You’re ready to take your relationship to the next step and pop the big question. Engagement is a major decision. So, you can’t buy just any ring for the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. You want to get your soon-to-be life partner a ring that you both can be proud of—a ring that has stood the test of time.The perk of a vintage ring is that there are less of them in the world, Vintage rings are unique, usually passed down from generation to generation or can be found at antique dealers like Beverly R. in Chicago.Not every second-hand ring is considered vintage or antique engagement ring. In the jewelry world, anything between 20 and 99 years old is considered vintage. Any piece of jewelry older than 99 years is considered an antique as well as vintage. Age is the defining factor of classifying an object as vintage and there are many eras of vintage rings to consider when browsing for the perfect vintage engagement ring.
These antique rings epitomize regality and opulence, as fine jewelry was almost exclusively worn by the wealthy. Named for Kings George I, II, and III, the Georgian era spanned more than a century, so the styles are varied and include Rococo, Neoclassical, and Gothic designs.
Queen Victoria herself was the inspiration for the jewelry trends during her reign. The Victorian era was characterized by garnets, amethyst, turquoise, sapphires, pearls and diamonds with animal motifs.
Art Nouveau Era (1890-1910)
Art Nouveau engagement rings are antiques. This era produced jewelry inspired by nature, using flower motifs, insects and leaves in a curvaceous, decorative finish.
Edwardian Era (1901 – 1910)
The Edwardian era of fashion coincided with the art nouveau era. This era marked the end of the Victorian era. If you’re looking for antique bling, Edwardian is the way to go, as this is the style whose roots stem from the wealthy, London upper-class. It was quite common for rings of this era to be large with three or more subtly colored stone settings.
Art Deco (1920-1935)
Think of “The Great Gatsby” and The Roaring 20s, the opulence, the fun, the beauty, reaping the benefits of the success of the Industrial Revolution. Now, imagine an engagement ring from that time. There’s a reason art deco is the most the most popular jewelry design period. Designers embodied the loudness of jazz, replacing curvy designs with edges—squares and other geometric designs creating bold and modern antique engagement rings.
Retro Era or Vintage Inspired (1940s-1950s)
When the Great Depression reduced diamond spending to an all time low, semi-precious stones became the centerpiece of rings with smaller diamonds as the supporting gem. Retro or vintage inspired jewelry, though inspired by Hollywood, also served to brighten up wardrobes that were increasingly military-like in style due to World War II. Designers began making more jewelry sets for the Hollywood elite as celebrities became more and more visible in the media.