Antique engagement rings, claiming their name because they are over eighty to a hundred years old, come in a range of sizes, styles and price tags. Antique rings and rings from the Art Deco period (1920-1935) are both becoming a popular engagement choice due to their rarity and one of a kind nature. The majority of true antique rings will not just have diamonds but an assortment of other precious gems such as sapphires, rubies and emeralds that are normally placed around the diamond to enhance its appearance. In other antique engagement rings the precious gems are centrally set with smaller diamonds around them.
If considering buying an antique ring it is important to first consider the following:
- Some antique rings are difficult to resize due to the positioning of stones and diamonds
- If purchasing an engagement ring with an opal, pearl or emerald as the central stone be wary as these are softer gems and are more prone to damage
- Cost associated with resizing an antique ring if resizing is even possible
- Always purchase an antique engagement ring from a reputable retailer
- Ensure that the ring you are looking to purchase is a real antique and not a copy
- Ask for the year that the ring was made and proof to ensure its antique value
Different eras bought with them different styles of jewellery and in turn each decade of engagement rings differ. Antique engagement rings from the Victorian era, Georgian era and the Edwardian era are the most popular and sought after. These rings can be found online and through specialist engagement ring jewelers.
Victorian Era Engagement Rings
An era of class and popularity of jewelry fit for royalty the Victorian Era began in 1837 with the crowning of Queen Victoria of England. The styles of rings were the direct result of Victoria’s fashion choices and times throughout her life. Due to large gold discoveries, gold was used generously within engagement rings from this period. The Victorian Era also displayed the first use of engraving and towards the end of this era a great discovery of diamonds in South Africa made it possible for them to put many diamonds into their rings. The Queen Victoria herself wore an emerald green engagement ring which influenced birth stones to be used as central pieces in engagement rings up until the end of this era. Victorian Engagement rings are well over one hundred years old so to ensure that they will last for many more decades great care must be taken if choosing one of these rings. You will find below some Victorian Era rings that you could use to propose to your loved one.
This ring incorporates 18k gold with a 1.06ct diamond. Graded as a N-O color and S12 clarity this ring can be purchased for $3, 950.
Produced approximately in the 1890’s, the above ring is priced at $22, 500. It encases a 2.31ct diamond in 14k gold and is surrounded by twelve diamonds equaling 1ct in total.
The ring above is influenced by the queens engagement ring was a popular choice for proposing during the Victorian era. Now priced at $11, 500, this ring produced during 1890 has a 3.37ct emerald set in 18ct gold. Two smaller diamonds are set each side of the emerald totaling just over half a carat of diamonds in weight.
Engagement Rings from the Georgian Era
The Georgian Era, between 1714 and 1837 named after all three King Georges’ saw a vast range of jewellery worn mostly by the richer class in society. Rose cut and old mine cut diamonds were popular towards the beginning of the era although later on colored gemstones became the stone of choice. Engagement rings from this century long era vary although closed in backs of rings were popular to enhance the coloring of the stone and the way that it would reflect light. Of all engagement rings, those produced during the Georgian Era are of the rarest and most valuable due to the scarcity of those that have survived up until today. Below are some of the rarest engagement rings one can purchase for their partner:
Set in 10k rose gold and priced at $4, 360, just under half a carat of rose cut diamonds are set on top of blue enamel.
The ring above features 14k gold with five natural rubies and four large pearls. This ring was produced in the 1830’s and shows the popularity of hand engraving during this time period. Priced at $3, 280 this ring is a one off piece of antique history.
Edwardian Era Antique Engagement Rings
Named after King Edward of Britain, the Edwardian era includes years from 1901 to 1920. During this era, mixing different precious metals within the same ring became popular. Pearls and diamonds were well-liked precious gems and platinum was used in a lot of the structure of rings produced during this time period. Due to the way the precious stones were set and greater knowledge of how to make these rings last for long periods of time, there is a large selection of Edwardian antique rings to choose from to use as an engagement ring. The following outlines some of the engagement ring choices from the Edwardian era:
The central feature of this engagement ring is the large pearl which is complemented by twelve smaller diamonds. Set in 14k white gold with a 14k gold band this ring is worth $3, 035 in today’s society.
Produced in the 1900’s the above ring from the Edwardian period showcases twenty two French cut diamonds totaling 0.61ct. This original antique ring is composed of platinum showing this metals popularity during this time period. This ring is currently priced at $2, 950.
Set in 18k white gold the above engagement ring was produced between 1901 to 1915. It features a round cut ruby and fourteen old cut European diamonds. Featuring both natural rubies and diamonds this ring is priced at $2, 650.
Factors that Will Affect the Price of an Antique Engagement Ring
The majority of rings that are classified as antique are over one hundred years old but generally the older the ring the greater the cost. If the ring comes with proof of manufacturer this will also increase the sale price of the antique ring. Other factors that contribute to the cost include the condition the ring is currently in, the other precious gems within the ring, the clarity and cut of the stones and the carat size of the diamonds. The large the diamonds are within the ring the greater the cost.
If you are unsure about the cost of an antique ring that you wish to purchase it is important to have the ring appraised by a second party other than the jeweler who is selling it. You can do this by talking to an antiques appraisals service, visiting other jewelers to see prices on similar items or find someone who specializes in antique jewellery at somewhere such as an antiques market or stall.
Celebrities that Said ‘Yes’ to Vintage and Antique Ring Proposals
Becoming more and more common, even worn by celebrities are antique and vintage engagement rings.
Adam Levine – proposed to Behati Prinsloo with an actual vintage engagement ring made in the 1930’s. The engagement ring features one large solitaire diamond and a detailed four prong band made of white gold.
Scarlett Johansson – was proposed to by Romain Dauriac with an Art Deco engagement ring. It comprised of a vintage rectangular setting and three round diamonds the largest weighing 2 carats. Scarlett and Behati were definitely not the first or the last celebrities though that said ‘yes’ to an antique or vintage engagement ring!
Evan Ross – proposed to Ashlee Simpson with a vintage and Art Deco inspired engagement ring. Although it was not an original antique ring it unquestionably represented one with its 140 marquise cut small white diamonds and rubies.
Many celebrities are proposing with specialty designed rings that are vintage or antique inspired. Some of the celebrities that said ‘yes’ to these rings along with those mentioned above include Natalie Portman, Emily Blunt, Kristen Bell and Salma Hayek.
Why You Should Consider an Antique Engagement Ring
Before heading to the big name jewelers to put a deposit on a ring that you will be paying off for at least the rest of the year firstly you should consider, along with your partner of course, purchasing an antique engagement ring instead. Antique engagement rings are much rarer than your average jeweler shop rings and often have been produced with better craftsmanship, the majority made by hand opposed to new age rings that come in bulk from factories. Furthermore antique engagement rings are often half the price of current engagement rings not to mention the greater details that have gone into them.