edwardian diamond ring

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Edwardian Jewelry. Nobody does platinum and diamonds like the Edwardians, who wove them into the most intricate, lacy designs of exquisite. Browse our collection of engagement rings. Each one is unique and distinct for a look that is all your own!

EDWARDIAN OR ART DECO – WHICH ENGAGEMENT RING IS WHICH?FEBRUARY 1, 2017 – POSTED IN: JEWELRY BLOG

Both Edwardian engagement rings and Art Deco engagement rings are stunning pieces, rich with detail, character, and history. Understanding the differences between rings of these two distinct periods can help you better appreciate their beauty and choose the ring that best symbolizes both your personal flair and the timeless love of your relationship.

EDWARDIAN ENGAGEMENT RINGS

The Edwardian Engagement Rings, named for the English monarch Edward VII, is the period stretching from the end of the nineteenth century and into the beginning of the twentieth century, roughly from 1890-1915. This was a time of superb craftsmanship, as jewelers began working more extensively with platinum, favored for its hardness as well as its bright sheen.

Flowing, graceful lines are a key element of the Edwardian jewelry style, including bows, florals, ribbons, garlands, loops and other curved motifs. Fine millegrain borders were popular accents, as were pierced patterns that turned platinum into lustrous lace. Large center stones could be diamonds, though colored stones that paired well with platinum were also popular in Edwardian engagement rings, and round, oval and marquis diamond shapes were the most desirable.

Edwardian-era rings tend to be larger, opulent pieces, and stacked ring designs were popular. The metal surfaces of the rings were often diamond-encrusted for additional shimmer. Each of these rings is a work of art, showcasing a bygone era of grace, elegance and the royalty the Edwardian era is named for.

Click here to shop our rare collection of Edwardian Rings.

ART DECO ENGAGEMENT RINGS

Art Deco Engagement Rings is somewhat newer than Edwardian pieces, as the Art Deco period – named for the Exposition International des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, the World’s Fair that took place in Paris in 1925 – stretches from roughly 1920 to 1939. Unlike the previous era of softer lines and grace, the Art Deco period is characterized by bold geometry, sharp angles and strong patterns. Art Deco engagement rings often show fierce patterns such as fans, grids, octagons and chevrons, often with a futuristic or very modern tone.

Diamonds in Art Deco rings and jewelry are cut more brilliantly than their predecessors, and emerald cuts are a popular choice. Colored gems, especially sapphires, onyx, emeralds and rubies, are popular, not just as center stones but also as accents to highlight the design’s geometry. Pierced, cutout patterns are still as popular as they were with Edwardian rings, but the lines are sharper and angles more severe.

In this era, platinum remained a popular choice for engagement rings, but white gold also become more widespread as it was far more affordable during decades of economic hardship.

Click here to shop our rare collection of Art Deco Rings.

TELLING ART DECO AND EDWARDIAN APART

Because Edwardian engagement rings and Art Deco engagement rings are so similar in many ways, it can be a challenge to tell them apart.

In particular, late-period Edwardian pieces and earlier Art Deco pieces can share many characteristics of those transitional years.

To better identify the ring styles, look for…

  • Metal Use – While both ring styles frequently use platinum, if the ring is white gold, it is more likely to be from the Art Deco period. This is especially true of rings later in the Art Deco period, in the late 1920s and 1930s.
  • Symmetry and Repetition – Edwardian rings are less likely to be geometrically symmetrical, while Art Deco styles have very obvious and calculated symmetry. This symmetry carries in repeating patterns through the entire ring, including side stones and into the band.
  • Curves or Angles – Rings with more graceful, flowing curves are more likely to be Edwardian pieces with flowing lines that mimic ribbons or bows. Art Deco rings have sharper angles and many straight lines, showcasing more modern architecture and style.
  • Stone Choice – Diamond center stones are popular in both eras, but accent stones can be great clues for separating Edwardian and Art Deco styles. If a ring is paved with many small diamonds, it is more likely to be Edwardian, while a ring using colored gems to highlight a pattern is more likely an Art Deco style.

Because these jewelry eras can be so similar, there are transitional periods between them that can make it very difficult to separate the styles. If you are having difficulty deciding which style better suits you or which rings you like best, our experts would be happy to consult with you and offer different options to find the engagement ring of your dreams – no matter which era it belongs to.

SHOP VINTAGE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

Estate Diamond Jewelry has been in business for over 40 years. Click the links below to shop for their rare collection of antique and vintage engagement rings.

Edwardian Engagement Rings: Opulent And Feminine

Our selection of the best Edwardian engagement rings, available from online marketplace 1stdibs and dealers Bentley & Skinner, Doyle & Doyle and Berganza.21 February 2015

The Edwardian era is known for its lavishness, so it should come as no surprise that vintage engagement rings from this period are some of the most opulent and feminine designs around.

Edwardian engagement rings date back to 1901-1910 when King Edward VII and his elegant wife, Queen Alexandra, were the leaders of the fashionable Belle Époque elite. Usually made from platinum or white gold, Edwardian engagement rings exude romance and often feature elaborate lace or filigree designs, millegrain edges or scrollwork. The introduction of the oxy-acetylene torch made working with platinum much easier and enabled jewellers to create sculptural pieces where the centre stone could be flanked by romantic motifs such as bows, flowers or birds.

