Vintage and antique engagement rings have a charm that is unique. The often handmade nature also brings a uniqueness that is simply no longer possible to attain. As stunning as modern day engagement rings are, the manufacturing processes used today can sometimes mean there is a certain familiarity to may designs. With vintage and antique rings, uniformity of both design and manufacture is much less common.
Often, in vintage and antique engagement rings, you will find exquisite filigree work or ultra fine milgrain. This is in addition to hand cut Old European or Old Mine diamonds. Such gemstones have a fire and life all their own. Cut to make the most of the limited light available, they may lack the eye-popping sparkle of the modern round brilliant cut, but they are every bit as enchanting by candlelight or in any situation with subdued lighting.
Another feature of engagement rings of the time was the use of different metals and gemstones. Today, we primarily think of diamonds as the de facto engagement ring stone. That hasn’t always been the case, however, stones of all kinds were used by antique ring designers, and yellow gold was also commonly used. Because antique and vintage rings spanned several style periods, this is reflected in the pieces the era produced. Art nouveau, with it’s floral and other nature motifs, together with the more industrial and symmetrical art deco, dominated the time. This means that there are many styles to choose from. Such a wide choice is difficult to replicate today, especially when coupled with the wonderful craftsmanship present.
Whether you choose antique or vintage, you will be sure to get a unique, quite stunning engagement ring.
Victorian Cluster Engagement Ring
Providing the best of both worlds, this antique Victorian-era engagement ring has a combined yellow gold and silver setting. The 0.98 Old European cut diamond at the center is within a halo of old mine cut diamonds. The total carat weight of the diamonds is approximately 1.88ct. The high setting of the center diamond is typical of Victorian design and makes the appearance of the ring look greater than the actual carat weight.
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Vintage Elongated Ring
This unusual and elegant Victorian era engagement ring has not one center diamond, but four. The elongated design allows for a north-to-south arrangement for the four old-mine cut diamonds, creating a ring which almost 1 inch long on the finger. Around the old-mine cut center stones are further diamonds and filigree in a platinum setting. The total approximate weight of the diamonds is 0.96ct, with VS2-SI1 clarity and J-K color.
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Rare Art Deco Ring
Art deco has provided us with some exceptional diamond rings, and this is one of them. The 1.98ct, cushion cut diamond is bordered by a double halo of old mine cut diamonds. The resulting size is a bold statement of amazing style and elegance. The open filigree work on the shoulders is also studded with diamonds, in an arrangement which offers a subtle nod to the preceding art nouveau period. This ring is definitely a good example of more is more.
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Antique Edwardian Engagement Ring
The Edwardian era was one of the shortest design periods on record, and yet has its own distinctive style. This amazing ring is typical of the extravagance which typifies the era. The lively, prong set old European cut diamond is 4.62ct, and is L color and VS1 clarity. The open filigree in the gallery also contains several smaller diamonds. These extend down the shoulders into the band itself.
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Antique Pear Shape Ceylon Sapphire Ring
D and E color, VS1 diamonds in a handmade platinum setting, each weighing approximately 0.5ct each would be enough for some rings. Here, though they are but the supporting act. The undoubted star of this c.1930 engagement ring, though, is the 9.59ct Ceylon sapphire. Small diamonds line the gallery, which is also decorated with incredibly intricate hand engraving.
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Before platinum grew in popularity in the early 20th century, yellow gold was the standard metal for rings. What makes this Victorian-era ring, dated to c.1880, even more unusual is that it has a beautiful citrine stone at 4.5ct. The silver setting reflects the arts and crafts influences of the time, with its delicate floral motif. The halo of old mine cut diamonds sits on top of a gallery with fine openwork and detail. This ring is a perfect addition to an organic wedding ceremony.
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Antique Diamond Engagement Ring
Dated c. 1920, this incredible antique engagement ring has a 3.8ct, old European cut diamond set in a platinum, handcrafted bezel mount. Although outside the normal period we know as Edwardian, the intricate swirls contained in the design of the mount are typically post-Victorian in nature. The mount itself also uses several smaller cut diamonds to add both interest and sparkle.
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The Victorian era provided us with some memorable engagement rings. This ring, from c. 1880 has a 2.5ct, oval cut sapphire. There is also a magnificent halo of old mine cut diamonds, weighing a total of 2ct. The setting is yellow gold, as was common for the time. The gold band has an unusual recessed top on both sides. This is to allow the use of the larger-than-normal diamonds in the halo, which creates a much broader gallery.
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The incredible, handcrafted platinum setting is packed with beautifully intricate engraving. The decoration shows off the GIA Certified, 1.08ct, H color, VS1 clarity center diamond superbly. As if that isn’t enough, each side has a number of baguette diamonds. The delicacy of this c1920 art deco engagement ring is enhanced by the fine milgrain and filigree around the baguettes.
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Rovigo Engagement Ring
This very rare, art deco engagement ring is a great example of all that is best in ring design. As well as an excellent, GIA Certified old European cut diamond at 1.87ct, L color and VS1 clarity, diamonds, milgrain, and open filigree cover the shoulders. Also, to add lots of lovely visual interest, each shoulder has three high-quality sapphires, each cut into the classic “diamond” shape.
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Edwardian Engagement Ring
The quality of the center diamond in this unique Edwardian engagement ring only tells half of the story. Dated to 1910, the old European cut diamond is 2.45ct, with J color and VS1 clarity. Other antique diamonds are studded around the handcrafted platinum mounting, with incredible milgrain additions attenuating each supplementary stone. The overall effect completes this stunning and classically Edwardian Ring.
