Antique Engagement Rings
About Vintage Engagement Rings
We love being part of your special moment here at Kit Clayton Jewellery! You might be looking for an antique diamond engagement ring with a rose cut, old mine cut or European cut stone. Or perhaps you are seeking a vintage engagement ring with a sparkling modern round brilliant diamond instead? Maybe diamonds aren't your gemstone at all, and instead you want a sapphire, emerald or ruby engagement ring? Whatever piece you seek, we hope you will find something you love in our shop. What makes a piece the perfect antique engagement ring is entirely subjective, and it's definitely not all about a diamond solitaire anymore. If you don't see something you like on this page, visit our all antique rings page for a wider variety of beautiful old rings.
Vintage Engagement Ring Styles
The best thing about choosing an antique or vintage engagement ring, aside from the ethical consideration, is the fact that the piece already has a history. Someone has loved this ring before. They beamed with joy when they received it and treasured it for years. They were the custodian then, and you are the custodian now. Whatever the style, what could possibly be more romantic than that? The beauty of jewellery is that the piece is whatever you make it. No one needs to conform to formulas where their jewellery styles are concerned. Nonetheless, we have listed some of the more traditional engagement ring styles below to help you with your search.
Antique Diamond Solitaire Engagement Rings
The most enduring engagement ring style in modern times, made popular by De Beers at the end of the 1940s. That's not to say that a single diamond set in a gold or platinum band cannot be found in rings older than the 1940s, of course they can and diamond solitaires have been worn for centuries. However, it was in the 1940s that diamond solitaires became associated with getting engaged, thanks to some aggressive and culture changing marketing by diamond mining giant De Beers. Solitaire engagement rings used to near exclusively feature diamonds, but nowadays a wide variety of gemstones are used. The most popular stones in antique engagement rings, after diamond, in our experience are:
Sapphire Engagement Rings
Emerald Engagement Rings
Aquamarine Engagement Rings
Diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia and synthetic moissanite are also a popular choice, though as these colourless stones are modern creations they will not be found in antique solitaire rings unless later replacements.
Antique Toi et Moi Engagement Ring
Toi et Moi is French for 'you and me', and in jewellery form, a toi et moi ring is a two stone piece in which the gemstones represent the giver and the wearer. These are often highly stylistic and beautiful rings with a flowing design, since they were popular during the Edwardian and Art Nouveau periods. The two stones may be diamonds, or they may be a sapphire and a diamond or other combinations.
Antique Trilogy Ring
The trilogy ring is traditionally given on an important date such as an anniversary, but these rings make fabulous engagement rings too. The past, the present and the future are represented by the three gemstones, and the trilogy ring is not only an incredibly romantic piece of jewellery, but one which signifies hope and excitement for all the things yet to come. A three stone ring was presented to Meghan Markle by Prince Harry during his proposal and remains a super popular gift from him to her whatever the budget or occasion.
Vintage Bypass Ring
In bypass rings, the gold or platinum band crosses over or overlaps at some point, usually at the top of the ring. Bypass rings are also often referred to as crossover rings. It is generally agreed that the style of this ring represents the intertwining or overlapping of two destined-to-be-together souls. So the bypass ring is another massively romantic ring, which may be set with two or more diamonds or coloured gemstones. Bypass rings make particularly beautiful and meaningful engagement rings and have remained popular since the 1800s.
Cluster Engagement Ring
Sorry to keep going on about the Royal connection, but yep, Kate Middleton's engagement ring was a cluster! Kate's ring (which had previously belonged to Princess Diana) features a large central oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds. Cluster rings are an explosion of sparkle whatever the gemstone choice, and can be round, oval, floral or rectangular in design. We particularly love cluster rings that feature a central coloured stone surrounded by diamonds, and some of favourites that we've sold have been emerald, sapphire and aquamarine.
Why choose an antique or vintage engagement ring?
I guess the first thing to explain is the difference is between an antique engagement ring and vintage engagement ring. On this website, when we talk about antique engagement rings we are referring to rings that believe to be at least 100 years old. When we refer to a piece being a vintage engagement ring, we are referring to a ring that is between 20 and 99 years old. If you arrived on this page looking for a pre-loved engagement ring, it's likely because you or the person you intend to propose to appreciates both the beauty and history of antique jewellery. There is something so very magical about owning a old piece of jewellery that has been loved before, and that has survived for many many years against the odds. Old jewellery is a piece of history with its own personal story to tell. By purchasing an antique engagement ring, you are adding your happy every after tale onto everything that has come before.