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It's easy to see the appeal of a vintage engagement ring. With this nostalgic piece of jewelry comes an innate sense of history and a strong feeling of romance. If you and your partner have decided to go the vintage route, there's a handful of details and terminology you'll want to know about before diving in.
It’s helpful to think of vintage engagement rings in a few key periods of time: Georgian (1714-1830), Victorian (1837-1901), Edwardian (1890s-1915), Art Nouveau (1890s-early 1910s), and Art Deco (1920s-1930s). If you're interested in a vintage engagement ring, it's worth your time to dive into each of these eras to discover what you do (and don't) like.
Georgian jewelry is considered rare and can be difficult to find. Among its more notable characteristics is the ornate metal detailing and motifs like flowers and foliage. Victorian jewelry, named after Queen Victoria and her 64-year reign, speaks to an era of romantic design motifs including hands and hearts. Hallmarks of Edwardian jewelry (also referred to as La Belle Epoque) include intricate details as well as the use of platinum. Art Nouveau can be characterized by its use of whiplash lines and asymmetry. Lastly, Art Deco engagement rings can be identified by their geometric patterns and use of diamonds and contrasting gemstones.
Ready to say "yes" to a vintage engagement ring? Continue ahead for 25 nostalgic options from jewelers specializing in the vintage and antique categories.
Ashley Zhang Vintage Trefoil Diamond Ring
This ring dates back to 1910 and features Old European-cut diamonds set in a trefoil arrangement. The finish offers the perfect amount of sparkle.
Kinn Vintage Marquise Sapphire Ring
Eschew the traditional diamond center stone and go for a sapphire cut in a unique marquise silhouette. Combined with tiny diamonds and a gold band, it makes for the perfect vintage moment.
Trumpet & Horn Kettering
Crafted in the mid-1930s, this Art Deco ring highlights a 1.22ct Old European-cut diamond and four box-set single cut diamonds flanking the center stone.
Brilliant Earth Vintage Pierette Ring
We love this 1930s-era ring with a deep green tsavorite garnet in platinum prongs. The 14K gold band provides a stylish color contrast, too.
Doyle & Doyle Vintage Engagement Ring Old Mine 1.45ct
You’ll fall in love with this Old Mine-cut diamond flanked by six single-cut diamonds. The platinum band lends a sleek finish.
Ashley Zhang Antique Tiffany & Co. Engagement Ring
This antique Tiffany & Co. ring circa 1900 is sleek and stylish. The six-prong solitaire silhouette was debuted by Charles Tiffany in the 1880s and remains a classic to this day.
Eragem 1920s Antique Engagement Ring Old European Cut Diamond
With a 2.36ct Old European-cut diamond taking center stage, this 1920s-era ring is the epitome of dazzling. The jeweler left the ring unpolished to give it a natural patina finish.
Erica Weiner Old Mine Cut Diamond Crowned Heart Ring
This Georgian-era ring screams romance with its heart motif and diamonds set in closed silver settings backed in foil.
The One I Love La Luna
If you’re interested in a vintage stone but a modern silhouette, try this option featuring a custom high-polished 18k gold band and an Old Mine-cut diamond.
Erstwhile Colombian Emerald and Diamond Three Stone Ring
An Art Deco ring bringing together a striking Colombian emerald with two pear shaped diamonds. The piece is circa 1925 and is the perfect vintage pick for the bride who wants more than diamonds.
Ashley Zhang Vintage Old Mine Toi Et Moi Ring
This stunning Toi et Moi ring dates back to 1900 and features a white pearl and Old Mine-cut diamond. For the eternal romantic, this is a strong pick.
Fred Leighton Antique Yellow Gold Sapphire and Diamond Double Snake Ring
This double-headed snake motif ring dates back to 1913 and is ideal for the fashionable, non-traditional bride. It’s designed with an Old Mine diamond and cushion sapphire.
