Beverly R Blog

Antique Engagement Rings
Going back to the Antique Victorian period, there were two main different styles for engagement rings. Firstly this was a time period where platinum had not been discovered for the purposes of jewelry, so the main two metals used were silver and gold. Vintage jewelry has been timeless in the fact that gold has always been more precious and expensive than silver. Antique engagement rings were always more expensive when the gemstones were set in gold.

Also before coming to the actual styles of the rings in this antique period through to the contemporary, diamonds have been the most popular gems used for engagement rings. The reason for this is threefold.

Firstly the brightness of a diamond; it shines brightly, and was, therefore, in the antique periods, meant to symbolize how love shines out on the faces of those 'betrothed'. Secondly the durability, Diamonds are the hardest substance known to man and could stand up to the wear and tear, the knocks of everyday life in the antique periods. Lastly, diamonds are a neutral color, and would go with any outfit or fashion, any other jewelry that was worn during the antique time period, and is still true now in modern times.

Probably the second most popular stone chosen for an engagement ring again this is still true now as it was back in the different antique periods, was Sapphire. Sapphire on Mohs gemstone hardness scale comes in at '9' one below the diamond. The blue color of the Sapphire was also a color that goes very well with most outfits.

Coming to the different styles and designs of engagement rings in the early antique Victorian period were mainly in two forms. Firstly there was the band style, with the style of the engagement ring going across the finger. In Victorian times the style of these band engagement rings was known as the antique 'half hoop' rings and was normally set with either three or five graduated diamond or gemstones They contained hand engraved scrolling work in the gallery and the shoulders.

The second most popular style for antique Victorian engagement rings was the 'cluster' which is the design most contemporary 'halo' engagement rings are based on. The antique cluster had a larger central set diamond or gemstone, surrounded by smaller gemstones. The idea of the cluster design when it was all diamond was that from a distance the engagement ring looked like it was one huge diamond.

During the later Victorian period, and the early antique Edwardian period, a new design was introduced, the 'crossover' engagement ring. This was the antique original of the modern 'Moi et Toi' engagement ring. It had two individual stones set in an amount where they intertwined at the top. It was meant to symbolize the idea of an engagement where the couple set aside self to become united with their spouse

It was at the end of the antique Edwardian period, and the Art Deco period starting in the 1920's that Platinum was being used a lot more in jewelry. Platinum enhanced the brightness of diamonds and made them much more visible. The 1920's and 30's was a very decadent period and ladies liked to really have their engagement rings stand out, so platinum was the metal of choice.

The basic styles from the earlier antique period remained the same; however, the band style became more simple with just three diamonds or gemstones being used. In engagement rings the three-stone settings signified two things, either: 'Past, Present & Future' or 'Health, Wealth & Happiness'. There was still both the cluster and crossover style engagement ring carried on from earlier antique periods, but now single stone diamond engagement rings were the most popular choice, the bigger the diamond the better. These single stone engagement rings could either be set alone, but more often than not they had smaller 'fancy cut' diamonds set in the shoulder of the ring to enhance and highlight the main stone.

At Beverly R Jewelry, we have a large selection of engagement rings from the antique Victorian to the Art Deco period. All originals, no copies!

A small selection of these rings can be seen on our website, but we have a much larger inventory to suit everyone's taste, so please come and visit us in our shop.