Romantic Vintage Engagement Rings

Romantic Vintage Engagement Rings

Vintage engagement rings are classically romantic and when you choose the right one you have a fine piece of jewelry that has withstood the test of time. While the term applies to rings at least twenty years old, it usually signifies the ring’s style rather than its age. 

From today’s most popular style, Art Deco, which showcases symmetry and repeating patterns, through Edwardian, highlighting intricate filigree, scrolling and floral designs, to Victorian, often including rows of diamonds, you will find a world of style when shopping for vintage engagement rings that along with a diverse range of gemstones, artistic touches and techniques.

Whichever style you choose, the classic trio of rings will create an ensemble, and many photographers will showcase the three-ring set to show off your cohesive style.

Photographed by David and Sherry Photography - Ontario, Canada wedding photographers
Photographed by Katie Kaizer Photography - Nantucket, Massachusetts wedding photographers

What types of gemstones are your favorites? Let those be your guide. Vintage rings encompass rubies, sapphires and emeralds, garnets, topaz and amber, as well as diamonds. And there are also gorgeous options in amethyst, pink or gold topaz, or coral.  

Photographed by Lazzat Photography - Orlando, Florida wedding photographers
Photographed by Bee Two Sweet -  Washington, DC wedding photographers

Design aspects for vintage engagement rings include the shape, color, and cutting style of the primary gemstone, the setting and the arrangement of the supporting stones, the structure, and the embellishments. The shape may be round, oval, pear, or rectangular.

Photographed by Rayan Anastor Photography -  Michigan wedding photographers
Photographed by Kivus and Camera -  Raleigh, North Carolina wedding photographers
Photographed by Fuller Photography - Pennsylvania wedding photographers
Photographed by Dark Roux - Houston, Texas wedding photographers

The centerpiece may feature a solitaire, two or three stones, or halo, and may have side stones or a cluster of jewels.

Photographed by The Copper Collective - San Diego, California wedding photographers
Photographed by Procopio Photography - Washington, DC wedding photographers
Photographed by Timmester Photography - North Carolina wedding photographers

The setting may use prongs (like tiny claws that hold the gem), bezel (where the stone is completely surrounded by metal) or tension (where the stone is held in by pressure), channel (where stones on the shank of the ring are set along a track between two walls of metal), bar (where the gems are secured on two sides with vertical metal bars), or pavé (where small gems are featured on the band of the ring).

Photographed by Lazzat Photography - Orlando, Florida wedding photographers

Setting structure may be a cathedral (where the center stone is flanked by arches of metal that come up from the shank) or band.

Photographed by Zee Anna Photography - Naples, Florida wedding photographers
Photographed by JOD'Photography - Naples, Florida wedding photographers
Vintage engagement rings with rubies, photographed by As the Crow Flies, Sacramento wedding photographers
photographed by As the Crow Flies, Sacramento wedding photographers

And the embellishments may include filigree, milgraine (where a decorative metal bead design creates a delicate border around the band), or engraving.

Photographed by Zee Anna Photography - Naples, Florida wedding photographers

The metal used is often gold in various levels of purity and color from white gold mixed with palladium to deep yellow gold that almost looks like copper, or platinum with its own silvery hue and long-lasting qualities.

Vintage engagement rings on flat lay photographed by Caroline Guzik, Miami Florida
Photographed by Carolina Guzik, Miami, Florida wedding photographers
White gold vintage engagement rings and earrings photographed by Into Dust Photography, Seattle
photographed by Into Dust Photography, Seattle wedding photographers
Photographed by Maddness Photography - Tampa, Florida wedding photographers

If you’re lucky enough to have a vintage engagement ring passed on in your family, you may want a reputable appraiser or gemologist to assist with dating and authenticating your heirloom for insurance purposes. Keep in mind that an antique ring that’s received “too much love” may have a lower value than you’d expect, but not reduce its sentimental value to you.

 For those who like the look of a vintage ring but want to replace the gem, know that that hybrid approach may compromise the integrity of the piece. We suggest you keep looking further if that situation arises.

Whatever style you choose, the enduring beauty of a vintage ring will look lovely on your finger for the rest of your life and never go out of style. 

To see more modern, retro and vintage engagement rings along with wedding bands in a variety of styles, come visit our Fashion Gallery. And be sure to follow us on Pinterest, pin your favorite photos from World's Best and get  more gorgeous wedding ideas on the daily.