Engagement ring

Antique Style Engagement Rings That Perfectly Blend the Old and the New

woman wearing antique style engagement ring holding camera

If searching for an engagement ring with a rich history and show-stoppingly intricate design, consider antique engagement rings or antique style engagement rings. With all the jumbled words, the terminology around antique engagement ring styles can be confusing. Antique engagement rings are rings that have been made over 100 years ago. Vintage engagement rings are different. This phrase refers pieces younger than 100 years. In contrast, antique style engagement rings can be more clearly explained as “antique looking engagement rings,” newly crafted rings that modeled after an antique engagement ring style.

What Defines Antique Style Engagement Rings

Antique engagement rings originate from four distinct eras: Georgian (1714-1830), Victorian (1835-1900), Art Nouveau (1895-1915), and Edwardian (1900-1915).

Georgian Era engagement rings

Due to their age, antique engagement rings from the Georgian Period are quite rare. Georgian era antique engagement rings are typically gold or silver with gemstones of unique size and shape. Because Georgian jewelers lacked modern cutting technology, Georgian antique engagement rings were typically shaped to accommodate the stone’s unique shape. In addition, Georgian jewelers often backed gemstones with foil in order to increase the stone’s sparkle, something modern jewelers achieve with precise cutting machinery. Antique engagement rings of this era popularly used sapphires, garnets, precious topaz, and amethysts and featured floral, bow, or scrolling designs.

Victorian engagement rings

Following the Georgian era, was the romantic, bold, and nature-inspired jewelry of the Victorian era. The Victorian era saw a popularity in colored gemstones such as black onyx, opal, sapphire, ruby, emerald, garnet, and amethyst. After the death of the Queen’s husband, Victorian antique engagement rings commonly used black onyx, enamel, and engraved gold to reflect Queen Victoria’s mourning. However, the late Victorian period saw a resurgence of romance, as fashion once more reflected light, colorful, and feminine styles. Antique engagement ring settings from this era were also the first to feature the now universally recognized diamond solitaires.

Edwardian engagement rings

Following the death of Queen Victoria began the Edwardian era, the height of soft, elegant, and feminine fashions. Advances in metal fabrication allowed jewelers to use platinum, a much stronger metal that allowed for rings with much more detailed designs. The new popularity of platinum made it very rare to see any yellow gold antique engagement rings, with most jewelry being made from white gold, silver, or platinum. The use of platinum also allowed for the development of milgraining and filigree, two metalwork techniques that allowed jewelers to delicately set borders or lace-like patterns of platinum beads in jewelry. And similar to the Georgian era, the Edwardian rings often had romantic and nature-inspired designs such as flowers, vines, and hearts.

The extreme detail on Edwardian antique engagement rings make each piece a unique work of art, best worn as an individual piece. Although your personal taste should always be the deciding factor, those who wish to wear multiple rings may not find Edwardian antique style engagement rings to be their best option. (If you're looking for something in this style that you don't have to hunt down, try checking out our Edwardian style engagement rings.)

Art Deco engagement rings

And finally, the Art Nouveau era closes out the periods of antique jewelry. The Art Nouveau era overlapped the Victorian and Edwardian periods as an artistic revolt against the technological advances of the industrial age. Jewelry of this period emphasized hand-craftsmanship, creativity, and design, often included enameling, and generally favored the use of moonstones, opals, and agates. Similar to the Georgian and Edwardian eras, the Art Nouveau period often featured nature-inspired designs in addition to popular Japanese themes such as birds and dragons.

Although unique antique engagement rings may be perfect for those who prefer a rich history behind their jewelry, antiques do require extra care. If this isn’t something you desire, consider an antique style engagement ring. Antique looking engagement rings are often much more affordable than genuine antiques, and are much easier to care for.

antique style engagement rings classic rising

Classic Rising Diamond Engagement Ring

Between the milgrain detailing, delicate accent diamonds, and shape that directs all eyes to your center stone, you won't know what to love most about this antique style diamond ring. And, even better than a true antique, this one doesn't require hunting through stores and hoping it's in your size.

antique style engagement rings under bezeled accent

Under Bezeled Accent Diamond Engagement Ring

This vintage inspired engagement ring has smaller bezel diamonds that make graceful ridges towards the center diamond.

antique style engagement rings twisting vine diamond

Twisting Vine Diamond Engagement Ring

This twisting vine diamond engagement ring definitely has a nature-inspired look. It has tightly wound alternating diamond and metal bands that criss-cross up to the center diamond stone.

antique style engagement rings floral

Floral Diamond Engagement Ring

One major distinctive feature of vintage-inspired rings is intricate details. This ring has a lot of flowery metal details full of traditional milgraining and floral carvings with paved diamonds to accompany the center asscher stone.

antique style engagement rings four points

Four Points Diamond Engagement Ring

This ring features a beautiful pear diamond that is held with milgrain metal details and curving metal accents. The milgrain design meets at four diamond points that accentuate the center stone.

Overall, choosing to go with a vintage and antique style diamond engagement ring is a great choice. If you like the look and feel of modern rings, but you admire the elegance and charm of antique engagement ring styles, it’s the perfect way to have the best of both worlds. You can have a brand new ring that has a vintage look to it, but isn't worn at all. Not only will you be saving money compared to if you bought a true vintage ring, but you have a larger variety of options to choose from until you find the perfect fit for yourself.