The Three Graces Two Color Vintage Diamond Engagement Ring
Embrace a geometric silhouette with this two-color 14K white and gold diamond engagement ring. The center brilliant-cut diamond is placed within a pyramid of white gold and adorned by angled sides.
Croghan’s Jewel Box Art Deco Style Aquamarine & Diamond Two-Tone Ring
For the fashion lover, this aquamarine center stone is the perfect way to show off your personality. The diamond accents are set in platinum with milgrain above an 18K yellow gold shank.
Fox & Bond Victorian Old Mine Cut White and Brown Diamond and 18K Rose Gold Ring
Crafted during the Victorian era, this vertically stacked ring features Old Mine-cut diamonds and an 18K rose gold band.
Fred Leighton Antique Old Mine Diamond Five Stone Ring
With five impressive stones, this 1890s-era ring is opulence in a nutshell. Enjoy the 18K yellow gold band that contrasts the Old Mine-cut diamonds beautifully.
Ashley Zhang 1930s Sapphire Ring
A striking sapphire grabs your attention with this 1930s-era ring. Surrounded by a halo of single-cut diamonds, the band is hand-crafted in 18K yellow gold.
Trumpet & Horn Halford
Though only a couple of decades old, this ruby ring screams old world charm. The center stone is encompassed by a halo of 14 brilliant-cut diamonds and finished with a high polish platinum shank.
Lang Collection 3.50 Carat Fancy Brown Diamond Engagement Ring
Go for glitz with this 3.5ct oval diamond featuring a light golden brown hue. If you needed convincing that fancy colors are a beautiful option, look no further.
Victor Barbone Vale
An elegant Colombian emerald comes together with three Old Mine-cut diamonds for a glamorous ring that dates back to 1915.
Gem Set Love Classic Vintage Diamond Solitaire
Keep things clean and classic with this timeless solitaire ring. The 14K yellow gold band will play well with other pieces in your jewelry box.
Trumpet & Horn Brockmoor
This late Art Deco ring circa 1935 centers a box-set Old European-cut diamond. It’s complemented by two diamonds nestled within half-moon shaped frames.
Erica Weiner .84ct Old European Cut Diamond Ring With Petal Shoulders
Looking for a simple ring? Try this feminine engagement ring featuring an Old European-cut diamond and soft marquise-shaped shoulders.
Bell and Bird Victorian Era Ruby and Old Mine Cut Diamond Ring
A Victorian-era ruby and diamond ring come together for the eternal romantic. Look closer and you’ll discover its fleur-de-lis details in gold.
What to Look for When Choosing a Vintage Engagement Ring
As mentioned before, an easy way to give context to your vintage engagement ring is to identify the time period it was created during and defining characteristics you can expect. For example, if you’re a hopeless romantic, consider a ring from the Victorian era because jewelry from that time often came with sentimental motifs incorporated into the piece.
Wear and Tear
Because you’re buying a vintage engagement ring, the likelihood that a piece might show signs of damage is not uncommon. While some wear and tear can give the ring character, make sure that there are no fundamental issues that should be addressed by the jeweler, such as loose prongs.
Because a vintage engagement ring comes in just one size, if you choose to get it resized many retailers will not accept returns. Always check with your jeweler to ensure a ring can be returned if necessary.
What’s the difference between vintage, estate, and antique?
Antique implies the piece of jewelry is at least over 100 years old, whereas vintage is something that isn't old enough to be considered antique but doesn't fall under the contemporary umbrella either. As for estate jewelry, this signals that the piece is pre-owned and can be antique, vintage, or even modern.
How much do vintage engagement rings cost?
Naturally, there's a great deal of variety when it comes to vintage engagement rings, which means the price range is equally as expansive. You can expect anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars up into six-figure digits depending on the gemstone, cut, setting, band, and so forth. In other words—you've got options.
Do vintage rings require more maintenance?
Unsurprisingly, an older engagement ring is likely to require a bit more TLC. Design elements can wear with time, so it's important to discuss with your jeweler the best ways to take care of your ring.