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VINTAGE STYLE DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RINGS AND WEDDING RING SETS

Vintage styles engagement rings are the most popular category of Diamond Engagement Rings and Diamond Bridal Sets today.  Many jewelry stores are advertising vintage styles rings from Big Name Designers with Big Prices attached to them.  But before you start looking for rings, let us give you some information about Vintage Style Engagement Rings.

 

VINTAGE  STYLE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

First of all, what exactly is a vintage style engagement ring?  Vintage style rings hearken back to a simpler and romanticized era.  Beginning with the reign of Queen Victoria of England in the 1800s and her son King Edward before World War I.   The beginning of the 20th century was known as the Edwardian Era and is most characterized as a time of wealth and rise of the middle class.  It was a glamorous and romantic time – think of the story of the Titanic or of Dowtown Abbey , which occurred in this period.

 

EDWARDIAN STYLE

The jewelry styles from the Edwardian period are romantic and lacey and delicate.  There is fine attention to detail.  Maybe you will remember a ring or watch of your grandmother or great-grandmother in this style.  Watches were usually in white gold with many little diamonds and a tiny black string of a band.  Often the rings matched and were quite elaborate.  The emphasis was on the design.

 

ART DECO

Shortly after this era, Art Deco became popular.  The designs from this era became more geometric and the jewelry boasted squarish shape diamonds and baguette diamonds.  The jewelry was less elaborate and more stylized. This was considered the “Modern Look.”

 

These styles have been adapted to jewelry making today and are wildly popular with modern brides.  The styles are not the same as they were at the turn of the 20th century, but are much more substantial to accommodate women who wear their rings everyday to take care of their homes and children and go to work.  But many of the characteristics remain.

 

Vintage style rings are popular because they are particularly feminine and romantic, with lovely attention to detail and beautiful workmanship.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF VINTAGE STYLE DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RINGS:

WHITE GOLD  

One absolute characteristic of vintage style is that the ring must be made of white gold or platinum. 

 

DIAMOND SETTING

PRONG AND SHARED PRONG SETTING

The diamonds are most often set with prong, or shared prongs. In a shared-prong setting 2 diamonds next to each other will “share” two prongs instead of using 4 prongs … allowing more of the diamond to show. Channel setting is almost never seen in Vintage style rings.

 

PAVE AND MICROPAVE SETTINGSVintage Micro-Pave Halo Enagagment Ring

But vintage styles also makes great use of pave or micro pave settings. Pave settings are very labor intensive. A tiny hole is drilled into the metal and the culet or point of the diamond is placed there. The jeweler then “pulls” the gold over the edge of the diamond just a bit.  The next diamond is set as close as possible. This gives the ring the appearance of being “paved” with diamonds!  Micro-pave is done with even smaller diamonds and the jeweler works under a microscope! This type of setting is smooth to the touch and is a very sophisticated style. Read more about our Vintage Micro-pave Collection>>

 

ELABORATE DETAILS

Vintage style rings are certainly not plain…almost no part of the ring is left unadorned. Some of the techniques used are:

 

FILIGREE ENGRAVING

  Filigree is a very ancient technique in which tiny threads of gold are put on top of the gold band. Designs can be  quite elaborate and include such designs and leaf and berry, fleur-di-lis, flowers and hearts. This engraving really lends an “old world” appearance to diamond engagement rings.

 

MILGRAIN EDGE

Milgrain trim is like a tiny rope of gold outlining the shank of the ring.  Sometimes this can appear to be a type of beading.  It is a beautiful  finish to a detailed ring.

 

BEZEL SET DIAMOND ACCENTS

Bezel setting is extremely popular in Europe and consists of a tiny circle of gold around the girdle of the diamond, to hold it in place instead of prongs.  It happens to also be a very secure setting.  Designers love to place a small bezel set diamond just under the center diamond on either side of the ring.  It is a beautiful accent and draws the eye to the diamond.

 

DECORATED SIDE VIEW

As we’ve said, craftsman leave very little undecorated in the vintage style.  It is no longer enough for them to decorate the top of the ring shank, but the side view – the part you see when the ring is lying on a table – is also often paved, filigreed or both! It makes for an absolutely stunning ring!

 

 Elaborate Vintage Style Engagement Ring

This beautiful  Bridal Set to the left is a perfect example of the elaborate decoration utilized in the Vintage Style.  Note the bezel set diamond accent sitting just under the center.  It is only visible in the side view but is still visible when the matching wedding band is added.  The decorated side view on this ring is specatcular with filigree engraving and a milgrain edge. The diamonds are set in a type of pave setting.

