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Art Deco Engagement Rings: From The 1920s To The 2020s
While trends come and go, Art Deco engagement rings have proven to be timeless in style. From the 1920s to the 2020s, Art Deco designs have continued to inspire jewelry makers and engagement ring designers around the world. There is no other classic jewelry period with staying power like the Art Deco era.
It is said that the appeal of Art Deco style jewelry will never fade. The bold, vibrant, geometric and symmetrical styles that define Art Deco engagement rings are more popular than ever.
WHAT ARE ART DECO ENGAGEMENT RINGS?
An Art Deco engagement ring can be one of two things – either it is an actual vintage ring from the Art Deco era or it is a modern engagement ring with a design that has been inspired by the Art Deco era.
The designs of Art Deco engagement rings are characterized by geometric patterns, a liberal use of symmetry, and linear shapes. They often feature colorful gemstones like sapphires, rubies and emeralds, in addition to diamonds. Although the former points are more so the defining features of Art Deco engagement rings.
Many Art Deco rings are BIG (like the Skyscrapers of their time), which means you will see halo settings or uniquely-shaped three stone settings. Overall, the rings are very architectural.
Furthermore, most Art Deco Engagement Rings, both modern and vintage, are made from platinum or white gold.
HISTORY OF ART DECO ENGAGEMENT RINGS
The Art Deco design movement started to materialize shortly before World War I. However, it really gained worldwide popularity in the 1920s. After the war ended, the Art Deco movement became so massive that it influenced everything from fashion to architecture to automobiles. It was a time of modernist trends, rich materials, and scrupulous craftsmanship. The designs represented luxury, glamour, and success. Think the “Great Gatsby”, which was also a product of the Art Deco times.
The name “Art Deco” came about during the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris, France in 1925. They called the designs Arts Decoratifs. This style of design developed into a major trend in the United States and western Europe shortly after. Then, it exploded in popularity in 1930s, and we can still see its presence when we look around cities like New York, as well as in the jewelry we wear.
During the 1930s, Art Deco engagement rings were all the rage for the contemporary woman. Like the confident, forward-thinking women who grew up in the Roaring Twenties, the rings were vivacious, bold, and beautiful. They were statement pieces, as they still are today.
Even though the Art Deco movement ended and the Retro era began, Art Deco designs kept their place in the jewelry industry. Now, 100 years later, we are seeing more and more designers turning to the glamorous Art Deco era for inspiration of their newest diamond engagement ring designs. The Art Deco period is without a doubt the most influential classic jewelry era for engagement ring designers of the modern time. Twenty-first-century brides simply can’t get enough of the strikingly fascinating vintage look that Art Deco engagement rings provide.
WHY IS ART DECO STILL SO POPULAR 100 YEARS LATER?
The answer is simple, Art Deco engagement rings make a powerful statement and they show a lot more personality than minimalist rings, which are also popular these days. The designers of the Art Deco days kept modernity and longevity of style in mind. They had a strong optimism for the future. Like the skyscrapers of those days, they were meant to be long-lived.
Overall, it worked. The stylistic lines and strong shapes make for a classic look. Women love halo designs, layered geometric shapes, sapphires juxtaposed between diamonds, and the cool shiny luster of platinum. This kind of style will never go out of fashion. It’s timeless elegance in the purest form. The last hundred years have proven this.
At Diamonds By Raymond Lee in Boca Raton, we know what the modern bride wants, so we have a great selection of Art Deco inspired engagement rings to choose from. If you are looking for an Art Deco engagement rings, there’s no better place to shop than with us.
VINTAGE ART DECO RING VS ART DECO-INSPIRED MODERN RING
If you have your heart set on an Art Deco engagement ring, you have two options. You can put your antique shopper hat on and search for a genuine vintage piece or you can go to a jewelry store and see what options they have for Art Deco-inspired engagement rings, which, of course, are modern recreations.
Needless to say, an actual vintage Art Deco engagement ring would be amazing, as they have that one-of-a-kind, priceless historical aspect to them. Moreover, these rings have a lot of value, that often appreciates over time. However, you will be hard pressed to find an authentic vintage Art Deco engagement ring. Genuine Art Deco engagement rings from the likes of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co. and other important jewelry houses are among the most sought-after pieces at auctions. They command top dollar. To get your hands on one, you will have to pay a very heft price. If you find one at a random pawnshop, you should be skeptical.
For most people, an authentic vintage Art Deco ring is not an option. Luckily, you can turn to modern Art Deco-style engagement rings. It may not sound as appealing at first, but upon further inspection, you can see there are a lot of benefits beyond price and attainability. Modern Art Deco engagement rings come with a more refined look. This is obvious, as technology has greatly advanced over the last hundred years. Your ring will have a much cleaner, newer look and the diamonds and gemstones will have modern cuts, which means better light performance.
Moreover, you can go for a more subtle take on the Art Deco style, which most women appreciate. You may want your ring to stand out with that Art Deco flair, but you don’t want it to look old or overstated. So, with modern Art Deco-inspired engagement rings, you get the best of both worlds, the vintage and the new.
You can even speak to your jeweler to create a custom piece that takes only certain elements of the Art Deco era that you like. That way, you can have a modern creation with an Art Deco vintage touch, exactly to your liking.
Note: Many new designs are also incorporating old-style diamond cuts, like the Old European Cut diamond, for some historical charm. This is an interesting option.
Whether you decide to hunt down the perfect vintage Art Deco engagement ring or buy an Art Deco-inspired ring, both options will be forever timeless.
Many of the celebrated jewelry houses are adding Art Deco influences into their new designs. Cartier has been doing this for the last few years to perfection. We’d love to show you what new options there are for you Art Deco lovers. Whatever you decide or want, Diamonds By Raymond Lee can help you. Just give us a call, come over to our showroom, or shoot us an email.
