It’s easy to see the appeal of antique and vintage engagement rings: with these nostalgic pieces of jewelry come an innate sense of history and a strong feeling of romance.
With Valentine's Day right around the corner - a holiday in which roughly 10 percent of couples in the United States deem as the perfect time to get engaged and take their relationships to the next level - we turn to RubyLane.com, the world’s largest curated marketplace for antiques and vintage collectibles, where you can find thousands of antique and vintage engagement rings to choose from.
Some antique and vintage engagement rings can also fit in with current trends, as a few of the rings here do, including the 2022 trends for yellow diamonds, non-diamond stones and "toi et moi" rings - French for "you and me," John F. Kennedy presented an emerald and diamond one to Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in 1953, which she later redesigned.
Because there are so many choices, it’s helpful to think of antique and vintage engagement rings in a few key periods of time, and it's worth your time to dive into each of these eras to discover what you do (and don’t) like. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Georgian Engagement Rings (1714-1830)
Among its more notable characteristics is the ornate metal detailing and motifs like flowers and foliage.
Victorian Engagement Rings (1837-1901)
Rings are primarily crafted of yellow gold, the halo setting was popular, and the tradition of engagement/wedding rings became widespread.
Edwardian Engagement Rings (1890s-1915)
These feature floral patterns in ornate platinum filigree.
Art Nouveau Engagement Rings (1890s-early 1910s)
Rings can be characterized by the use of whiplash lines and asymmetry.
Art Deco Engagement Rings (1920s-1930s)
Rings are crafted with mil-grain, symmetrical, geometric, and architectural designs, and often contain colored stone accents.
Retro Era Engagement Rings (circa 1940s)
Yellow and rose gold rings made a comeback and white gold began to compete with platinum.
Engagement Rings from the 1950s-1980s
Heirloom engagement rings became a popular choice and many from these years feature older antique family stones that were reset into current styles or ones handed down from previous generations.