Victorian Engagement Rings

Engagement rings from the Victorian period (1837-1901)


Victorian engagement rings designs were heavily influenced by discoveries of ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman treasures during this period, but the style of Victorian engagement rings evolved significantly over six decades from Queen Victoria's coronation in 1837 until her death in 1901. 

Early Victorian engagement rings tended towards the large and more ornate, but later the fashion was for smaller and finer pieces, with gemstones being displayed in increasingly intricate and varied settings.

The metal of choice for engagement rings throughout the Victorian period was 18ct gold, and until 1854 only 18ct gold was hallmarked in Britain. Thereafter, 9ct, 12ct and 15ct gold was allowed to receive a quality stamp too, paving the way for cheaper jewellery.

Of the precious gemstones, opals were one of Victoria's personal favourites, but coral, turquoise, pearls, garnet and amethyst were also favoured for use in Victorian engagement rings. However, diamonds became increasingly popular in the latter part of Victoria's reign, after large deposits were found in the 1860s and their affordability improved. The advent of electric lighting in the 1880s probably also helped by showing off diamonds' sparkle to best effect!

If you're interested in commissioning a Victorian-style engagement ring, please feel free to get in touch. We'd be very happy to answer any questions you may have and discuss some design options with you. You can also browse examples of vintage engagement rings that we have made for previous clients.

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