Continue reading on to learn more about Art Deco engagement ring designs…
CHARACTERISTICS OF ART DECO ENGAGEMENT RINGS
Art Deco inspired engagement rings are easily recognizable. The rings express opulence and excess, and this applies to shapes, colors, and size. But let’s get more specific. Here are the defining characteristics of both Art Deco engagement rings and jewelry:
1. LAYERED GEOMETRICAL SHAPES
It was all about circles, squares, rectangles and triangles in the Art Deco days. The engagement rings highlighted bold shapes, often with shapes in contrast, like a round center stone in an octagonal halo.
You’d also find they used emerald shaped diamonds and Asscher cut diamonds echoed with vertical and horizontal lines.
Another unique design element of the Art Deco era was how they drew from step-cut square gemstones to create a halo rather than tiny round diamonds like you most often see today.
For three-stone diamonds, they loved the look of triangular or trapezoidal side stones with square and round prong-set center stones.
2. SYMMETRICAL DESIGNS
Art Deco engagement rings were perfectly symmetrical. The visuals were equally weighted on both sides, allowing you to draw attention to the ring as a whole. The designs were very strong, graphic, structured and rigid. It’s like architecture for the finger. You will notice that Art Deco engagement rings are perfectly balanced in their design, which gives them a very elegant appearance.
3. POP OF COLOR
Designers were not afraid of color in the Art Deco era, which is something many modern women appreciate these days, especially as the value of sapphires, emeralds and rubies continues to increase.
Art Deco rings would use colorful gemstones as accent side stones. They’d also use colorful gemstones for halos, oftentimes layered in the middle of another halo of diamonds. These kind of rings pop so beautifully off the finger. The contrast between diamonds and colorful gemstones is truly stunning.
Some Art Deco engagement rings even employ a colorful gem as the center stone, with diamonds as accent stones.
The most sought after gemstones were, of course, sapphires, rubies and emeralds. However, many creators expanded their reach to other non-precious gemstones like aquamarine, exotic jade, lapis lazuli, coral, and onyx.
4. BIGGER THE BETTER
Women of the Art Deco era were not afraid to show their style and worth. They weren’t bashful about being flashy. As a result, many Art Deco engagement rings are big. They are centered around large diamonds, and halo and three-stone engagement reigned supreme. The bigger the better may not have been the motto, but it sure seems that way.
The great thing about halo rings is, you get a bigger look without breaking the bank like you would with a similar size ring using a solitaire setting. Something to consider…
5. WHITE METALS – PLATINUM WAS KING
The Art Deco era coincided with the platinum engagement ring boom. At this time, platinum had all the hype. This is when using platinum for engagement rings really took off.
White gold was also invented during this time. It was a good substitute for those who wanted to save a little money, as it was less expensive than platinum.
In the end, the white precious metals for engagement rings stuck. 100 years later and the vast, VAST majority of engagement rings are still white gold and platinum.
All in all, if your engagement ring has the above design characteristics, you can be sure it was inspired by the Art Deco era. Furthermore, if you are looking for an actual vintage Art Deco era ring, keep these points in mind because if most are absent from the ring in question, it’s probably not an Art Deco era piece.
HOW MUCH IS AN ART DECO ENGAGEMENT RING?
Authentic Art Deco Vintage Rings will often be exorbitant in price, especially from one of the big brands like Cartier and Tiffany. These are usually sold at auction for hundreds of thousands of dollars, at a minimum.
Art Deco-inspired rings on the other hand, can be as affordable as any modern ring design. Here are a few examples of Art Deco-style engagement rings to give you some price reference…
HOW DO I BUY AN ART DECO ENGAGEMENT RING?
At Diamonds By Raymond Lee, you can choose from our collection of private label, one-of-a-kind Art Deco engagement rings, as well as Art Deco inspired engagement rings from famous designer brands like Gabriel & Co and Tacori.
We pride ourselves on offering both the best quality engagement rings at the most competitive prices.
If you want an Art Deco Engagement Ring, either come into our showroom so we can show you a number of options or contact us and we can facilitate a virtual tour.
Another option to get the Art Deco inspired engagement ring of your dreams is to design one yourself. Well, not literally yourself. You tell us what you want and our master jewelry maker can design and handcraft your very own Art Deco ring from scratch. You can learn more about our custom ring design service here.
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.The Complete Heirloom Engagement and Wedding Ring Etiquette Guide
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.https://ccdf143851f3c3dca8ae571525f0a752.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html02of 25
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.33 Marquise Engagement Rings That Prove the Style Is Totally Backhttps://ccdf143851f3c3dca8ae571525f0a752.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html03of 25
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.04of 25
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.https://ccdf143851f3c3dca8ae571525f0a752.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html05of 25
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.06of 25
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.07of 25
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.08of 25
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.Everything You Need to Know About Heart-Shaped Diamond Engagement Rings09of 25
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.10of 25
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.11of 25
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.13of 25
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.15of 25
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.
60 Rose Gold Engagement Rings For Every Bridal Style16of 25
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.17of 25
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.18of 25
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.19of 25
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.20of 25
Victor Barbone Vale
An elegant Colombian emerald comes together with three Old Mine-cut diamonds for a glamorous ring that dates back to 1915.21of 25
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.22of 25
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.23of 25
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.24of 25
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.25of 25
Beladora Antique Edwardian Diamond Ring In 18K White Gold
This Edwardian ring features transitional-cut diamonds and two stepped shoulders with single-cut diamonds. Translate this 1910-era ring to now by styling it with your favorite jewels.
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 necessa