 20 years old or belong to a specific design or style such as the 1950 cocktail ring. The definition of an antique engagement ring is one that is generally 100 years old or perhaps even more and comes with an amount of historic significance and has an intrinsic value. Some antique rings can date back by several centuries and may be among the rarest or rare that you can find. Obviously, this type of rings can be pretty expensive and ideal for shoppers for whom budget is not limiting factor. But, then, most people do have a budget – don’t they?
Now that we have set a broad guideline for antique and vintage engagement rings, let us get down to some more details. There is an amazing range of sizes, styles and price points and therefore, it is essential that you narrow down your focus range before you get started. Without such a focus the process of selecting your vintage engagement ring can potentially become overwhelming pretty quickly. Instead of getting impressed by what you see with an online retailer or a physical jewellery shop, you could be confused because everything looks appealing.
Your starting point
The best approach to start your shopping exercise for engagement rings is to fix an era and start from that point. This way, you can narrow down the setting, cut, and finish metals. Let us take a quick look at some of the favourite eras.
Engagement rings with accented diamonds are also back in vogue. Therefore unique engagement rings from the designers like Joseph George and Jean Dousset are an ideal option for brides keen on participating in this trend. For a visual treat of some of these engagement rings, you can go here.
Glitz and Glam – 1920s
the 1920s is the era of prohibition, roaring jazz, and speakeasies. Styles from this era had that real sense of glam and glitz. With a booming economy brides were looking for more sparkle on the fingers. To enhance the romantic effect, engagement rings of this era employed intricate metalwork into the Edwardian style. Instead of the single large stone in a solitaire setting, several smaller stones were employed to bring about the light-catching movement.
Art Deco -1930s
The Art Deco era of the 1930s introduced a new interest in geometric designs and industrial architecture. Engagement rings of this period used a mix of angular and round cut stones to produce fanciful designs that were airier and lighter compared to the designs from the previous decades. Engagement rings were also influenced by the architecture of that period, which reflected in the metal work like the Chrysler building in New York and was seen as an ideal way to refract more light. Interestingly, some of these art deco rings have weathered the test of time and enjoy a good fan following even to this date.
Cocktail-inspired – 1950s
the 1950s was the era of dinner parties and cocktails with housewives dressing up to impress the guests and entertained them and they could not do with any less when it came to engagement rings. Many engagement rings of this period carry a sense of whimsical and fun aura echoing the cocktail jewellery of that period. Heavier metal settings using sweeping curves in crisp white and warm yellow were the order of the day.
The Disco Era – 1970s
The 1970s were the era of Discos. Feathered hair, platform heels and disco ruled the roost. Engagement rings during this period were chunky, set in gold to make an all-encompassing and bold statement. The stones were square cut and the most popular among them were the Emerald cut stones with clean facets and substantial rectangular heft.
More trends that survived the test of time
Merely because a specific trend does not fall into the definition of “traditional”, it need not mean that the style is not relevant today. The following are some of the favourite styles that seem to stay on trend at all times.
In recent memory, Princess Diana was the most notable bride who sported an engagement ring made of gemstone (non-diamond) with a sapphire stunned, though she was not the first to do so. In fact, engagement rings sans diamonds have a chequered history offering some more options to non-traditional brides. During the 1980s Diana’s popularity helped the era flush with a series of options in non-diamond engagement rings. An added bonus when you opt for a non-diamond variant for your engagement ring is that usually, you get a larger gemstone size and a dramatic ring without drilling a hole through your wallet.
This is a non-traditional metal that has grown in popularity in recent times and dates back to the early 1900s when the expectations associated with engagement rings were fewer. This can be an ideal option for those looking for antique rings in non-traditional metal from the 1910-20s.
Shopping for your engagement is not the easiest task irrespective of your leaning towards antique or vintage styles. But, essentially, there is always that particular ring that you have pictured in your mind, and perhaps, it takes a while discovering that. Thankfully, the digital world gives you the comfort of scouring your options without the woes of driving through rush hour traffic, parking, visiting multiple jewellers et all. Once you have refined your options, the task gets a lot easier though.