Certain items like wine, denim, leather and cheese become finer with time. And the same goes for vintage rings, but along with time comes wear & tear. Maintaining a lovely vintage engagement ring could possibly be expensive which is one of the reasons why people prefer vintage-inspired engagement rings.
When you’re looking for a vintage engagement ring, it’s a common mistake to confuse the terms “vintage” and “vintage-inspired.”
Once you learn the difference between the terms, the next step is to learn about the design details that make-up a vintage engagement ring. Below is short style guide to help you during your hunt for the ideal vintage-style engagement ring.
When referring to a ring as “vintage,” it has been previously owned and is at least 20-30 years old, but normally less than 100 years old. The majority of engagement rings that are authentically vintage are usually from 1915 in the late 1960s.
The same definition can be applied to “antique” ring: it has been previously owned, but was made over 100 years ago and estimated to have been produced between the mid 1800’s to about 1915. Lines are blurred between the two, but both styles are wonderful pieces of history that will stand the test of time.
Any ring that is newly made, has not been previously owned, and was made to look like a vintage or antique ring is considered “vintage-inspired.” These types of rings often use antique or vintage cut diamonds such as the Old Mine Cut or Old European Cut, but have newly made settings.
Greatly inspired by classic vintage rings, some distinguishable detailing of vintage rings is used such as milgrain detailing, a diamond halo, floral engraving and pavé diamond settings. That said, styles within vintage vary.
Below is a short vintage ring style guide to help you choose the small details when making this big decision.
Round-cut diamond center stone enclosed in a diamond-filled halo. Style: FLORENCE #ER7293W44JJ
The halo style is one of the biggest trends in engagement rings since its debut in the 1920s during an era known as Art Deco.
A halo ring is a setting of delicate diamonds that encircles a center gemstone in a collection of round pavé or micro-pavé diamonds to create a heavenly halo effect. This setting increases the illusion of a larger center gemstone, bringing out its beauty and sparkle.
Floral-inspired filigree gracefully adorn the ring’s gallery. Style: ANNADALE – ER12579R4W44JJ
Filigree is a type of decorative metal work technique used in making jewelry. Creating light and airy features that are often associated with vintage jewelry.
The filigree technique adds a flowery feminine feel that was popular in the Edwardian and Art Deco eras. As time evolved, so did the technology and technique of filigree. The design has advanced to mimic delicate lace, adding grace and femininity to any ring.
Detailed floral designs are outlined with fine milgrain accents. Style: HALSEY – ER11865R3W44JJ
The milgrain feature consists of beaded accents that add delicate detail for a more ornate, antique look. Small metal beads are applied over and over in small rows to complement filigree and to add vintage-looking texture in the piece. When used together, milgrain and filigree create a uniquely enchanting effect.
Features a meticulously engraved pattern and refined milgrain edges. Maura – ER6636W4JJJ
Intricate patterns, letters and/or motifs are hand-cut and etched into the metal an ornate vintage feel.
Knowing what “vintage” actually means and how to distinguish between the classic styles will help you purchase a ring — whether you’re looking for an engagement ring already filled with a rich history or one that will become your most treasured family heirloom for many years to come.
Shop our large and exquisite collection of vintage-inspired engagement rings.
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