In terms of stones, rose-cut or old-cut diamonds were the most prominent gems of the era, often combined with pearls on a platinum band to achieve the fashionable “white on white” effect. While yellow gold Edwardian rings are less common, sometimes rings were crafted from a combination of gold and platinum. Some Edwardian engagement rings also featured coloured gemstones, typically sapphires, moonstones, or pale creamy opals, usually teemed with white diamonds.

Antique Edwardian engagement rings are not easy to come by or cheap, with prices often running into five-figure sums. Bentley & Skinner has a large selection of vintage engagement rings, including some that are typical of the Edwardian era, such as these distinctive diamond and pearl rings dating back to the early 20th century. The vintage and antique jeweller also has a number of rings with coloured gemstones, including an Edwardian opal and diamond cluster ring featuring a diamond surround with millegrain beading.

The Berganza pearl and diamond crossover ring is also a stunning example of an Edwardian engagement ring, while a similar style in 18ct yellow gold and platinum, set with one pink and one yellow sapphire, is perfect if you want a more colourful jewel. Another sapphire and diamond ring from Berganza, dating back to 1910, features a 2.30ct cushion-cut sapphire encircled by old-cut diamonds in a millegrain setting.

The Edwardian engagement ring from Doyle & Doyle New York perfectly demonstrates the all-white look that was so fashionable at the time. It is testament to the skill and craftsmanship of Edwardian jewellers that these vintage designs are so sought after today. For a ring that radiates pure romance and promises to stand the test of time, you can’t go wrong with an Edwardian engagement ring. 

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A beautiful Edwardian pearl and diamond crossover ring circa 1910, available at Bentley & Skinner, with a natural pearl, set asymmetrically beside an old brilliant-cut diamond in white, to a yellow gold mount with old brilliant-cut, diamond-set curved shoulders and reeded shank.

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This beautiful Edwardian diamond and cultured pearl three-stone ring circa 1910, available at Bentley & Skinner, has a central cultured pearl set between two old brilliant-cut diamonds, all vertically set, to a gold open-backed mount with diamond-set shoulders.

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This beautiful pearl and diamond crossover Edwardian engagement ring circa 1910 is available at Berganza. A platinum ring set with one central natural pearl and one round old-cut diamond in a claw setting, with outward scrolled, inward tapered, shoulders set with 12 round, rose-cut diamonds in millegrain bead settings on a D-section shank.

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Antique diamond rings that pack as much beauty and exquisite detail as this circa 1905 one, available at 1stdibs, are becoming more rare with each passing day. Featuring a central old European-cut diamond between a pair of similarly cut diamonds, on a slightly domed mount decorated by millegrain pierced work, and 10 smaller diamonds, mounted in platinum, is truly unique.

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This fancy colour two-stone sapphire crossover Edwardian engagement ring circa 1910 is available at Berganza. Set with an old-cut natural unenhanced yellow Ceylon sapphire and a natural unenhanced peach Ceylon sapphire, both cushion-shaped, the ring is further set with eight round single-cut diamonds to the shoulder, and is marked yellow gold and platinum.

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This Edwardian platinum and diamond ring featuring an old European-cut diamond, circa 1915, with a later shank, is available at 1stdibs. The old European brilliant-cut diamond is set within the original octagonal platinum frame, set with 24 round diamonds. The later shank is set with 7 round brilliant-cut diamonds on each shoulder.

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This Edwardian marquise sapphire and diamond cluster engagement ring circa 1910, available at Berganza, is set with a marquise shape, old-cut, natural unenhanced sapphire, encircled by a single row of round, old, single-cut diamonds of varying sizes, with a further set to the shoulders, and yellow gold with platinum settings.

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This Edwardian engagement ring circa 1915, available at Doyle & Doyle, centres an old European-cut diamond, additionally set with 12 single-cut diamonds, and four old European-cut diamonds, in an ornate, filigree and swag design with engraved shoulders, fashioned in platinum.

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This Edwardian engagement ring with a central heart-shaped diamond circa 1900, available at 1stdibs, is flanked with old mine-cut side stones, and set in a handmade 18 carat gold and platinum setting, typical of the turn of the century.

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This Edwardian opal and diamond cluster ring circa 1910, available at Bentley & Skinner, has an oval cabochon opal set in the centre of an eight-cut, diamond-set surround, millegrain-set, with diamond-set shoulders.

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A beautiful Edwardian pearl and diamond crossover ring circa 1910, available at Bentley & Skinner, with a natural pearl, set asymmetrically beside an old brilliant-cut diamond in white, to a yellow gold mount with old brilliant-cut, diamond-set curved shoulders and reeded shank.

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This beautiful Edwardian diamond and cultured pearl three-stone ring circa 1910, available at Bentley & Skinner, has a central cultured pearl set between two old brilliant-cut diamonds, all vertically set, to a gold open-backed mount with diamond-set shoulders.

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