Antique or vintage inspired engagement rings are poised to make a come-back in 2011, with celebrities like Katie Holmes, Emily Blunt, and Madonna (typically ahead of the curve) building the trend over the past few years. Antique rings are typically put into three different categories, depending on the era from which they were inspired; Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Deco.
Diamond and Jewelry designs benefitted from the newfound techniques of the Industrial Revolution during the years from 1835 to 1900, as well as the discovery of diamond mines in South Africa, resulting in both intricate and simple engagement rings during the Victorian era. Typical made in either Yellow or Rose gold, the Victorian Style often incorporated colored gemstones due to the scarcity of large diamonds, and while this era can be recognized for its heavy detail work, it also produced the six-prong solitaire design in 1886, which is still popular to this day.
The Classico 0372 from Verragio features the traditional Round cut diamond solitaire center, held in a delicate six-prong design and set onto a band adorned with smaller Round cut diamonds. The simplistic, yet decadent decorations are typical of the Victorian Era, which began to feature smaller side diamonds surrounding center gemstones and then diamonds as the years went on.
Also often called the ‘Bella Epoch’, or the ‘Beautiful Era’, the Edwardian era was known for its extravagant luxury, and unlike many of today’s modern styles, Edwardian engagement rings are steeped in romantic traditionalism. The intricately detailed rings created between 1900 and 1920, which were often inspired by lace, were designed to exemplify the wearer’s social status.
And while all of the Venetian collection from Verragio could technically fall into the Edwardian category, the Venetian 5008 is the perfect example. Featuring a Round cut diamond, which was the cut most prominently used during this time, set into a diamond adorned split shank, the antique beading and lace-like detail under the shank personifies the Edwardian style exactly.
Art Deco Era
It was a time heavily influenced by architecture and jazz music, the Art Deco style moved away from the colored gemstones and yellow gold to feature white metals like platinum and white gold. The engagement rings designed from 1920 to 1930 were focused on diamond packed styles that were more decorative and architectural, or basically the diamond ring equivalent of the Chrysler building in New York City.
The Paradiso 3006R is a good visual of a design that bears Art Deco characteristics, with twin rows of diamonds on each side of the Round cut diamond center and surrounding diamond halo, this design even manages to include small diamond bezel into the scrolling design under the band.
The Art Deco look has been particularly popular with celebrities like Christina Aguilera and Kate Hudson in the past, and although she has stayed quiet on the details, Natalie Portman has recently been seen around town wearing what looks to be an Art Deco Inspired diamond engagement ring.