Vintage Wedding Rings – Antique Styling with Diamonds
The interest in Vintage Wedding Rings continues to increase. At Serendipity Diamonds, we spend many hours each week discussing both regular and bespoke commissions based around a Vintage Theme. One thing we regularly notice is the slight confusion between what ‘Vintage’ actually stands for. For this reason, we are beginning this post with a brief explanation of this.
New Vintage vs True Vintage. Please be careful about designs that are New Vintage over True Vintage (ie. true antique pieces.) Most of the rings sold (including ours) come under the classification ‘New Vintage.’ This means that they are brand new rings, created with an emphasis on Vintage styling. Inspiration comes from Antique designs, including Edwardian and Victorian Periods. Rings are then styled with precious metals and diamonds where applicable.
True Vintage Details. True vintage jewellery will develop a patina over time. Both metal type and markings often suggest the age of an item of jewellery. Vintage jewellery experts can relate materials to the age of a piece. Any item created in 18ct White Gold, and described as Art Deco, will be a more modern reproduction and not true Art Deco. True Vintage jewellery is about heritage, design and quality, not intrinsic value. Only about 20 percent of true vintage jewellery is of a quality and heritage where dealers will compete at auction. Owing to both the rarity and cost, ‘New Vintage’ tends to prevail in terms of popularity.
What Makes any Item Vintage? There are many details which alone or in combination result in the ‘Vintage’ classification. The following are just some of these for reference.
Vintage Design. Whether inspired by designs from Edwardian, Victorian, or early 20th Century periods, the overall look of the piece will often convey a suggested decade for the design. Art Deco inspired jewellery often features stylised wings, Oriental and Egyptian forms, popular during the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Antique Cuts of Diamonds. Certain diamond cuts feature in true Vintage jewellery. Vintage details often appear faithfully replicated in newer pieces of jewellery. Rose Cut diamonds (24 triangular facts on a flat base), and Old Mine Cut diamonds are strong design features. Deco pieces were often set with Baguette Cut diamonds. Cushion cut diamonds also featured in many Vintage styles. Many New Vintage pieces blend both modern cuts (with more brilliance) with older styling. The ring above shows modern techniques with Vintage styling – Invisible setting is used to retain 4 x Princess cut diamonds with a surrounding bezel, accented with double-row milgrain detail. This design feature is carried across the wedding ring with smaller Princess cut diamonds.
Filigree Detail. A popular decorative pattern seen on Vintage style wedding rings, with a pattern made of wires sometimes soldered to a background, sometimes left as openwork.
Milgrain Patterning. Small pips or grains of raised metal run in lines across part of the ring. Often seen at the edge of a ring or channel. This is a very popular styling detail seen on many vintage wedding rings. Granulation which left no solder visible between the grains and surface of the gold was an ancient technique rediscovered only in the 20th Century. Milgrain usually differs by being raised from the body metal of the piece. Some of our designs even feature a milgrain band as the central design feature to the ring.
Each of the above ring designs, are available, although they will not appear on our regular ‘shop’ section of the website. Please contact us for further details referring to this article.