For modern brides, engagement ring trends run the gamut from sleek solitaires to dazzling two-stone rings and unique cuts and settings like hexagon shapes and double bands. Alternatively, vintage engagement rings are extremely popular among modern brides, from colored stones like rubies, emeralds, and sapphires (we see you Kate Middleton) to raw, rustic, and rough-cut diamond rings. With so many trends to choose from, the most consistent theme is uniqueness, and to achieve such a look, the increasingly popular choice is a vintage or antique engagement ring.
Decidedly romantic, old-world rings are appealing for their distinctive character but are also a sustainable way to shop for an engagement ring—an antique ring means that you’re shopping for a piece of jewelry that is already in existence rather than sourcing a brand-new stone that would require new mining, new materials, and additional labor. While the feel-good factor is certainly a draw, the one-of-a-kind charm that comes with a vintage engagement ring truly can’t be beaten for certain brides. But even if you know an antique style is for you, deciding on the exact era, cut, and design can be a challenge.
That’s where the antique experts at 1st Dibs come into play. The website—which is a mecca for fine jewelry, vintage fashion, and antique art and furniture—works with the world's best dealers, finest shops, and most important galleries to curate an exceptional edit of treasures, including vintage engagement rings from the Victorian, Edwardian, and early 19th-century eras all the way to baubles from the Art Deco and mid-century modern periods.
“Many modern brides want a unique engagement ring, a design with special details,” says Anthony Barzilay Freund, the editorial director and director of fine art at 1st Dibs. “Vintage rings are a wonderful way to find something different. Regardless of their style, these rings have handcrafted elements that you won’t readily find in contemporary work. Some brides prefer vintage engagement rings because they like the quality of light found in hand-cut antique gems. It’s more of an elegant glow rather than bright bling.
If you’re in the market for a vintage engagement ring but don’t quite know where to start, ahead, Barzilay Freund explains the six most popular vintage engagement rings trends for modern brides.