Does your heart skip a beat at the thought of wearing a ring from a bygone era? Whether you love the styles of the 1920s or 30s, or the sentimental quality of an heirloom ring passed down from a family member makes you swoon, a vintage engagement ring may be just what you’re looking for. Engagement rings with a vintage vibe or an antique essence are beautiful and unique, making them sought after by many a bride-to-be.
Many brides, though, think they have to pay a high price for an engagement ring of this style or feel out of luck if they don’t have a family ring to work with, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some of the best vintage engagement rings are newly crafted.
Whether your style is classic or ornate, there is a vintage engagement ring out there that you’ll love, and it’s easier to come by than you may think. Learn more about vintage ring options before you head to the jewelry store.
What Makes a Ring Vintage or Antique?
A vintage or antique ring is typically defined by a ring that was designed and created in a vintage or antique era; this could be as recent as the 90s or as ancient as the Victorian era. With such a wide time span, there are so many variations of “vintage.” No vintage engagement ring is alike, and that uniqueness is what truly defines this style and draws people to it.
You can sometimes find true heirlooms or antique pieces from places such as auction houses or jewelers that deal solely with vintage jewelry. Still, this process can be both time-consuming and expensive, not to mention you may have to compromise your style based on what is available. A brand new engagement ring, though, can carry the same vintage essence or antique air of a decades-old or a centuries-old style.
In fact, vintage is quite popular in style, so there are a number of pre-designed rings that appear as if they have been around for ages. Beyond this option, though, there is also the opportunity to create something custom by modifying an antique piece or starting from scratch with inspiration from eras gone by. Whether you choose something old or something new, or a combination of the two, what makes your ring “vintage” is more than just time; it’s style too.
What is a Vintage-Inspired Engagement Ring?
Jewelry pieces from the past are undoubtedly beautiful, but they aren’t the only way to harness the beauty of a vintage engagement ring. Modern engagement rings that are inspired by family heirlooms or antique jewelry can carry that same vintage vibe.
The past can not only evoke powerful memories but also be a powerful inspiration in the creation of something new. The best vintage-inspired engagement rings achieve the look and feel of the past with the benefit of modern construction that will last a lifetime, and longer.
So, what is a vintage-style engagement ring? A vintage-inspired ring is designed with the qualities we love about vintage jewelry in mind; ornate metalwork, colored gemstones, unique prongs, milgrain, and more. These attributes will give a modern ring a lovely vintage appearance.
Vintage Engagement Ring Ideas and Styles
If you’re wondering what to look for in a vintage-style engagement ring, or you want to ensure the ring you choose or choose to create has vintage character, these ideas will help. From the settings to the stone, these are the best vintage engagement ring styles to choose from.
The setting has the ability to say it all when it comes to vintage engagement rings. Select a vintage ring setting with one or many of these features, and the antique essence will come across.
A Gold Band
The Victorian era is when engagement rings first became popular, so it wouldn’t be right to not give a nod to the style that was widespread during this time. Victorian engagement rings were primarily made of yellow gold and finished with a halo setting. This look is still popular today, so you can get the best of both vintage and modern styles when you opt for a yellow gold band and diamond halo.
When you see engraved designs on a wedding band, either along the band itself or at the crown of the setting, it immediately seems vintage. Floral patterns were the signature design of Edwardian Engagement Rings, which date back to 1901-1910. Selecting a band with this ornate engraving is a sure way to achieve a vintage style.
We owe the beautiful accent work that is milgrain to the 1930s, which makes this pretty pattern inherently vintage. It appears as tiny dots or beads around the band of a ring. Milgrain can be used to finish a band or as inspiration for the entire band. Whichever way you swing it, this style is beautifully and subtly vintage.
Marquise Accent Stones
Transform a simple solitaire setting into a distinctly vintage engagement ring when you accent the center diamond with unique marquise stones. This vintage engagement ring setting shows off this style beautifully, transforming a modern ring into a vintage one instantly.
