Our favorite engagement ring and wedding band combinations from our By Erstwhile collection.
1747 – 1837
Jewelry from the Georgian era is incredibly rare because most precious metals and stones were repurposed in later years to make way for newer trends. The rings that do survive, however, are very interesting. Settings were always made to accommodate the diamond or gem, not the other way around. So no two Georgian engagement rings are ever alike.
Clockwise: Victorian engagement ring made in silver on yellow gold with an old european cut diamond in a cluster c.1890 | late Victorian engagement ring made in silver on gold with a .80 carat old european cut diamond, accented with rubies and diamonds c. 1900 | Victorian diamond carved half hoop engagement ring with five old european cut and old mine cut diamonds c. 1870 England | Victorian gold engagement ring made in a classic buttercup setting centered with a .70 carat old mine cut diamond and accented with black enamel c. 1870
1837 – 1901
The personality of Queen Victoria dominated the style of the era that bears her name. Queen Victoria’s relationship with her husband, Albert, who died in 1861, defined much of the era’s views on marriage, relationships, jewelry, and fashion.
Illustration by Lisel Jane Ashlock
Have you ever wondered where the tradition of the engagement ring comes from?
You might assume there would be a lot of sexist and unromantic traditions behind the “engagement ring”. But the ring as a symbol of unending love has been around since antiquity. A lot of poetry and writing can be found describing the holy and deeply meaningful nature of the act of giving or receiving a ring from a lover.
The actual exchange of rings in a marriage ceremony, though, did not become common practice until 860.
“THE RING AS A GIFT TO A LOVER HAS BEEN AROUND SINCE ANTIQUITY.”
Our recent vintage Edwardian diamond engagement ring find has our hearts melting! Typical of the Edwardian period, this ring is ornamental – A classic old european cut diamond is secured in an unusual millegrain decorated prong setting. Both the setting itself and the shoulders are diamond encrusted.
Georgia O’Keeffe Abstraction 1926 | Art Deco ring c. 1920
My recent visit to the new Whitney Museum Of American Art here in NYC inspired this new series of putting art in context with the engagement rings of the day. It was particularly striking how advanced fine artists are for their time when you think about it in terms of the dress, customs and jewelry of the time.
One of the most spectacular vintage Art Deco engagement rings in our collection, this stunner is simple and elegant, with delicate heart scrollwork along the basket making the ring interesting from every angle. The basket setting has four prongs that hold the diamond securely while leaving a lot of room for light to shine through this sizable diamond. See it in our shop here.
Are you looking for our archived jewelry?
Don’t worry we will continue to have a SOLD GALLERY! We are in the process of adding all of our archived rings to the new website. This will take a few days so please be patient with us.
In the meantime, you can view our current collection of vintage engagement rings on our new website or you can view our own new line of engagement rings made in New York City with estate diamonds and recycled metals.
You are cordially invited to experience our brand new website!