Vintage diamond rings are never out of style and their timeless testament of endurance makes them the perfect choice for an engagement ring. As vintage diamond rings are durable, sturdy and beautiful they are often sought after by those seeking a special and unique ring to symbolize their love. There are several advantages to choosing vintage diamond rings and the first is that they are an environmentally friendly option. By choosing vintage rings you can rest assured that you aren’t using any additional natural resources. Additionally, vintage jewelry adds a plethora of options to today’s modern jewelry styles.
Some choose vintage diamond rings because they admire a specific time period or fashion style. Others indicate that vintage jewelry holds a unique creativity unparalleled in today’s fashions while others state they simply like the idea of having rings that have stood the test of time. When choosing vintage diamond rings, it is important to understand that there are slight differences between the three terms commonly used to describe these jewelry pieces: vintage, antique and estate.
At first glance, it may appear that vintage, antique and estate are synonyms defining the same piece of jewelry but this isn’t the case. Vintage jewelry is jewelry that reflects the characteristics of a specific time period. Vintage diamond rings may be Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Retro and Vintage.
Victorian jewelry has been crafted between the time period of 1837 and 1901. The Victorian time period was classified into three other periods known as the Romantic, the Grand and Aesthetic.
Following the Victorian Era is the Edwardian. The Edwardian Era lasted only nine years and ran from 1901 to 1910. During the Victorian era gold was at a minimum and many of the jewelry styles uses a minimal amount of gold and substituted techniques such as filigree and engraving to make up the difference. During the Edwardian area wealth was experienced and this was reflected in the jewelry. Platinum, diamonds and pearls were used to craft exquisite jewelry which incorporated filigree designs.
From 1895-1935 two separate eras emerged: Art Nouveau and Art Deco. The Art Nouveau period was birthed during the Industrial Revolution while Art Nouveau resulted at the same time as World War I. Art Nouveau used natural forms and incorporates outlines of flowers, vines and leaves in the pieces. Vintage diamond rings from the Art Nouveau period features these objects in beautiful detail. Art deco jewelry tends to feature geometric shapes that accentuate symmetry and balance.
From the 1930s to the 1980s the style was called Retro/Vintage. This period began during World War II and due to the shortage of precious metals and expensive gemstones saw the combinations of yellow and rose gold with less expensive gemstones or clusters of gemstones. Precious gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires were used at a minimum during this period. When choosing vintage diamond rings, it’s important to understand which period and style the ring was crafted in.
Vintage and antique are often used interchangeably but this isn’t correct. Antique jewelry is that which is more than 100 years old or older and sometimes it may date back to 1920. There are many vintage jewelry pieces from the 1980s which would not be classified as antique; therefore the two words are not interchangeable. There are, however, many vintage pieces that are antiques as well.
The third term often confused with the word vintage is estate. Estate jewelry is not synonymous with vintage or antique as this word refers to jewelry that has belonged to someone else. There are times when someone passes away and an estate sale is held to sell their belongings. Estate jewelry may consist of many modern pieces that are neither vintage nor antique. Likewise, it is possible that you may find both vintage and antique jewelry at an estate sale.
Those who are interested in choosing vintage diamond rings will find that by studying the various time periods and understanding the jewelry techniques, styles and cultural tastes during those times they can find the best vintage jewelry for their personal tastes and preferences.