Baguette Accent Stones
If you love styles from the 1920s, an art deco engagement ring is the way to go. One way to achieve this beloved style is with baguette accent stones. Baguette diamonds rose to popularity in this roaring decade and will give any ring a slight art deco feel when set either vertically or horizontally alongside a center stone.
A Fishtail Setting
When the smaller diamonds of an engagement ring with a halo setting or band are set with a fishtail setting such as this vintage oval engagement ring, the appearance is subtly antique. This style is easy to accomplish and still popular, so it’s easy to find as well.
Sometimes, all you need is the right stone to achieve the look of an antique engagement ring. These beautiful diamonds and other colored gemstones are a picture of elegance.
An Asscher Diamond
The Asscher diamond is a unique cut that is a mix between an emerald and a princess cut diamond. Its square shape and step cuts give it an art deco style that complements a vintage engagement ring setting beautifully. Add a diamond halo for extra sparkle as this diamond-cut gives off a more subdued shine than other brilliant cuts. If you want to learn more about Asscher diamonds, read our blogs What Is an Asscher Cut Diamond or Asscher Cut vs Cushion Cut.
A Marquise Diamond
A marquise diamond has two pointed ends that point North/South, or East/West depending on how it is set. This age-old cut is the epitome of an antique engagement ring. Because of its unique elongated shape, a marquise diamond sometimes looks larger than its carat weight. View our diamond carat size chart to compare this special diamond with other popular diamond cuts.
An Old European Cut Diamond
An old European cut diamond is a round brilliant diamond that was cut sometime between 1890 and 1930. During this time period, the facets were cut differently on a round diamond than they are today, giving the cut a truly vintage look. Your ring won’t be mistaken for a modern representation if you can get your hands on this antique stone.
Thanks to Princess Diana and other famous ladies, the beautiful blue hue of a sapphire is the picture of vintage. If you want something other than a diamond ring for your engagement ring, a sapphire will make a stunning center stone.
Rubies are another popular vintage engagement ring stone, but they don’t have to be used solely in the center to create a vintage appearance. This deep red gemstone also makes for a beautiful side stone. Set one on either side of a diamond in a three-stone setting to achieve a truly vintage feel with your engagement ring.
Finding a vintage engagement ring doesn’t have to be difficult. When you search for any or many of the above features, you’ll discover there is a broader selection of vintage inspired styles than you may have thought. Already have an heirloom ring that doesn’t quite suit your style? You may also be surprised at the ways you can transform already-loved jewelry into an engagement ring all your own.
Shop Vintage Inspired Designs
When you shop at Diamond Nexus, you will be able to find every shape, setting, and ring size imaginable. Diamond Nexus rings come in a variety of settings and designs to fit any personal style, whether it’s modern or antique, simple or ornate. And every setting will highlight the brilliance of the center stone.
Whether you are going for a classic vintage inspired setting or a timeless antique design, our collection of affordable vintage engagement rings offers a wide variety of the most unique antique inspired engagement rings to suit any personality.
Recreate an Heirloom
At Diamond Nexus, we also offer custom jewelry services, where you can design a completely personal and custom engagement ring from scratch or modify an existing piece of jewelry to match your personal style. Either way, you will work with a skilled jeweler to create the perfect custom vintage engagement ring.
There is more than one way to have an engagement ring that feels both vintage and personal, so all you have to do is choose the style that speaks to you.
*Here at Diamond Nexus, we strive to provide valuable information while being clear and honest about our products. The Nexus Diamond™ alternative is a patented lab created diamond simulate that, among all simulants, most closely imitates the look, weight and wear of a diamond, with two exceptions – it is absolutely perfect in every way, and it costs significantly less. Price points and environmental facts expressed in this blog were taken from popular online retailers and may vary. Learn more about the environmental impact of mining by visiting our blog.