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Vintage Engagement Rings

Vintage Engagement Rings

Capturing the elegance and romance of a bygone age


In the context of engagement rings, the term ‘vintage’ means different things to different people, but we define vintage engagement rings to be those that are typical of the Edwardian and Victorian eras. Vintage-style engagement rings are typically ornate in design, and capture the elegance, romance and quality of these bygone eras. And more than a century after they first became popular, these striking designs are fashionable once again — testimony to the enduring style and beauty of these stunning rings.

Victorian engagement Rings

Victorian engagement ringThe Victorian era was marked by discoveries of gold and diamonds in South Africa, and these finds had a direct impact on the jewellery of the time, helping to make fine jewellery accessible to the middle classes that had emerged from the Industrial Revolution.

Victorian engagement ring 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. This era also saw the the height of the Art Nouveau movement, inspired by the elaborate curves and free-flowing forms found in nature - a direct reaction against the age of industrialisation.

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!

Edwardian engagement rings

Edwardian engagement ringThe death of Queen Victoria in 1901 was followed by the reign of her son, King Edward VII, who died in 1910. The Edwardian era witnessed the development of new technologies such as the car, the aeroplane and the cinema, and importantly for jewellery, the invention of the oxy-acetylene torch, which made it far easier for jewellers to work with platinum.

Platinum's high tensile strength allowed the Edwardians to pioneer elaborate and delicate designs, with lacy patterns and open filigree.

Coloured gems experienced a resurgence in popularity during the period, with sapphires often being used as the main gemstone for engagement rings, and small diamonds being used for decoration.

The jewellery of this era matched the spirit of the ‘Belle Epoque’ - elegant, feminine and delicate, to complement the silk dresses and feathered hats of the time. This really was the ‘Beautiful Era’.

 

In the gallery below, you can view a selection of some of the bespoke vintage-style rings that we've made to order for previous clients. Alternatively, you may wish to browse our Engagement Ring Collection for the vintage-style rings that we have in stock.

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, or to discuss commissioning your own bespoke design.

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  • INSPIRATION GALLERY

    Browse bespoke designs

    Be inspired by bespoke rings we've created for previous clients. To discuss your own design, schedule a free consultation.

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  • Emerald & Diamond Platinum Ring

    Emerald & Diamond Platinum Ring

    A magnificent engagement ring made in platinum, set with a 1.03ct emerald. Small diamonds are grain-set on the halo and shoulders.

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  • Emerald & Diamond Ring

    Emerald & Diamond Ring

    An exquisite ring in Fairtrade 18ct yellow gold. Set with a 0.9ct emerald, and small diamonds cut-down set on the shoulders.

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  • Cushion Cut Sapphire Ring

    Cushion Cut Sapphire Ring

    A spectacular vintage-style engagement ring in platinum. Set with a stunning 3.12ct cushion cut Sri Lankan sapphire.

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  • Emerald & Diamond Ring

    Emerald & Diamond Ring

    A magnificent ring made Fairtrade 18ct yellow gold. Set with a 1.2ct emerald, with small diamonds grain-set on the shoulders and halo.

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  • Sapphire & Diamond Ring

    Sapphire & Diamond Ring

    A delightful engagement ring in platinum, featuring a 1.15ct sapphire with a matching pair of round brilliant cut diamonds.

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  • Marquise Cut Diamond Ring

    Marquise Cut Diamond Ring

    A dazzling ring made in platinum. Featuring a fabulous 1.3ct diamond, with small diamonds cutdown-set on the halo and shoulders.

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  • Vintage-Style Split Shank Diamond Ring

    Vintage-Style Split Shank Diamond Ring

    An extraordinary engagement ring in platinum, featuring split shoulders and a 1.30ct oval cut Canadian diamond.

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  • Vintage Oval Diamond Ring

    Vintage Oval Diamond Ring

    A magnificent vintage-style engagement ring in Fairtrade 18ct rose gold. Featuring a 0.46ct round brilliant cut lab-grown diamond.

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  • Sapphire Engagement Ring

    Sapphire Engagement Ring

    An elegant split-shouldered engagement ring in platinum, set with a beautiful 1.30ct cushion-cut sapphire.

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  • Ruby & Diamond Trilogy Ring

    Ruby & Diamond Trilogy Ring

    A beautiful trilogy-style engagement ring in Fairtrade 18ct yellow gold. Set with a 0.70ct diamond, and a matching pair of rubies.

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  •  Octagonal Emerald And Diamond Ring

    Octagonal Emerald And Diamond Ring

    A unique ring in Fairtrade 18ct white gold, set with a 0.61ct octagonal cut emerald. The shoulders feature hand engraved detail work.

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  • Vintage-Style Engagement Ring

    Vintage-Style Engagement Ring

    A stunning vintage-style engagement ring in platinum, featuring a 0.75ct oval cut diamond and small diamonds set into the halo.

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  • Emerald & Diamond Vintage-Style Ring

    Emerald & Diamond Vintage-Style Ring

    A magnificent vintage-style engagement ring in Fairtrade 18ct white gold. Featuring a 1.59ct octagonal emerald and a double halo.

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  • Ruby & Diamond Art Deco Ring

    Ruby & Diamond Art Deco Ring

    An opulent Art Deco-inspired ring in platinum, set with a 0.96ct octagonal ruby and a pair of matching Canadian diamonds.

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