Engagement rings in the 19th century are usually pieces of Victorian jewellery. Antique sapphire rings, antique ruby rings, and more are all found amongst the ranks of Victorian engagement jewellery. Engagement jewellery before the Victorian era was not as common, and struggles to stand the test of time.
There is certainly something appealing about antique engagement rings, and the plethora of 19th century examples that we can share today are very alluring. From unique designs, to amazing gemstones, 19th century engagement rings have something for everyone.
Let’s check them out.
There’s a variety of diamond-only engagement rings from the 19th century that have incredibly diverse styles and designs. While diamonds became a more mainstream option for engagement rings in the 1950s, these antique diamond rings will have you asking why they weren’t the go-to sooner.
A 0.98ct, Old European pear cut diamond sits at the centre of this thirteen-claw engagement ring. Dating to the 1880s, this beautiful piece is versatile – making it widely popular throughout various trends and engagement ring styles. Featured design elements can also be seen in vintage 1980s jewellery, and are increasingly popular today. The subtle ribbing on the shoulders of the ring are especially unique. Yellow gold is the finishing touch to make this ring a popular choice today.
Retinas beware – this diamond is so dazzling it will certainly blind you in direct sunlight. An eye-popping 2.30ct diamond sits at the centre of the ring, held securely in place by twelve claws. If the gemstone wasn’t enough of a draw, this ring also features scrolling ornamentation along the shoulders and part of the band. Thankfully, the design doesn’t extend around the entirety of the band, meaning this one-of-a-kind antique engagement ring can be resized to suit your needs.
Five stone rings were a highly popular engagement ring choice in the 19th century. Diamond five stone rings are a stunning choice for an engagement ring, and this one if no different. Together, the five gemstones total 1.36 carats, more than enough to let people know that you’re taken. The design around the claws of the ring are very typical of jewellery from the 19th century. Any antique jewellery buff would be delighted with this beauty for their proposal.
2. Opals & Pearls
Opal jewellery found its popularity in the late 1800s, as a rich deposit was discovered in one of Victorian Britain’s colonies, Australia. Pearl were always popular during the 19th century, featuring on every type of jewellery from earrings to a classic string of pearls.
A stunning, five stone opal ring, wonderfully accented by diamonds and crafted in 18ct yellow gold. The aesthetics of this engagement ring scream 19th century. The fiery presence of opals is best seen in movement, and so the video of this item is highly recommended viewing. While opals are a porous stone, making them unsuited to everyday wear, having an engagement ring as special as Victorian opals is so romantic that it’s worth it. What do you think?
At the centre of this antique engagement ring, a large, natural saltwater pearl sits, a halo of diamonds accentuating its alluring glow. The style of this ring is another one that is very typical of its time, which makes it an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys the special beauty of all things Victorian. A traditional item, this engagement ring has a romance to it that reaches through the decades and makes it a stylish, understated choice for those living in the 21st century.
While there is a ruby sitting to the centre of this antique ring, don’t let it fool you – the real stars of the show here are the opals. Images show them as a pale, milky colour, almost like pearls, but in motion, on the video for this item, subtle shimmers of pinks, greens, and blues peer in from every angle. The ruby grabs your attention, and the opals hold it, making this an entrancing engagement ring that surely nobody could refuse.
3. Highly Stylised
These engagement rings pack a lot of punch. Their dramatic styles are best suited to those who really want their engagement rings to make an impact. Distinct shapes, colours, and sizes make these rings stand out from the crowd as perfect examples of 19th century jewellery.
A stunning, elongated, marquise engagement ring, this 1890s piece of jewellery is reminiscent of ancient cathedrals through its dramatic shapes. Two pear cut sapphires draw out the length of the ring, making it hard to miss. Marquise shapes have recently become more popular in engagement rings, and it’s no struggle to see why. If you’re a stickler for tradition and you want diamonds to feature on your engagement ring, then worry not, a total of twenty-six diamonds border the edges of this fine marquise.
This antique emerald ring features diamonds galore. A total of thirty-eight sparkling diamonds make the light dance around this stunning piece. If that weren’t enough, a 1.12ct oval emerald of a brilliant green is the focus of this Victorian ring. Unlike many antique pieces, this ring has been hallmarked, dictating that it was crafted in 1895 in former Austria-Hungary. Added history and heritage such as this is a perfect touch to make this ring even more appealing and charismatic.
Words are not needed to demonstrate the intrinsic beauty of this piece. But since we’re here, let me tell you a little about it. Another five stone ring (I told you they were popular in this time), the rubies set across the length of this ring total 3.45 carats, a stunning amount. Is red your loved one’s favourite colour? If so, there is no other option when it comes to 19th century engagement rings.
Engagement rings throughout history have changed in many ways. Examples from the 19th century have endured, and those examples which remain today are still popular choices. For those fortunate enough to have the opportunity to make their engagement ring an authentic, hand-made, antique piece, the joy of their proposal will last centuries, as their ring already has.
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.