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This very unusual engagement ring from c.1920 is actually a combined engagement ring/wedding band in a single design. The wedding band bows slightly to fit the contour of the engagement ring with its 0.82ct, J color VS2 clarity center diamond. The shoulders contain very fine open filigree and milgrain. Although joined as a single ring set, the design is such that it is possible to separate the two elements to create a matching, yet entirely separate set.
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Victorian Era Engagement Ring
Created by hand around 1880, this Victorian engagement ring has an old mine cut diamond at its heart. However, rather than a single setting, the total of 26 diamonds each have their own unique setting within a very typically Victorian “vine” arrangement, where the metal winds its way around each stone. Each diamond is very high quality, itself an unusual trait for a multi-diamond Victorian ring.
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Dated c.1920, this art deco era ring is more subtle than many of its contemporaries. What isn’t so subtle, though, is the 4.35ct, K color VS2 clarity diamond at the center of the ring. The old European cut stone has step cut diamonds on each shoulder, and there are split rows of smaller diamonds which cascade down the band. But it truly is the center diamond which steals the show and makes this a very desirable engagement ring.
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Antique Aquamarine Ring
Aquamarine has seen something of a growth in popularity in recent years, after receiving too little attention for so long. This incredible art deco ring has a 3.94ct aquamarine and has other small diamonds set in a highly intricate and decorative setting. Unusual for both its center stone and the elongated design, it is a ring which is sure to catch anybody’s eye.
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Any engagement ring containing a 1.44ct, old European cut diamond with J color and SI1 clarity would be something to behold. The handcrafted, wonderfully decorative setting is platinum and has smaller diamonds set to accentuate the center stone. These diamonds weigh a total of approximately 0.08ct, making a total of 1.52ct overall. The open filigree really sets off the look of the ring and helps to make the center diamond look slightly larger than the given weight.
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Vintage Sapphire Ring
This art deco era ring actually draws its influences as much from art nouveau as it does from the later period. The bezel set, cushion cut sapphire weighs 0.93, and forms part of what is a very low-profile ring, at least in terms of design if not visual impact! The sapphire has a double halo of diamonds and sapphires in a flower/petal style design. The contrast of diamond and sapphire is very eye-catching and is perfect for an engagement ring that is just a little different.
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Salford Engagement Ring
This delicate and feminine handcrafted diamond engagement ring is c.1920. It is, though, far less bold and far less “industrial” in its influences than many art deco engagement rings. The center, high-domed old mine cut diamond is 1.02ct, H color, and VS1 clarity. The shoulders and sides have an additional 0.14-carats and are in very fine open filigree with milgrain accents.
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This is a very unusual art deco ring. The center diamond is 0.85ct, I color and SI1 clarity, and is an old European cut. The diamond is within deep open filigree shoulders with added engravings. At either side of the center stone are triangle cut synthetic sapphires weighing approximately 0.65ct. The gallery is very structured and very decorative and shows both the diamond and sapphires perfectly.
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Although the shoulders do contain a row of small cut diamonds, the immediate thought about this ring is that it is very “Solitaire” in construction. The GIA Certified 1.07ct, H color VS2 diamond stands on its own merits, not requiring any support from other stones. But, as this is art deco we’re talking about, boldness abounds with those extra diamonds. Each shoulder has 3 stones, surrounded by fine milgrain.
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By 1925, art deco was really into its stride, and this ring demonstrates that perfectly. The 2.09-carat old European cut diamond is of L color and VS1 clarity. There is also lots of extremely intricate open filigree and what feels like endless accent stones. Four blue accents stones break up the diamond/platinum structure perfectly, to avoid the ring becoming confusing, such as the level of craftsmanship which has gone into it.
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Arts and Crafts Ring
The arts and crafts movement arose in the 19th century and went on to heavily influence the more recognizable art nouveau period heavily. This ring, from c.1900, has a 2ct center diamond at H color and VS1 clarity. French cut diamonds accentuate the center stone, and there is stylish engraving across the design. Although handcrafted in platinum, this ring bears a striking resemblance to much of what we see in Italian rings from this time and later.
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Art Deco Engagement Ring
This remarkable and highly unusual diamond art deco engagement ring is dated c.1920. The K color, VS2 clarity old European cut diamond weighs 3.49 carats and is in a very unique box-prong setting. The platinum setting has squared, almost bezel-like prongs at all four corners. This unusual shaping extends down into the very art deco gallery which is, itself, adorned with old mine cut diamonds and filigree. The shoulders are also decorated with more old mine cut diamonds, completing a stunning engagement ring.
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Vintage Art Deco Ruby Ring
If ever a ring showed art deco at its best, it is this one. The geometric arrangement of baguette cut diamonds is classic art deco and total approximately 0.95ct. The baguette diamonds surround a 2.25ct, unheated Burma ruby in an oval cut. The overall effect is as enchanting as it is unusual and dates from around 1920. The setting itself is open, top and bottom, with the gallery also having an open appearance.
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A very unusual, and yet very art deco ring. In a time when platinum was coming to dominate ring manufacture, the combination here of yellow gold and diamonds in a stunning setting works perfectly. The center diamond is 0.4ct, with I color and VS2 clarity. Fabulous filigree work accents it beautifully. The sides contain single cut diamonds in a stepped arrangement, and there are intricate carvings on the shoulders.
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