 

 

 

 

 

DIAMOND HALO

Cushion Shape Diamond Halo

In addition to decorating the side view of the ring and the shank of the ring, Vintage Style rings often have a “halo” or “frame” of diamonds around the center diamond.  This beautiful technique has the same effect as placing a painting in beautiful frame – it makes the center diamond more important and calls attention to the diamond. 

A square halo with softened corners can give the impression that a Princess Cut or Round diamond is a much more expensive Cushion Cut Diamond.

 

One of our most popular engagement rings (to the right) has a Cushion shaped halo surrounding a beautiful Princess Cut diamond. In additon this ring is such a wonderful example of the vintage style:  Pave set diamonds, filigree on the side view and a beautiful milgrain edge.

 

 

 

 

SPLIT SHANK RINGS

Vintage Split Shank Engagement RingThese are beautiiful in the vintage style.  The side of the shank of the ring is  split to create both a wider band at the top and to open it up a bit for the light to play on the diamonds

This beautiful vintage style engagement ring to the left is a great example of the split shank. It almost looks as if there are two bands, but you can see that the come together in the back. This ring could easily be worn without a wedding band, with 1 band or stacked with a wedding band on each side.  These accent diamonds are set in a shared prong setting and the diamond halo is also cushion shaped, making this ring another perfect example of the vintage style.

 

 

 

TWIST  RINGS

 

Vintage Twist Engagement Ring

 Actually this is another version of the split shank ring, where the shank curves in and out almost like a French love knot.  This is often pave set with diamonds  and the wedding band can become part of the knot design. It creates a distinctly feminine design.

The beautiful Vintge Twish ring to the right has a very distintive woven or knotted design of shared prong set diamonds that form a type of diamond halo. It is a particularly feminine and romantic design.

Shop for this Vintage Twist Engagement Ring Set Now>>

 

 

ART DECO INFLUENCES

Artistic Ring Designers feel no obligation to follow any rules here and by mixing in some other techniques, they move the vintage styling closer to Art Deco. 

 

PRINCESS CUT DIAMONDS

VINTAGE PRINCESS CUT ENGAGEMENT RINGPrincess Cut diamonds have become very popular in vintage style engagement ringS as they tend to imitate some of the antique diamond cuts, especially when placed in a diamond halo.  It is really amazing how the Princess Cut can appear so delicate and old world in a vintage setting.  Princess Cut diamonds can give theVINTAGE PRINCESS WEDDING BAND appearance of a more expensive Cushion Cut diamond. 

The wedding bands to the right are a great example of using the Princess Cut - in this instance even in a channel setting - with a filigree decorated side view to achieve a vintage look with the architectural influence of Art Deco.

 

 

 

 

INVISIBLE SETTINGS

Although you probably would not immediately think 4 Princess Cut diamond (sometimes called a Princess Quad) could work well with the vintage styleVintage Princess Quad Bridal Set, but it is a big winner! Usually the four invisible set Princess Cut diamonds are set in a diamond halo of small round diamonds, which softens the geometrical Princess.  But the added benefit is that using the smaller diamonds in an invisible setting give you a great vintage look for a great price – a beautiful affordable diamond engagement ring! This technique was used in many old broaches or pins from older era which gave the feeling that the piece of jewelry was paved with diamonds.

The Vintage Princess Quad Bridal Set to the left is one of all time most popular rings. The shared prong setting of the accent diamonds is very typical of the vintage style and the cushion shaped halo (with the softened corners) really make this a beautiful ring! 

 

 

 

BAGUETTE DIAMOND ACCENTS

BAGUETTE HALO ENGAGEMENT RINGOur customers love our rings with baguette diamond accents.  These are small rectangular shaped diamond, sometimes tapered at one end, which work beautifully with the vintage style, especially as it becomes more Art Deco in appearance!

The vintage style ring to the left is a great example and use of Baguette diamonds.  The baguettes give this ring just a touch of the Art Deco and make for a very unique and interesting diamond engagement ring.

 

 

 

 

CHANNEL SET PRINCESS CUT DIAMONDS

Mixing channel set Princess Cut Diamonds into a vintage design may seem counterintuitive, but it actually is quite beautiful. It keeps the ring from being just too frilly and lacy anVintage Princess Cut Engagement Ringd guides the style right into the more arachitectural and linear Art Deco style. 

The engagement ring set to the right is absolutely one of our most beautiful wedding ring sets!  The side view of this ring is classic vintage style with paved round diamonds and the bezel set diamond accent.  But the top of the ring not only has a Princess Cut center diamond, there are channel set Princess Cut accent diamonds. This is the perfect example of vintage into Art Deco. It has a modern feel to it with the vintage accents. And remember when Art Deco first evolved it was consider the "modern" look!