There have been incredible fashionistas in every era throughout time, and as jewelry styles change from decade to decade, we remember who wore it the best, and how. Who can forget Audrey Hepburn’s chunky, sparkly flower collar in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”? Or Elizabeth Taylor as the gilded Egyptian goddess Cleopatra? Or Rita Hayworth draped in body jewelry for “Salome”? Each of these vintage looks is iconic; the designers of these jewels have been influenced by history, and their work continues to inspire new looks that embrace the vintage.
Incorporating favorite design elements, meeting material availability, and utilizing new techniques are all ways that old jewelry fashion influences the new. But what separates the looks that are remembered from those that are forgotten? What vintage styles have stood the test of time? From retro baubles to art deco lines, to Georgian, Victorian, or Edwardian influences, new designs continue to be inspired by vintage looks. In fact, some of our favorite new engagement rings at Lux Bond & Green incorporate vintage flair.
What should you look for when trying to find a vintage-inspired engagement ring? One of the aspects that helps to make a ring feel vintage is that it seems to be “one-of-a-kind”. Handmade textures, sculptural elements, colored stones, asymmetry, triple settings,split prongs holding the gemstones, emerald or baguette-cut stones, floral motifs, and etching are all vintage design elements.
Diving back into just the last three hundred years of jewelry designs, simply gorgeous Georgian jewelry became popular in England during the 1700s and the first half of the 1800s. The rings from this era featured large and elegantly cut stones, set with halos and fine metalwork, and inspired by nature and floral patterning. Pieces such as this Henri Daussi 18k White Gold halo ring, which features a cushion cut center stone and diamonds clustered around it, would be fit for any modern-day Marie Antoinette. This Sapphire and Diamond ring in 18k gold is another beauty for any bride-to-be who wants a splash of color, yet all of the classicism in a royal-looking ring. For the most playful and contemporary take on a Georgian style, we would suggest this Ruby and Diamond piece, which features a wide 18k white gold band with floating rubies and diamonds checkered across its front. In fact, ruby rings were the engagement ring of choice before diamonds became a fashion hit in the early 1900’s.
Victorian engagement rings are also back in fashion, with their intricate and feminine designs, inspired by clustered flowers, scrolls, and a more-is-more aesthetic. Queen Victoria, reining in the second half of the 1800s, would never have settled for just a solo, single-stone setting! Rather, Victorian-inspired rings play on big centerpieces with cocktail-styles and warm tones, such as this White Topaz and Diamond Ring in 18k Yellow Gold, or this Pink Morganite and Diamond Ring in 18k White Gold. Each of these feature intricate metalwork, layered stones, and in some cases like the Morganite style, asymmetrical lines. Classic triple-stone engagement ring styles such this Round Diamonds in Platinum piece, are also Victorian-influenced.
Edwardian rings became popular in the first twenty years of the 20th century, and featured lacy or etched platinum bands and white stones like diamonds. Fancy metalwork is key to obtaining this look, which is why some of the more “traditional” engagement ring styles that you can think of today are essentially Edwardian. For example, this Platinum Round Cut Diamond ring, shows a solitaire prong setting and stones reaching down either side of the band, while this Naledi Ariana Style Halo ring in 18k white gold, not only features a round cut central brilliant, but a raised halo setting, open metalwork, and braided sides.
For the more modern-vintage look, art deco and retro are two impactful eras in jewelry that are frequently incorporated into contemporary designs. Inspired by architectural lines and a minimal aesthetic, art deco rings included baguette and emerald-cut stones, introduced colorful elements, and incorporated repetition. This trio of emerald-cut diamonds in a platinum setting, haloed by pave stones, is a decidedly deco engagement ring, as are fashion rings like this triple-v shaped 18k trio of 18k yellow gold bands, encrusted with pave diamonds.
Rings that scream “old Hollywood” are retro, incorporating strong styles like woven metals, mixed stones, and fluid yet geometric lines—in fact, they are closely inspired by the independence and strength of the classic sirens on the silver screen, like Hepburn, Taylor, and Hayworth themselves. At Lux Bond & Green, we love woven numbers like this Roberto Coin 18k yellow gold basket-weave Retro Ring, which feels distinctively mid-20th-century. These “belt buckle” style rings, where diamonds and platinum contrast against either sapphire, ruby, or emerald, are also decidedly retro in vibe.
For any lady who seeks the timelessness that comes with a vintage-style engagement ring, Lux Bond & Green offers variety fit for all styles. Let us help you find the ring made for your new history together. Shop our engagement ring selection online, or visit one of our stores across Connecticut or Massachusetts today.