Trying to find the right engagement ring for your girlfriend can be a difficult challenge, and requires a significant amount of time and effort. Many contemporary designs are all patterned after each other, and favor a simple style with clean edges featuring the center diamond. If she likes this general appearance, then your job becomes much easier, and you may well be able to surprise her with a typical contemporary setting and a beautiful diamond. However, many women’s styles run in a more unique, individual direction, and vintage jewelry is a favorite choice for this type of girl. But when you’re looking through antique style engagement rings, there’s a much larger variety of appearances to consider, and making the wrong choice could result in the terrible circumstance of your intended fiancee not liking the style of her engagement ring!
Antique, or “vintage”, engagement rings are procured in one of three ways, and each has their advantages and caveats. First, you may have access to a family heirloom jewelry piece that could serve as an engagement ring. In this case, you should be prepared to have a master jeweler clean, polish, and personalize it in some way to represent the uniqueness of your relationship. (You might upgrade the stone to a larger diamond, or add sidestones or gold detail around the shank of the ring.) Second, you may discover the perfect engagement ring from a source that sells actual antiques; estate jewelry resellers, pawn shops, and online retailers are a common source for these pieces. Finally, you might purchase a new engagement ring setting from a modern-day jewelry designer which is based on an antique style. This offers the convenience and quality of contemporary jewelry construction methods, with an appearance that matches your desired style of an earlier vintage. In this case, it’s most helpful to browse the selections of online jewelry vendors that offer jewelry customization options, so that your finished piece may still be “one of a kind”.
Antique jewelry, particularly of the art deco period, is often of a geometric nature, relying on various diamond shapes and cuts to achieve the desired visual effect. By using a square diamond shape, asscher diamond engagement rings in particular highlight the geometric aspect using tight angles and metalwork to emphasize corners and edges. These are often produced with a split shank, where the band of the ring splits into multiple strands to wrap around the center stone. Baguette or trilliant shaped sidestones may also be incorporated into a three-stone engagement ring for an even more dramatic effect.
If you’ve found an actual antique piece of jewelry to serve as an engagement ring, it’s critical that you have it carefully cleaned and reviewed by a jewelry craftsman to make sure that it’s still in good, stable condition. Some early jewelry construction methods were not as good at securing their diamonds in place in the setting, and active use may cause stones to pop out and get lost. Considering the investment required to purchase a diamond engagement setting, it’s definitely worthwhile to guard against any accidents by making sure the piece is in reliable condition. Also, if it was originally produced as a white gold ring, it will likely show a heavily worn surface that’s no longer white or shiny. This can be easily corrected by having a coating of rhodium applied, which most jewelry stores are capable of.
Your choice of engagement ring will ultimately serve as a lasting representation of your loving relationship with your future spouse, and will be treasured for a lifetime! Every ounce of research about various diamond traits, the “4 C’s”, and diamond settings will be fully worthwhile as you are able to enjoy seeing the pleasure with which your girlfriend receives the ring. Bridal jewelry is meant to last, and it’s up to you to make a regular habit of extending love, generosity, and respect to each other and enjoying the fruits of your relationship for years to come.