At AC Silver we are pleased to be able to offer our customers a large collection of vintage engagement rings.
The engagement ring is a symbol of love and commitment, and it should reflect the wearers individual style and personality. At AC Silver we offer a wide variety of engagement rings, from classic solitaires and three stone rings to halo or side-stone engagement rings, to help you find the ring that speaks to you.
Our extensive collection showcases some of the finest examples of antique engagement rings, available with a range of different gemstones including diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphire and other gemstones. Our collection of engagement rings are crafted in a range of metals including platinum, white gold, and rose gold.
Andrew Campbell, using his 40 years’ experience within the antique industry, handpicks all antique engagement rings for sale.
All of our vintage and antique engagement rings include free, insured, global shipping and 14-day return policy, and include a free ring sizing service.
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need help finding the perfect ring.
Choosing an engagement ring is a very personal decision. It is becoming increasingly popular to select a vintage or antique ring. For many people, the styles and aesthetics of certain periods have great appeal so an engagement ring from this time is the perfect choice.
Art Deco engagement rings, for example, have an enduring popularity because of the distinct uniqueness of the era’s designs. Equally, mid-century vintage engagement rings have a certain appeal because of their simplicity. Buying a piece of antique or vintage jewellery – especially for an engagement ring – promises an element of history and character.
In certain antique styles gemstones were hand-cut; and not perfectly symmetrical and as found in modern cut stones . For some, the individuality of hand-crafted engagement rings is the overriding appeal. Antique engagement rings are perfect for this purpose, guaranteeing that each piece will have its own character.
There are also practical purposes for preferring antique and vintage engagement rings over newly-made items sold on the high-street. For one, they are more environmentally friendly. Buying vintage and antique rings doesn’t add pressure to the gemstone mining industries, and also allows people to continue reusing pre-made jewellery pieces. The value of buying antique and vintage engagement rings is also a key factor in their popularity.
Antique and vintage engagement rings represent excellent value. It can be expected that any budget will go allot further when purchasing an antique or vintage piece of jewellery and that could be located comparably on the high street. Whether a diamond or a gemstone set ring you would usually expect to receive higher graded and size diamonds and gemstones comparably priced to ones found today on the high street.
The cost of bespoke made new jewellery would also be at a significantly higher cost than a comparable antique or vintage piece of jewellery. Many antique and vintage pieces were hand crafted, resulting in very high quality and individual craftmanship. Often such pieces can be described as ‘works of art’ in their own right. Antique and vintage pieces, due to their very high quality are very durable, lasting the test of time, new custodians of such jewellery will benefit and can create a family heirloom.
We have seen at AC Silver; overtime the very high-quality items we sell can appreciate in value. Well maintained and cared for antique and vintage jewellery has the best possibility of good investment. Selecting an antique or vintage engagement ring is not only a great use of a budget, but ensures an individual, high quality and grade ring.
It is widely believed that the Ancient Egyptians were the first to use rings as a symbol for matrimony. They believed the complete circle represented eternity, and a couple would exchange rings made out of woven reeds. They would wear these rings on their left hand, on the finger between the middle finger and the little finger, which would eventually be known as the ring finger because of this practice. They chose this finger because it was believed that in this finger there was a vein that ran directly to the heart. This vein has been named ‘vena amoris’ which in Latin literally means ‘vein of love’.
There have also been historians that believe the Ancient Greeks had traditions of exchanging rings before marriage. But the first proof we really have of ‘engagement rings’ is from the Romans.
Initially, engagement rings weren’t given for the romantic reasons which we envision today when wanting to propose. During the Ancient Roman era, an engagement ring was used to show ownership over the woman involved, similar to a dowry or bride price. The husband would typically present his wife with two rings: one made of gold, which she would wear in public, and one made of iron, which would be worn at home while doing household chores.
Throughout Roman history, however, the use of both gold and iron rings has been interpreted in many different ways and hasn’t exclusively symbolized engagement or matrimony. A type of engagement ring that was popular in Roman times and was used for this purpose was a gold fede ring, which shows two hands and sometimes two hearts joining together as the focal design. This trend was brought to England after the Roman conquest and became an Anglo-Saxon classic.
During the Middle Ages, marriage and engagement were taken equally seriously, with an engagement being essentially as binding as the marriage itself. The betrothed couple would appear in front of a priest to make their solemn promises and exchange rings. During the Middle Ages, posy rings and fede rings were very popular choices for engagement rings.
In this period, the ‘banns of marriage’ were also implemented, firstly by the Catholic church, meaning that all marriages must be made public knowledge to ensure that there were no objections or lawful reasons why a couple should not be wed. This made it even more appealing for a man to show that his betrothed was no longer available for courtship, as there would be a waiting period (roughly 40 days) before the couple would be allowed to marry. Grooms were also obligated to pay a ‘deposit’ at the engagement ceremony; if he then tried to back out of the agreement, he would have to pay a penalty that was equal to four times the betrothal price.
It was the King of the Romans, Maximillian I, who was the first known giver of a diamond engagement ring. It was presented to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. The setting of the ring was in the shape of an M, decorated with very flat pieces of diamond. During this period, it would have been completely unheard of to present a diamond ring to signify an engagement.
It was during the Edwardian times, at the beginning of the 20th Century, that men presenting engagement rings became a social custom that was followed by all. During this period, the rings tended to be ornate. Following from the Victorian styles, there were many delicate floral designs and many incorporated filigree decoration.
During the First World War, platinum was very scarce, therefore using gold instead was more popular. During this period, engagement rings tended to be quite simple, sometimes featuring a small diamond, but often with a gemstone instead.
It was in 1947 that De Beers Diamond Company used the advertising slogan ‘a diamond is forever’ which caused the popularity of diamonds in engagement rings to soar. More than 80 years later, diamonds are still seen today as the standard for engagement rings.
Through the 20th Century, trends constantly changed; different styles such as solitaires, trilogies, and eternity rings came and went in popularity. Different metals also became more and less popular through the decades. In the 1950s, platinum and white gold sales outweighed yellow gold. Even the shape of the cut of stones changed in popularity, at one point being Asscher cuts, to modern brilliant cuts, to radiant cut stones.