AC Silver is pleased to offer a magnificent collection of vintage diamond solitaire rings and antique diamond engagement rings, including many fine traditional solitaire and engagement rings set in platinum, white gold, yellow gold and rose gold.
The collection includes exceptional examples from the Victorian era, the Edwardian era and including rings designed in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles that are classic examples of antique diamond engagement rings, and vintage diamond rings.
Andrew Campbell, using his 40 years’ experience within the antique industry, handpicks all vintage and antique jewellery for sale.
All purchases will arrive gift wrapped with a complementary insurance valuation and will include free global shipping.
The word "solitaire” derives from the Latin word "solus”, meaning alone, sole, or by oneself with no others around. This makes perfect sense for the solitaire design — which features a standalone feature diamond.
Diamond solitaire rings are one of the most popular ring designs, especially when it comes to engagement rings. The iconic design consists of a ring featuring a single diamond. Some solitaire rings feature further small diamonds on the ring shoulders, but typically this design only features one stone, and certainly only one feature gemstone. This style has long been associated with love and romance — one reason why it is generally considered to be the most popular engagement ring style.
Other than the criteria of having one feature diamond, solitaire rings can vary in style and design. From yellow gold Victorian solitaire rings, with intricate ornamentation, to ultra-modern platinum solitaire rings featuring contemporary princess cut diamonds, solitaire designs vary greatly. Therefore, there really is something to suit every style within the solitaire category.
The creation of diamond solitaire rings and engagement rings, in general, can both be traced back to Ancient Rome. The Romans acquired diamonds and other precious gemstones from traders around the world and they were the first to set uncut gemstones into gold bands, creating the earliest version of the solitaire ring. This style evolved over the centuries, with diamond cuts being introduced by Indian and Islamic jewellers. Later, the style was built upon after an influx of diamonds became available from Brazil during the Georgian era.
Traditionally, the solitaire design has remained fairly simple. However, upon the dawn of the Victorian era, designs began to get more elaborate and fanciful. By this time, the art of goldsmithing had become more precise, and more intricate creations became possible for those who were looking for something extra special. New technology during this time allowed for more specialised diamond cutting techniques and more precise and delicate claw settings.
Although the Victorians were big fans of solitaire rings, this design really came into its own a bit later, with the popularity of the Art Deco style in the 1920s. Diamond solitaire rings lent themselves well to the sleek, geometric Art Deco design style and square cut diamonds were particularly perfect popular at this time.
Later still, in 1948, diamonds solitaire rings so another surge of popularity. It was in this year when DeBeers first used the ‘Diamond are forever’ slogan. This advertising success resulted in diamond solitaire rings becoming the go-to engagement ring. At this time, yellow gold was back in vogue again (in contrast to platinum which was the favoured metal during the Art Deco era) and you can still find many classic vintage yellow gold solitaire rings from this era.
The solitaire ring style is unendingly popular, and so it’s not likely to go out of fashion any time soon as an engagement ring choice; in many ways it’s the perfect engagement ring.
Not every solitaire-wearer is engaged, however, and there are other reasons to wear them. Some people choose to keep and wear their engagement rings after losing their spouse, often switching the hand or finger that the ring is worn on to avoid confusion. Equally, a lot of people wear engagement rings from relationships which have ended, usually on a chain around their neck rather than on their hands.
Another reason to wear a solitaire engagement ring without being engaged is when wearing the engagement ring of a loved family member; sometimes these rings are inherited after a death in the family, but other times people simply pass their engagement ring down to their children when they reach a certain age. Wearing solitaire rings for this purpose is an excellent way of maintaining a certain closeness to your family, whether they are still with your or have passed on.