DH Lawrence once said, “In everything, there is the desire for love”. The desire for love is a language that not everybody dares to follow through, but if you are one to find love, celebrating the love of your life amongst your friends and family is no less than liberation.
Planning weddings can make the most organized couples feel like they have been snowed under. Even something as basic as finding the perfect engagement ring can be a little stressful. Acclimatizing yourself to the technical aspect of wedding bands and rings often goes a long way since it helps you narrow down what it is you are searching for.
If you feel your partner is into the classics, a vintage style engagement ring or a ring that is antique-themed can make your partner’s starry eyes twinkle a little brighter than the stars on your wedding day.
What Is Considered Vintage Style? (With Examples)
Most people use the terms vintage and antique synonymously. However, there is a huge timeline difference between the two. ‘Vintage’ signifies anything that had cultural relevance at least twenty years back whereas the word ‘antique’ defines anything that had cultural underpinnings at least a century ago. So, when you say you are intrigued by vintage style engagement rings, you actually mean a ring that has a design similar to the dominant designs that were considered modern some twenty years back.
So, what are the discernible vantage points that one needs to know in order to find an engagement ring that resembles the beautiful intricacies and ornate designs of unique vintage style engagement rings of the near past? Since there are a lot of tangents to cover in this interesting venture of rediscovery, let’s begin already!
Handcrafted Rather Than Casted
The contemporary world is an imagined world built in perfection, organization, and an unexplainable urgency that we are trying to emulate. But as someone rightly said, “Beauty is found in imperfections”. This goes to say that a vintage ring can never be a perfect rendition like the ones we have today. Technology has made our lives smoother but with vintage rings, imperfections become the marks of authenticity. Find a retailer who can make these arrangements for you and get your bride one of the best vintage style princess cut engagement rings.
Eras Influencing Vintage Style Engagement Rings
Georgian Era (1714-1830) marks the time when jewelry designs were influenced by natural themes and innovation in the use of gemstones. Many of you will be surprised to know that diamond resources were very limited. Georgian culture featured flashy, fiery, and brilliant gemstones. Ribbon work, butterflies, and flowers reminiscent of good times were the usual themes.
The Victorian era (1837-1901) marks a significant change in the metals and diamonds used. Most of these engagement rings were made of 75% gold alloyed with silver, nickel, and copper. Engagement rings prevalent during the Victorian era were mostly characterized by an ornate combination of yellow or rose gold with different diamond cuts. Another change that brought about a new revelation in Victorian jewelry was the opening of the South African mines in 1870. Some common gemstones used included amethyst, chalcedony, smoky quartz, topaz, ruby, and many more.
The mid-Victorian period saw a shift in style when rose gold became the people’s choice and dominated the market. With the gold strike happening in California in 1849 and major demand discovery in 1867 South Africa, new export lines opened up for Victorian vintage-style engagement rings made of gold and diamonds.
The late Victorian period saw the raging popularity of using platinum for crafting wedding rings. This period is also known for the shift of handcrafted rings from a mainstay to a mere novelty. What was lost during such a shift was a marked loss of techniques of metal working due to an increased market that the handcrafted businesses were unable to compete with.
Designs of the Edwardian era reached the epitome of refinement and diamonds along with colorful gemstones ruled the market. Advancements in setting and cuts found newer nuances and the “the Beautiful Age” found its relevance even in the jewelry industry. It was during this time that the filigree technique was founded (discussed later). Flower-like themes became quite trendy with the masses along with bows, ribbons, moon and stars, leaves, hearts, etc.
Art Deco Era
The Art Deco era saw its beginning in the 1920s, the decade that witnessed a paradigm shift in art and architecture. This time is also marked by the infamous avant-garde movement that imbued an experimental spirit and a radical shift with regard to the mode of expression and the purpose art serves for everyday living. Its resonances in the visual arts saw artists experiment with sleek geometric shapes that percolated down to jewelry artisans coming up with unique geometric shapes in their craft.
Art Nouveau Era
Characterized by the symmetry, circular swirls, and loops, jewelry in the Art Nouveau era is inspired by a return to nature. The designs consisting of lines and shapes were a reflection of symmetry that exists in nature. Some common motifs were insects, whiplash curves, oriental designs, and sunburst shapes. This era saw the revival of the plique á jour technique that gave a stained glass appearance to the piece.
World War II had set a motion that affected every aspect of the lives of people. So, finding its resonance in the arts is only a matter of representation. The retro rings signify precisely that. Retro-style rings reflected the upheaval of World War II, the post-Depression recovery along with Hollywood, and women’s integration into the working class. The war affected the availability of resources. For example, platinum could no longer be used for ornamental privileges.
How To Buy A Vintage-Style Engagement Ring
The answer is pretty simple: know the vintage-themed designs before you hop on a shopping spree. Classifying vintage-themed rings according to differences in centerpiece designs is the best way to understand the common characteristics to look for before you go to a trusted retailer. The following are some of the designs that have never been out of style and continued to find meaning in contemporary times.
