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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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  • Opal Cluster Ring

    Opal Cluster Ring

    A unique vintage-style engagement ring in Fairtrade 18ct yellow gold. Featuring an Australian opal and hand-engraved detail work.

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  • Ruby & Diamond Ring

    Ruby & Diamond Ring

    An astonishing platinum ring, set with a 1.50ct cushion cut ruby. Small diamonds are cutdown set into the halo and shoulders.

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  • Diamond Cluster Ring

    Diamond Cluster Ring

    A fabulous diamond cluster ring in Fairtrade 18ct rose gold, set with nine round brilliant cut diamonds (just under 1ct in total).

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  • Vintage-Style Oval Sapphire Ring

    Vintage-Style Oval Sapphire Ring

    A spectacular vintage-style engagement ring in platinum. Set with a 1.02ct oval sapphire, with small diamonds grain-set into the halo.

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  • Platinum Flower-Inspired Ring

    Platinum Flower-Inspired Ring

    A beautiful flower-inspired engagement ring in platinum. Featuring a 0.40ct diamond, with small diamonds grain-set into the shoulders.

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  • Sapphire & Diamond Engagement Ring

    Sapphire & Diamond Engagement Ring

    A striking platinum engagement ring, featuring a 1.13ct pear cut sapphire with small diamonds cutdown set into the shoulders.

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  • Yellow Sapphire & Diamond Ring

    Yellow Sapphire & Diamond Ring

    This stunning vintage-style engagement ring is crafted in recycled platinum, and features a beautiful 1.31ct cushion cut yellow sapphire from Sri Lanka and small round cut white diamonds from Australia.

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  • Vintage-Style Engagement Ring

    Vintage-Style Engagement Ring

    A dazzling engagement ring in platinum, set with a 0.50ct round brilliant cut diamond. Small diamonds are grain set into the halo.

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  • Matching Pear Cut Diamond & Sapphire Ring

    Matching Pear Cut Diamond & Sapphire Ring

    An extraordinary engagement ring in platinum, set with a 1.01ct pear cut diamond and sapphire. Small diamonds are grain set into the shoulders.

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  • Padparascha & Rose Gold Ring With Diamond Halo & Shoulders

    Padparascha & Rose Gold Ring With Diamond Halo & Shoulders

    A breathtaking ring in Fairtrade 18ct rose gold, set with a 2.06ct oval padparascha sapphire and small diamonds.

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  • Diamond Halo Ring With Woven Shoulders

    Diamond Halo Ring With Woven Shoulders

    A dazzling engagement ring in platinum, set with a 0.74ct cushion cut diamond. Small diamonds are grain set into the halo and shoulders.

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  • Micro Pavé Weave Engagement Ring

    Micro Pavé Weave Engagement Ring

    A unique design in platinum, set with a 0.44ct round brilliant diamond and with small diamonds set into the shoulders.

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  • Purple Star Sapphire Ring With Diamond Halo

    Purple Star Sapphire Ring With Diamond Halo

    A captivating engagement ring in 18ct white gold, set with a 1.72ct star sapphire surrounded by diamonds.

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  • Sapphire Engagement Ring With Diamond Butterflies

    Sapphire Engagement Ring With Diamond Butterflies

    An enchanting ring in 18ct white gold engagement ring with delicate butterfly detailing. Set with a 0.50ct round sapphire.

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