Victorian Romantic Era Period Rings

200 years of engagement rings

Engagement rings are not just jewelry. They represent a commitment, a bond between you and your significant other, and choosing the right one is very important. This is not an easy choice because there are so many options. For inspiration, take a look at 200 Years of Engagement Rings.

Georgian era

The Georgian era represents a period from 1714 to the 1830s. Engagement rings from this period are extremely rare as the jewelers of the time melted down anything they thought was out of date. Gold was the dominant metal for engagement rings as platinum was not yet discovered and white gold was not used.

Nature was one of the greatest influences on the Georgian era, and naturalistic design was extremely popular. Aesthetics were important and jewelers handcrafted each and every piece and carefully designed it to attract attention.

The most popular technique of this time was repoussé. It involved hand hammering metal into various designs and shapes. Through this method, jewelers have been able to create exquisite, unique rings.

Victorian era

The Victorian era represents Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837-1901. During this time, many changes took place that affected various areas, including jewelry. The designs and styles evolved and set standards that remain inspiring to many. This period represents the longest era in the 200 years of engagement rings.

Victorian romance

Rings from Victorian Romanticism

The period between 1837-1861 is characterized by romantic and floral motifs. In those early years of Queen Victoria’s reign, engagement rings were simple, small, and delicate. Since diamonds weren’t very popular at the time, jewelers often added birthstones to engagement rings. Yellow gold was still the most popular metal. Snake motif details were often used to represent eternity and inspiration was Queen Victoria’s engagement ring – in the shape of a snake.

Other romantic designs of this era are bows, flowers, and hearts. Simplicity, romantic details and irregular shapes shaped this era.

Victorian Great Era

Large rings from the Victorian era

The Great Era is the period 1861-1885. During this period, silver and black were predominant as Queen Victoria mourned her husband. The concept of “funeral jewelry” became very popular and this also influenced the creation of engagement rings. During this period, jewelers often used black onyx engagement rings.

Due to the diamond and gold rush, engagement rings often included a combination of both.

Victorian aesthetic

Aesthetic rings from the Victorian era

The end of the 19th century heralds the Victorian aesthetic (1885-1901). As the industrial revolution influenced this era, jewelry began to be mass-produced. Diamond cuts were perfected and jewelers created new designs. This era was similar to romance, so the motifs of hearts, flowers and other romantic symbols were popular. Many jewelers were devoted to replicating romantic rings.

Frequent travel influenced jewelry making: jewelers used colorful gemstones in various combinations, and bulky rings became increasingly popular.

Edwardian era

Examples of engagement rings from the Edwardian era

The Edwardian era represents the first decade of the 20th century. The use of platinum became more and more important during this period. So far, platinum has not been used due to its high melting point. Diamonds were very popular, with ancient European and ancient mine cuts being widely used. The old European cut remained very popular until the 1930s.

The style of the era was flamboyant, feminine, and graceful. During this time engagement rings became popular and accepted in all social classes.

Art Nouveau era

Art Nouveau engagement rings

Art Nouveau marks the transition from the 19th century to the 20th century. The rebellion against the Victorian era shaped this time. People began to oppose the mass production of jewelry, and custom, handcrafted jewelry gained popularity. Jewelers used less expensive materials and often combined them with natural materials.

Jewelers used different combinations of materials to break the patterns of the Victorian era. Nature and flora inspired this era, and botanical symbols can often be found in engagement rings of that time.

Art deco era

Examples of vintage Art Deco engagement rings from the period

The period from 1920-1935 is known as Art Deco. It is characterized by the use of platinum and white metals. The most popular motif was geometry. Engagement rings of this period include various shapes with clean and sharp lines. The most popular cut was the Asscher cut, although it was created in 1902.

Diamonds remained popular during this era. However, many rings also wear colorful gemstones such as sapphires and emeralds.

Towards the end of Art Deco, during the Great Depression, many couples couldn’t afford these expensive stones. They decided to buy less extravagant alternatives like glass, amethyst, etc.

Retro era

Examples of retro era rings

The retro era represents the period from 1935-1950. Jewelers mainly used yellow, rose, and white gold to make engagement rings. Back then, platinum was only used for military purposes during World War II. Simpler design and smaller stones dominated this era, but the stone size got bigger towards the end.

During this era, De Beers launched its campaign entitled “A diamond is forever”. Diamonds became the symbol of a long marriage, and round cut diamonds grew in popularity. Center diamonds became the standard.

Mid century era

Rings from the mid-century era 1950s

In the middle of the 20th century, people recovered from World War II. An economic boom arose which made it possible for people to enjoy luxurious things.

During this era, center diamonds with precise and clean lines remained popular. These rings are similar to the Art Deco era. White metal and large diamonds were in the foreground. Colorful stones, especially emeralds, regained popularity as Jackie Kennedy’s engagement ring, made up of emeralds and diamonds, wowed many.

The engagement rings of this era represent modernized classic styles. Several famous women and their engagement rings inspired others such as Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, Mia Farrow, etc. All of them had large stones of various shapes making this the new standard.

Rings through the centuries

12370 Vintage engagement ring from the Art Deco era

Choosing a vintage engagement ring is not easy. When you look back on 200 years of engagement rings, it is difficult to decide which one to choose. If you are looking for inspiration and want to surprise your significant other with a unique, high quality ring that will last a lifetime, we hope this article points you in the right direction.

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