There’s something special about antique engagement rings. Perhaps it is their age, the uniqueness of their designs, or the quality of their craftsmanship.
Here is a selection of brilliantly simple antique engagement rings.
The Victorian era (1867 – 1901) is not exactly known for being understated, but these three engagement rings dating from the 1890s will have you thinking differently. You may find a great many pieces of Victorian jewellery that you see could fool you into thinking they’re contemporary.
Diamond twist rings are an everlastingly popular engagement ring design. Even in Victorian Britain, engagements were being announced with two diamonds twisting together. Sometimes called a ‘toi et moi’ ring – or ‘you and me’ – the simple design oozes romance. Set with 18ct yellow gold, a colour that is currently at the height of popularity, this ring has existed for more than 130 years. A simple, antique design, this ring could be a dream engagement ring for anyone living in the 21st century.
A solitaire, accented by three diamonds at either side. What could be more simple or more elegant? The use of rose gold accents this antique ring beautifully, and its grace extends beyond its age. The Old European cut, antique diamond is formed in a round shape – the only choice for a classic engagement ring. Settings made of silver complement the brilliance of the diamonds and the warmth of the rose gold. This beautiful ring is sophisticated in a way that belies its age, appearing almost contemporary in its understated design.
Although the setting of this antique ring is contemporary, the diamonds themselves originate from the Victorian period. Nothing could be better than heirloom diamonds to give a proposal something extra special. The setting is the perfect pairing for these GIA certified diamonds, allowing them to take centre stage. Each diamond is graded a K in colouring, ensuring that the colour and brilliance across the breadth of the ring is even and well-matched. All three of the diamonds are just over 1 carat each. This ring is truly a star-studded affair, made for something special.
Although the Edwardian period only took up a short time (1901 – 1914), it represented something of a rosy golden age for Britain. Before the tragedies of the First World War, the Edwardian period saw a great many beautiful and ornate pieces of jewellery being crafted.
Our first Edwardian item is a very classical diamond solitaire ring. The central diamond sits atop the band of the ring, crested on either side by small clusters of supporting diamonds. This design can be seen again and again throughout the years, making it a simple classic. That wonderful antique charm exists with this ring without it appearing dated or old-fashioned. The diamonds in this ring are also beautiful pieces in and of themselves. Highly colour graded and clarity graded by an independent gemmologist, quality is guaranteed with this simple antique engagement ring.
Immediately drawing the eye is the sharpness of this ring. The angles at which the band extends from the diamond itself adds a lot of character to the piece. The diamond, a 0.62 carat, I colour stone, dazzles in the light. Rose gold is used for the setting and the band of the ring, a very popular colour for metal at the moment. This antique engagement ring looks as though it was just made, and it’s hard to believe that the ring was crafted roughly 110 years ago.
A highly stylised ring is always a divisive thing. But don’t let the idea of a ring being highly stylised cause you to think that it is therefore ‘over the top’. This ring, as you can well see, is a very simple antique ring. One larger diamond and one smaller diamond, one on top of the other. The gradual slope of the band of this ring also adds to the simplicity of its style. Almost an Art Nouveau piece, this antique engagement ring packs a lot of style into a simple ring.
The Art Deco period, usually considered to be the 1920s, has very strong styles. Architectural sharpness, bold angles, and stunning stones are typical of Art Deco jewellery. Often, jewellery that reflects this style is somewhat flamboyant. But let’s see the other side of the coin with these three simple engagement rings.
Our first Art Deco ring is easily the most boisterous of today’s selection. Two diamonds, each more than half a carat, sit one on top of the other. Together, along with the supporting diamonds, this ring packs a punch. And yet, the display of diamonds appears simple, understated, and elegant. The finer details of the setting of this ring are the intricate icing on a beautiful cake. Crafted entirely with platinum, the strength and longevity of this wonderful antique piece is all but guaranteed.
Rose gold is a metal that has – throughout the last century – had waves of popularity. At this time, it is a very popular choice for engagement rings especially. Another popular choice for engagement rings is what’s referred to as a twist ring. Twist rings often feature two stones placed close together, with the metal of the ring curling around the stones. This is a very simple, very elegant, and very durable design. It’s been beautiful for the last hundred years and it is sure to be beautiful for the next hundred as well.
Our final example of an Art Deco engagement ring, this simple diamond solitaire is crafted entirely in platinum. The use of platinum ensures that this is a strong ring, with a solidness that is difficult to believe when compared to its innate beauty and grace. The central diamond is 1.5 carats, making it a significant rock to wear on one’s finger. However, the understated nature of the rest of the ring allows it to remain simple and elegant. If you’re looking for a pop that doesn’t become tacky in its size, this is the ring for you.
It’s clear to see that it is possible to get a stunning, antique engagement ring that doesn’t look too old, too tacky, or too over the top. Don’t forget to consider gemstones such as antique emerald engagement rings if you would prefer gemstones over diamonds also. Simple antique engagement rings are easier to find than you’d expect, and more beautiful too than you could imagine.
Bethany Massey – Digital Assistant (Content Creator)
Having graduated university with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing Bethany then joined the AC Silver team as a content creator. Bethany spends her days writing content for the AC Silver blog and other luxury goods/antique blogs.