Written by Cynthia Findlay Antiques.
One of the most difficult tasks in shopping for antique engagement rings is trying to find the style that is right for you. There are many different styles of antique jewellery spanning different historical era. Each style of jewellery offers something unique to a woman’s wardrobe. Knowing the popular eras of jewellery is extremely helpful before you start looking at vintage engagement rings.
Here’s a look at some of the most common styles:
Georgian: Popular from the 1710s to the 1830s, these engagement rings were often inspired by Grecian designs. Rings were often made from yellow gold and featured flourishes such as flowers, vines or ribbons. Because diamonds were such a rare commodity in the era, these rings often used gemstones such as rubies, emeralds or pearls.
Victorian: The Victorian style was popular from the 1830s until 1900 and included the first rings to feature diamonds as a prominent gemstone. Many other Victorian engagement rings featured the gemstone of the bride-to-be’s birth month. Designs in the early Victorian period were very ornate and delicate, but this changed after the death of Albert in 1861.
Edwardian: The Edwardian era went from 1901 to 1910 and included Art Nouveau-style jewellery. These pieces were a reaction to artists wanting to “return to nature” and often featured naturalistic designs such as flowers and leaves. The sweeping lines were enhanced by “earthy” gemstones such as amber or pearl.
Art Deco: The Art Deco movement was prevalent from 1915 through 1935 and stood in contrast to Art Nouveau. Art Deco rings featured sharp, angular and symmetrical designs instead of the flowing and soft curves of Art Nouveau-era pieces. Art Deco rings were most often made of platinum with a diamond stone.
Cynthia Findlay Antiques is one of the leading retailers of vintage jewellery in Toronto. Customers can browse their collection of antique rings, necklaces and more at their downtown store or online.