The stunning Art Deco style is synonymous with geometric shapes and elegant vintage designs. In fact, if you’re considering a vintage engagement ring, there’s a good chance you’re looking for something in the Art Deco style. In this article, we provide all the information you need to find the perfect ring.
The Art Deco era started shortly before World War I. The name ‘Art Deco’ is short for Arts Décoratifs. It rose in popularity between the 1920s and 1930s and helped usher in the Roaring Twenties. The Art Deco era did not stop at jewelry, however. It influenced everything, even radios, cars, and buildings.
Glamour and luxury are key to the Art Deco movement. This includes careful craftsmanship and the use of rich materials.
Regardless of its origins, the Art Deco movement has very much prevailed and these vintage rings are exceedingly popular today. Imagine the sparkle, beauty, and grace, of the early 20th century, and embrace the Art Deco movement right here in the modern era.
Art Deco engagement rings were heavily influenced by styles with strong geometric shapes like Futurism, Modernism, and Cubism. The result is intricate designs with bold colors and all the flare and drama of the 1920s. The Art Deco style also exhibits influences from two preceding design movements – Art Nouveau and the Edwardian Era.
Early examples of Art Deco engagement rings showcase a stronger influence from the simpler designs and flowery accents related to the Art Nouveau movement. Then, there was an evolution of the Art Deco style during the 1920s. Geometric shapes became popular, and angles were sharper with more symmetrical detail.
The Edwardian style also influenced jewelers during the 1920s, leading them to include platinum and diamonds in engagement rings. However, Art Deco rings were bolder than the earlier Edwardian rings and opposed the nature-inspired designs and elegant curved lines associated with this era.
Although Art Deco engagement rings are known for their geometric designs, they also feature some different styles. When shopping for Art Deco engagement rings, it can be helpful to know whether your significant other likes simpler jewelry or something with a bit of drama. Engagement rings are very personal pieces and need to reflect the wearer’s personality and preferences. Finding the perfect ring among all the different styles and specifications can be quite a challenge. But do not be discouraged. Knowing your partner and their tastes will help a great deal in this process.
Art Deco engagement rings were born of an era in which women had recently found their confidence, that is, during the Roaring Twenties. Such vintage engagement rings are, therefore, best suited to a daring leading lady. The fashion scene in those days was vibrant and inspired flashy statement pieces. Art Deco rings almost always bring flare and glamour to the table.
Art Deco rings are as popular today as they were during their heyday, especially since the demand for vintage engagement rings is on the rise. Rings from the Art Deco period have intricate filigree or milgrain detailing and symmetrical diamond features. Jewelry designs during the Art Deco era were bold and dramatic and they have retained the same sense of stunning wonder as they held a century ago. Between the intricate details, there are clean lines that draw an exciting contrast alongside halos and sparkling diamonds.
Art Deco engagement rings often feature halos. A halo on your ring can make the diamond look bigger than it is without increasing the price too dramatically. It looks brilliant in platinum, white gold, or yellow gold. The style also remains symmetrical which fits antique engagement rings following the Art Deco design format. In the 1920s, it was common to see a diamond accompanied by black onyx, ruby, or sapphire. A vintage diamond engagement ring with an Asscher or emerald cut stone is also authentic to the 1920s.
A modern Art Deco diamond ring can be made in rose gold as well for a unique addition of color to an Art Deco diamond engagement ring. Staying clear of platinum or white gold, and opting for yellow or rose gold instead allows you to add color without straying from an entirely diamond ring. If you do want to add other stones, sapphire, ruby, emerald, and onyx are popular choices today.
Platinum was all the rage during the heyday of the Art Deco style. Due to how popular platinum was during this time, white gold was invented. White gold was a cheaper option that still looked like platinum. Even today, you will find that the vast majority of Art Deco jewelry is made with white gold or platinum, with only a few pieces in rose or yellow gold.
Jewelers in the 1920s understood the importance of boldness to the ladies of the 1920s. This resulted in many of these vintage rings being quite big and flashy. Art Deco engagement rings have large stones, filigree, and diamonds designed to stand out against your choice of metal. The need for a larger size at a more affordable price often means that your diamond ring will have a halo. This helps make a smaller stone look much larger. Round brilliant, cushion, or even emerald-cut diamonds may also have halos to make them look bigger.
It is not uncommon for Art Deco engagement rings to marry a diamond with other gemstones to add a pop of color. These colored stones might be accent stones along the side, a colored halo, or a bold center stone. Center stones might include an emerald, aquamarine, or sapphire. Bezels often feature ruby or sapphire, with sapphire or emerald accents. Many authentic Art Deco rings from the 1920s have a sapphire center stone as these gemstones were more popular than diamonds in the early years. In fact, it was only after the Art Deco period that the diamond rose to popularity, replacing sapphire as the preferred stone for engagement rings.
Perhaps the most significant design element of an Art Deco engagement ring is the shape of the diamond. Bold shapes feature strongly in Art Deco style rings since they were inspired by architectural designs, and often have a large center stone. Contrasting shapes were also popular; you might see a round brilliant cut center stone with a cushion halo. Horizontal or vertical lines are highlighted by emerald-cut diamonds.
Something that is considered quite unique to Art Deco rings is the use of square gemstones in a halo instead of round ones. Side stones are also often trapezoids or triangles along a square or round center stone. These contrasts add to the flair associated with Art Deco rings.
If you are specifically looking for an authentic vintage Art Deco ring, then you will likely get one with an Old European Cut Diamond. An authentic Old European Cut Diamond would have been cut in the late 19th century, or shortly after. They are cut specifically for carat weight and not for brilliance. This means that an Old European cut diamond has less brilliance because it has fewer facets, but more carat weight than modern cut diamonds. They will also likely be set in white gold or platinum instead of another metal.
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