Choosing an antique ring for your engagement or wedding band is a lovely way to embrace tradition and unique beauty. Don’t be worried that it’s old-fashioned: antique ring trends keep coming back into the spotlight. Here are some designs from which to draw inspiration.
Diamonds Are a Girl’s Forever Friend
Do you know the first diamond engagement ring was given by King Maximilian I of Germany to Mary of Burgundy in 1477? It contained flat, thin diamonds designed in the shape of an ‘M’ for her first name. It’s surprising to think that diamond designs began with interesting shapes and this certainly continued as time went on, but there was also room for the classic look. A famous example is the baguette-cut diamond eternity band that Joe DiMaggio gave to Marilyn Monroe when he proposed in 1954. Whether you love intricate diamond designs or something classic and simple, there’s no doubt that diamonds always make a style statement.
The Return of Edwardian Beauty
The Edwardian era in the early 1900s was all about refinement and this was expressed in their rings which contained filigree designs and classical motifs, such as wreaths and flowers. Platinum, pearls, and diamonds were also some common ring trends of the time when people wed. When actress Emily Blunt got engaged in 2008, her ring pulled inspiration from the Edwardian era, showing off its classy elegance. Its platinum band contained a round-cut central diamond flanked by baguettes and was designed with milgrain details, giving it a beaded look. If you like the idea of a feminine, romantic antique wedding ring and it brings out your personality, the Edwardian look is a timeless choice.
The Timelessness of Fancy Stones
You might think colorful stones are a recent engagement ring trend but they have been around for centuries. The first Victorian engagement ring was the striking piece given to Queen Victoria in 1840. It was a snake with an emerald gem as its head. It was believed that the snake represented eternal love, while the emerald was her birthstone. The use of birthstones in jewelry was common in that era and is still a sentimental touch these days.
On the subject of gemstone engagement rings, who could forget Princess Diana’s 18-carat blue sapphire ring that now sits on Kate Middleton’s finger? It is said that Princess Diana chose the ring because it reminded her of her mother’s, which just shows the pulling of trends from bygone eras is commonplace in bridal jewelry.
When choosing a large colorful stone, bear in mind that it should have a practical element: you want a stone that is durable. After diamonds, sapphires and rubies are the hardest gems, so they’re the best choices. Emerald is popular, but a wiser choice is peridot as it is less likely to get damaged. Peridot is an ancient gem that can be found in jewelry dating back to Egyptian times!
Rings as a Unique Symbol of Love
We sometimes focus too much on how stylish or expensive wedding rings are without thinking about how their meaning should be their defining characteristic. Roman beliefs were that wedding rings have to be worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it contains a vein that runs directly to the heart. Whether or not you believe that, your wedding ring is a literal show of your love and it should contain your story. This sentiment is said to have begun in 1234 when King Louis IX of France got married to Marguerite of Provence. He organized a ring especially made for her with designs of garlands of flowers: daisies to symbolize his wife and lilies for his kingdom.
If you love the romance behind such a story and would love your own personal story to be represented in your antique wedding ring, opt for designs that mean something to you. These can be floral, wavy motifs, symbols of nature, or Celtic designs to give your ring a personalized and unique touch.
There is loads of character to be found in antique wedding rings. Choosing one for yourself is a great way to settle between personal style and the timelessness of a unique piece you will love forever.