What is the difference between vintage, estate and antique engagement rings?
An antique engagement ring is over 50 years old - made before the 1970s.
An estate engagement ring is simply pre-owned and could have been bought as recently as last year.
A vintage engagement ring doesn't have a clearly defined meaning. “Vintage” sometimes describes a new ring made in an antique style, but the correct term for this is an antique reproduction.
Victorian antique engagement rings (1837 - 1901)
The Victorian era is named for Queen Victoria of England, who ruled the British Empire during this time. Queen Victoria loved jewelry, and her exceptional taste shaped the jewelry that was made.
The gold supply increased in the mid-1800s, and most Victorian antique engagement rings are set in yellow gold. The discovery of diamonds in South Africa made diamonds a favored gemstone in the late Victorian period. Many rings of this era feature rows of diamonds. Victorian antique engagement rings, especially during the later part of the era, were often finished with ornate filigree and engraving.
Edwardian antique engagement rings (1901 - 1920)
Named for King Edward of Britain, Edwardian antique engagement ring styles kept much of the late Victorian era styles. With the discovery of the oxyacetylene torch, platinum became the metal of the day. Platinum allowed for increased open filigree work. Lacy designs like bows, flowers, and scrolls complimented the Edwardian woman’s silk dresses with lace and feather-topped hats. Most designs featured white on white: diamonds or diamonds with pearls set in platinum for a sophisticated look of the upper class.
Art Deco antique engagement rings (1920 - 1935)
The world threw off the old and entered into an era of flappers, jazz, gangsters and speakeasies. Jewelry, including Art Deco engagement rings, was another way for women to express their individuality. Gone were the lacy scrolls and flowers. The new Art Deco engagement rings were playful and fun, with geometric shapes and straight lines. Think of Picasso's cubist style, the Empire State Building, and the Golden Gate Bridge. New, less expensive white gold alloys replaced some of the platinum styles.
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