Antique and Vintage Engagement Rings
Engagement rings symbolise life and eternity, and were first used in Roman times as a public pledge of marriage between a couple. They were later adorned with diamonds because of their own remarkable significance.
These diamond rings started to become not just a symbol of love, but excelled as an exquisite thing of beauty. Secret words of love were decorated with flora enhancing the romantic gestures.
"Two torches in a
ring of smouldering fire.
Two wills, two hearts,
are joined in marriage
by a diamond ring.”
- Lines and translation from the Vatican manuscript.
Believe it or not, there was a time when men didn’t offer diamonds for a hand in marriage. In the Georgian and Regency Era, they had secret messages to symbolise their love; a 'posy' and 'forget me not' ring or even Acrostic rings. These rings often had secret love messages or were a plain band with a description inside.
The Victorians continued the Georgian's love for romantic messages as engagement rings - Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria a snake engagement ring- a symbol for eternal love. The Victorians were hopeless Romantics and did not stop at snakes to symbolise their love - knots and belts were also used with wild abandon. They also introduced the Gypsy rings and the half carved, half hoop ring.
By the time the Edwardians arrived platinum was introduced and the millegrain setting. Diamonds became brighter and, while the Edwardians often loved pearls and diamonds, they did love coloured stones.
The Art Deco period gave us a fashion of target and geometric designs. The skill of cutting stones was at its height by this time. In the 1950s the rings simply got bigger and grander.
Today we live in an era of sustainability and love for the old times. While diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald rings are the most popular, there is a fashion for other gemstones too, such as tourmalines, opals and Aquamarines.
Like your own love, these rings are all unique and one of a kind.