By Ken Morris
Antique engagement rings are a unique and beautiful
to a new ring. The tradition of giving separate rings for the
engagement and the marriage started in Victorian England. The
first DeBeers diamond minds in the late 1800s helped increase
the popularity of engagement rings.
The earliest diamonds were not nearly as brilliant as todayís
rings. The first mine cut diamonds were not very clear. This
improved in the early 20th century with the European cut
diamonds. These are often found in rings from the Art Deco
period. Diamond cutting continued to improve and evolve into
the brilliant cut that is still used today.
Larger stones are found in Victorian rings. While these
diamonds donít have the clarity of newer rings, the stone is
generally larger. Rings became smaller throughout the early
1900s and into the Great Depression. Overall, the quality of
the diamond affects the price. Clarity isnít as important in
antique rings as it is in new ones. The value depends more on
the demand for specific rings.
The most popular vintage rings are from the Victorian Era
through the 1940s. Distinct styles, settings and stones can be
seen in rings from each period. Victorian rings are generally
yellow or rose colored gold. The stone can be a diamond, but
pearls were just as common in this time period. Edwardian
have a filigree design in the rings. Some may have Jewish or
Christian designs in the filigree.
Art Deco rings of the 1920s are generally platinum, white gold
or silver. Bezel settings are common in these rings. The
setting makes the smaller diamond appear larger. Rings became
smaller and less ornate in the 1930s and 1940s. Platinum
less common during the war years and yellow or white gold was
commonly used in rings. Carvings on the shank and settings
helped make the center stone appear larger.
Where to Find Antique Engagement Rings
There are several good places to find antique rings. Antique
stores often carry jewelry. Some dealers are more
than others about the details and value of rings from each
period. In some cases, you ca get a really good deal. Some
stores under sell jewelry because they donít know its true
value. The ring may not come with a certificate. If not, have
it independently appraised for insurance.
Jewelers sometimes carry vintage pieces. A good jeweler will
knowledgeable about the value of the ring. You may not get as
good a deal, but will have the peace of mind of knowing that
you have a quality ring. You will be given a certificate for
the diamond when you buy from a jeweler.
Estate sales are a good place to find antique wedding jewelry.
You can usually arrange to view the items the day before the
estate sale. Read about the value and characteristics of
antique rings to help determine the value of the ring. Inspect
the ring carefully before the sale to decide how high you will
bid. You can find information in books at the library or on
Caring for Antique Engagement Rings
Antique diamond jewelry will retain its beauty for years, if
you care for it properly. Before you purchase the ring, have
the jeweler inspect the prongs carefully to be sure the stone
wonít come loose. You donít want to lose your diamond. Take
ring to the jeweler for professional cleaning and inspection
once or twice a year.
About The Author: Ken Morris reveals many articles for the
internet site www.engagement-rings-tips.com. The
publisher is also specializing in tips on antique engagement