A vintage romance
While we love a simple, contemporary engagement ring, there’s nothing quite like a vintage inspired sparkler to evoke the true romantic in all of us! If you love all things antique and are looking for something a little bit different, here’s our simple guide to some of the different eras.
While rings in many guises have been exchanged between couples as a sign of engagement and betrothal for centuries, many jewellery designers refer back to various design trends from the last 150 years. And each era has its own distinctive features that reflect the popular styles of the day. From traditional, classic engagement rings, to more ornate pieces – these enduring styles conjure up images of elegant, romantic times. There’s just something so magical about these vintage designs!
Georgian & Regency, 1714-1830, Kings George I, II, III and IV
Diamonds, pearls, rubies, garnets and sapphires were the favourite stones of the Georgians and when it comes to metals, they preferred silver to gold. We often associate symmetrical architecture with the Georgians and this is also reflected in their jewellery. They were heavily inspired by nature and often incorporated intricate shapes and interesting gemstone cuts. They are famed for inventing the ‘halo’ style – where smaller stones frame a larger gem – and this is still one of the best-selling engagement ring styles.
Victorian 1837-1901, Queen Victoria
Victorian jewellery went through three notable periods – romantic, grand and aesthetic. Modern Victorians also loved nature and this inspired them to create intricate floral and leaf designs out of metalwork. When it comes to gems, they incorporated pearls, ivory, tortoiseshell, coral, onyx, amber and quartz – alongside the more traditional diamonds and other precious stones. The styles were heavily symbolic and romantic, with rose cut, old mine cut and marquise cut stones. The era is also known for meaningful mourning jewellery, where an item of jewellery is worn in memory of a lost loved one, with some including a lock of hair or a personalised motto.
Edwardian 1901-1910, King Edward VII
Europe refers to this era as ‘La Belle Epoque’– the beautiful era – and this is reflected in the jewellery of the day. The upper classes, including the King, had a huge influence on the styles and showing off their luxury and wealth. Jewellery became more elaborate and showy as they embraced new techniques for jewellery making larger, lavish pieces influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement. They embraced floral designs with loved ornate delicate details and intricate lace-like filigree. They used a lot of silver and white, with platinum, silver, pearls and diamonds. Pearls were a real status symbol of the day and we’re used to create light, ethereal styles.
Art-Deco, 1919-1939, George V
The art-deco movement came in with a bang off the back of the austerity of WWI. The distinctive style, covering the 1920s and 30s, features geometric patterns and abstract designs, often created from white gold and platinum. Art-deco styles travelled around the world with fabulous architecture and fashion – with engagement rings often feature bold patterns made from straight lines, triangles, pyramids and arcs with contrasting coloured gems. These flamboyant designs are so stunning they remain a firm favourite for engagement rings today.
When it comes to choosing your dream engagement ring, we believe you should always go with your heart and pick a style you love above all others – don’t go for trends. Vintage styles have proved again and again that they stand-the-test-of-time, so our advice is to avoid anything that’s too fashionable. Our dedicated Heritage and Vintage engagement rings and collections are bursting with stunning antique inspired rings – where you’ll find a ring that will never go out of style!