Vintage wedding rings have never been as popular as they are now. Choosing a vintage ring is one of the best ways to really do something a little bit different. If you love vintage like I do, you're going to smile every time you look down to your left hand for the rest of your life.
Precious stones such as sapphires, rubies and emeralds were popular choices of stone as diamonds weren't really in vogue until the De Beers campaigns of the 1930s.
In those days, only the very wealthy would have had an engagement ring, most people would have settled on just a plain wedding ring. The whole concept of engagement rings began because a wealthy family whose daughter agreed to marriage would want a 'down payment' of sorts to make sure his affections were pure, and that he wasn't just trying to get her into bed.
Rings from the Victorian era were often yellow gold and low-set, which means that they are quite practical to wear every day. While ornate, the same technology didn't exist then as does now, so the detail on antique rings is not as fine as you might see on a more modern ring, or a reproduction.
Edwardian rings, on the other hand, were sometimes set in platinum, although this material did not really become common until the Art Deco era.
With most people only having a wedding ring, they were much more ornate than the rings we wear now. They were big and flashy, and designed to grab attention. Floral, decorative designs were common, and rings were often asymmetrical in design and set with small stones.
If you're going for a Goth or dark-themed wedding, an Edwardian wedding ring will suit the part perfectly. What could be better than having a deep and dark sapphire or a intensely red ruby?
I love vintage rings, and I really love everything Art Deco, but as I mention above, by the 1930s more emphasis was placed on the engagement ring and the wedding ring itself became plainer. Instead, couples engraved their rings with their names and/or dates of the wedding.
With vintage wedding rings these days, it's rare to find a ring that is authentic. They tend to stay within the family as heirlooms, or get made into other sentimental pieces of jewellery. There are plenty of vintage ring set around and a favourite choice at the moment is the Art Deco style, mainly as it favours platinum which is so popular now.
Given that I love the symmetry of the era, it would only make sense that I when I got married, that I would choose a vintage style engagement ring. It's a centre sapphire shouldered by two diamonds. I love it because it's not a big diamond (like everyone else's) and it's that little bit different. My wedding ring is a simple plain band (comfort fit, which I highly recommend) that sits just next to it.
One thing I didn't think of though, is that because my replica vintage engagement ring doesn't have a particularly high setting, like the designs you see today, the ring doesn't sit flush to the ring creating a slight gap.
At first this really bothered me, but after time and speaking to a jeweller about correcting it, I decided against altering it. I love that gap now and wouldn't change it for the world.
It is a word of caution though if you are thinking about a vintage ring. Plan ahead and buy the rings together so you know how they'll look together.