Shopping For An Antique Engagement Ring? Two Classic Styles For Distinctly Different Gals

Are you shopping for an antique engagement ring? There are beautiful and unique rings to be had at vintage shops and estate sales, but do you know how to tell when they were made and what style to pick for your intended? Here are two styles, from the Victorian to the flapper eras, so you can select the perfect ring for your perfect gal.

The Two Basic Styles from the Mid-19th Century to 1930

From the Victorian era until the start of the Great Depression, there were basically two styles of engagement rings that were popular. Victorian and Edwardian styles, named after British monarchs of the time, were more ornate and look old-fashioned by today's standards. By the end of World War I, however, styles were becoming more modern, and by the start of the Roaring '20s, jewelry had a distinctly more streamlined, Art Deco look.

To choose the right engagement ring when you propose, think about which of these two styles would suit your prospective fiancee. If she favors more flowing, Romantic styles of clothing and decor, a Victorian or Edwardian ring is probably more appropriate. However, if she's a minimalist or likes a more sleek look, she's bound to love a 1920s ring.

Three-Stone Settings

Three-stone engagement ring settings probably look most alike from the mid-1800s through the '20s, but there are subtle differences between them. Look at the settings for the rings; if the diamonds are more raised, they are from the Victorian or Edwardian period, but if they sit more flush with the setting and if they have tiny diamonds on the side of the band, the ring is probably from the '20s.

Cluster Rings

Cluster rings are another style where the setting can tip you off as to their date of origin. A cluster ring typically features one round stone (a diamond or another precious gemstone) surrounded by a circle of smaller diamonds. In a Victorian or Edwardian ring, the surrounding diamonds are usually held in place with prongs, and the center stone tends to be more faceted. However, in a ring from the flapper era, the setting will look more modern, with the center gem having fewer facets and the encircling diamonds held by the band's metal in a petal shape.

Halo Styles

Halo-style rings are almost exclusively a 1920s look, so if you see one, you'll know when it was first designed. A halo ring has a diamond or precious stone in the center with concentric circles around it. Sometimes, these are tiny diamonds or gems, but often the halo is made of one solid material, like jet or coral.

Square Settings

Square settings, sometimes called box settings, usually consisted of one square-cut diamond placed atop an intricate diamond band during the Victorian and Edwardian times. During the 1920s, the setting became more geometric looking, and often the central square diamond was placed at the top of a stairstep-like mounting, a bit like the spire of New York's Chrysler Building.

Once you start looking at antique and estate engagement rings carefully, you'll start to notice the subtle differences between them, as above. And when you find just the right ring for the love of your life, it will look like it was made just for her, even if it is more than a century old. Contact a company like Rhonda's Jewelry for more information.