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What are Antique Engagement Rings?

Jewlery and Jewelers

Antique engagement rings, and antique jewelry in general, refers to any jewelry piece whose origins can be traced backed to antiquity. Therefore an antique engagement ring is any engagement styled ring that originated between the years of 1836-1950. There are several periods that antique jewelry can be categorized under, including the Victorian period, the Art Nouveau period, the Edwardian period, the Art Deco period and the Retro period. All of the aforementioned periods spanned a total of 114 years. Each jewelry period produced jewel pieces that are reminiscent of the era in which they originated.

What are Antique Engagement Rings

The Victorian period began in 1836 and ended in 1901. It was during this time period that Queen Victoria reigned supreme in Great Britain. During her reign notes of romance, flowers, hearts and birds were prevalent motifs in the jewelry. The prevalent gemstones were: amethysts, turquoise, opals and diamonds. During this period in, jewelry was given for love as well as adorned during mourning.

The next period that had a resurgence of interest in antique engagement rings was the Art Nouveau period. This period began in 1890 and ended in 1919. It sort of grew out of the Victorian period as seen via the overlap of the time in which it began and ended. The Art Nouveau period in jewelry marked the height of the modern era where the female physique was praised. Engagement rings were viewed as functional art during this period. Asymmetrical lines were emphasized and an array of gemstones were popular. Some of the most common were amber, opals, citrines and moonstones. Additionally, the infusion of exotic materials such as horn, copper, ivory, pearls and shells were used. Engagement rings were formed in nature themes, for example a ring might resemble the soft curves of orchids and leaves.

The Edwardian period in jewelry history began in 1901 and lasted until 1920. There is also a bit of overlap into the Art Nouveau period, although the Edwardian period looks as if it picks up where the Victorian period left off. It is in this period that engagement rings boasted platinum metals that resemble lace and diamonds. These designs were light and airy yet delicate and intricate. Tiara’s and chokers made of diamonds were very popular. Pearls were also popular.

Art Deco jewelry began in 1920 and ended in 1935. Emphasis for engagement rings was on bold and flamboyant designs. Many might consider the rings a bit gaudy because they boasted geometric cuts with pearls, emeralds, sapphires and rubies.

The Retro period in jewelry began in 1935 and ended in 1950. Engagement rings during this period may have been chunky rings with colored gems. Yellow gold was the rage and Diamonds were always in fashion.

Choosing from among any of these styles from antique engagement rings can provide you with a ring style that is timeless and classic. Talk to your jeweler about either authentic antique engagement rings or reproductive engagement rings if you want a twist from the modern styles of today.

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