These kinds of vintage-style wedding ring sets have a larger stone diamond in the center and smaller diamonds that are arranged in concentric circles or squares. The shanks on either side of the center design can be lined with diamonds or have patterns engraved. The halo design has continuously inspired modern-day designers and brands.
Floral Vintage Engagement Rings
If you come across rings that have floral motifs either engraved or lined with diamonds, these can be classified as vintage. These can be a look-alike of the halo designs. However, the concentric circles are extended outwardly to a point to resemble a petal. These dainty-looking rings add both character and class to the overall wedding ensemble.
Cathedral Vintage Engagement Rings
As the name implies, the centerpieces resemble old cathedral architecture. Such a ring is characterized by two flanks that develop from the shanks and join the center stone, giving the entire structure of the ring more strength, integrity, and a unique profile. Since the diamond is at a raised height, these kinds of rings provide ample opportunities for designers to come up with unique vintage style engagement ring settings and designs.
Art Deco Vintage Engagement Rings
Art Deco design, all the way from the 20s and 30s, featured a newer perspective of looking at art and architecture. Art Deco inspired visual artists and pioneers of architecture to find beauty in sleek geometric or stylized forms. Such a design style had its own share of nuanced influences in the jewelry of that time and its evolution through time and history till modern times is quite fascinating.
With a diamond in the center, these rings also feature colored gems and precious stones like ruby, sapphire, or emerald. If you are in search of rings that have a combination of diamonds and colored stones, choose vintage style emerald engagement rings in vintage style Art Deco design.
Milgrain Vintage Engagement Rings
The word “milgrain” refers to tiny dots. As an extended use of milgrain in jewelry designs, it is a jewelry design technique in which small metallic beads line the borders of the centerpiece. While the milgrain design technique required excellent craftsmanship in the yesteryears, technology has made these designs quite achievable in modern times. Nevertheless, while this fixation of brides-to-be of the past is understandable because these rings must have cost a fortune in the olden days, the present still reverberates with the echoes of the past.
Filigree Vintage Engagement Rings
Filigree rings are one of the closest designs that talks vintage. Filigree designs feature fine delicate embellishments in which malleable metals such as gold and platinum are stretched into fine, pliable threads that are curled into designs to make jewelry. These designs, once known as a delicacy due to their complicated handcrafted expertise, resembled delicate lace that was considered synonymous with grace and femininity. If you want to get vintage style engagement rings in rose gold, a filigree-styled design is one to consider.
Moissanite Vintage Engagement Rings
Moissanite vintage rings are characterized by their durability since the material is not vulnerable to friction. Some people confuse moissanite with diamonds. However, both of these do not only differ in value but also in their brilliance. The vintage moissanite engagement rings make quick flashes of rainbows when you move the stone around and are said to have more colors and fire. Vintage style wedding ring sets are another example of how the vintage wedding happens. It comes with matching band to make moissanite vintage ring as a wedding set.
Additionally, the diamond cut, often confused with the shape of a diamond, refers to the qualitative aspect of the diamond’s proportions, facets, finishing details, and facets. The brilliance and beauty of a diamond are influenced by the cut of the diamond. The shape of a diamond can vary from pear, princess cut, and emerald cut. These are some other aspects that you should consider before you are out shopping for an engagement or a wedding ring.
Why Do You Need to Be Careful When Finding a Retailer?
Vintage-style rings can be a hard find. Not only because of their rarity but also because it is hard to find an authentic retailer who knows his business. Getting ripped off by a huge sum of money is disappointing and you would not want to deprive your bride of having her best day ruined just because of a silly ring!
What you can do is try to find someone who might know a retailer that you can trust blindly. It rarely happens when a friend of a friend will betray you. Additionally, having some technical knowledge about diamond cuts and terminologies might give the right impression to the retailer that you know what you need to know.
Otherwise, visit stores that have a good and untainted reputation of selling vintage rings and jewelry for many years. The one thing that you can do is to conduct thorough research of all the primary locations that might have retail stores for vintage jewelry and choose the one that feels right. A jewelry expert tagging along with you will always give you the mental support that you might need in this wonderful venture.
It is worth the time and effort that you are investing for your loved one. While it is seemingly impossible to find a 100% authentic ring, you can always pay a little extra and handcraft it. Ultimately, vintage-style engagement rings are modern products that are symbolic of paying homage to the greatness of our past eras. We are a culmination of our past. Manufacturing a vintage ring is our way of finding our roots and it is a true testament to an artisan’s skill.
Some things remain timeless. While we fade in and out, rings like these will only add value with time. We die but our love remains. And something as true as that can only be held by something as timeless and forever-appealing vintage-style rings.
Slip a beautiful ring on your finger or a loved one’s today.