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Victorian Engagement Rings

Victorian Engagement Rings

 
Victorian engagement rings are becoming an increasingly popular choice for couples who are drawn to a vintage aesthetic and are seeking an alternative engagement ring. Dating back to the Victorian Era, these one-of-a-kind antiques make special, sentimental, and romantic engagement rings.

The Angelina Ring

If you love the look of a vintage engagement ring but want to incorporate a modern gemstone, you may prefer a Victorian-inspired engagement ring. Either way, there are many breathtaking options for Victorian engagement rings. You can select an original antique ring, choose an antique inspired setting, or custom design your own perfect Victorian engagement ring with the help of our jewelry experts.

 

History of the Victorian Era

The Victorian Era is named for Queen Victoria of England, who reigned from 1837-1901. During her reign, Victoria was known for her love of jewelry as well as her exquisite taste. She also enjoyed a true love story with her husband, Prince Albert of Germany. That romance and resulting happiness is reflected in the jewelry from the early part of the Victorian Era. Whimsical and romantic motifs, such as bows, hearts, flowers, and serpents (an unlikely romantic motif today, but historically considered to be a symbol of unity and eternity) are all hallmarks of the era.

The Tabitha RingThe Melina Ring

After Prince Albert’s Death, the Queen mourned and became despondent, and the jewelry reflected this dark period in her life. The jewelry from later years of the Victorian Era features black gemstones, like onyx, and does not possess the same whimsy that characterized the beginning of the Victorian Era.


Other important aspects of the Victorian Era that changed the jewelry of the time were an increased availability of colored gemstones, a decrease in the cost of gold, and a greater supply of diamonds, due to mining efforts in South Africa. As a result, the jewelers and craftsmen in the Victorian Era started to expand their artistry with yellow and rose gold, and by applying details like engraving and filigree. Sapphires and other bold colored gemstones became more popular, and diamonds were used in new ways. In fact, the first Tiffany diamond solitaire was introduced in 1886.

 

Antique Victorian Engagement Rings

Browse our extensive collection of antique and estate jewelry, which is hand selected by our estate jewelry specialists. You’ll find beautiful Victorian engagement rings as well as magnificent pieces from other antique design eras. We invite you to learn more about the antique jewelry we select and offer—fall in love with a one-of-a-kind ring in our collection, or let a piece or two inspire you to design a custom engagement ring incorporating the Victorian details that you most adore.

The Claudia Ring

Victorian-Inspired Engagement Rings

Brilliant Earth also offers some magnificent Victorian-inspired engagement settings that may offer the perfect blend of vintage feel with the modern sparkle of an ethically sourced diamond or gemstones. One romantic and gorgeous option is the Victorian Halo Ring, which showcases either a round or a cushion diamond from our diamond collection within an octagonal halo of diamond. Another dazzling choice is the Luxe Victorian Split Shank Halo Ring, which offers similar design elements in the halo and the band, but is amplified by the split shank at the top of the ring, adding more depth, sparkle, and detailing to the ring.

Victorian Halo Diamond RingLuxe Victorian Halo Split Shank Ring

Both of these rings can be beautifully set with a sapphire for a stunning Victorian style engagement ring that has an added pop of brilliant color.

Sapphire Luxe Victorian Halo Split Shank Ring

Additional Considerations

A Victorian engagement ring is a romantic and profoundly enduring choice. It is also a style that is sure to allow your ring to stand out while still being unquestionably elegant. Whether you want an engagement ring from the Victorian Era, or you want to the time period to be the inspiration for your selection or design, Brilliant Earth can listen and guide you to the ring of your dreams. Contact us to learn more about how we can help make your search stress free, through, and enjoyable.

 

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Comments:

Noemi ramirez Says:
November 25th, 2014 at 4:29 pm

I would love to look at the Victorian age inspired engagement rings


B. Earth Says:
November 28th, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Hi Noemi, you can view all of our antique Victorian engagement rings here: http://www.brilliantearth.com/victorian-engagement-rings/. Additionally, we have a large selection of vintage-inspired engagement rings, which you can view here: http://www.brilliantearth.com/antique-style-engagement-rings/. Thank you for your interest!


Ecfinn Says:
February 19th, 2015 at 1:52 pm

There were no engagement rings in the Victorian Era. The entire concept was invented as part of a marketing campaign by DeBeers in the late-1940s. Before that time, a plain gold wedding band was all the jewelry involved in a wedding. But that doesn’t sell many diamonds.


Alice Says:
February 21st, 2015 at 11:39 am

Not quite true. There have been engagement rings for hundreds of years. Throughout the Victorian era they used garnets, sapphires and emeralds, even hair jewellery. Diamonds started becoming popular in the 1890s when Cecil Rhodes and DeBeers started heavily mining in South Africa; they were advertised in the Sears Roebuck catalogue as “engagement rings” as early as the late 1880s. The early 1900s was the real turning point in diamond popularity. You’re about 40 years off.


Cori Says:
February 21st, 2015 at 2:11 pm

There were no engagement rings that were CALLED engagement rings, but there certainly were promise rings, which served the same general purpose. Both my grandmother and great-grandmother were given promise rings by their intendeds, and that was prior to 1940 in both cases.

That said, the wedding band generally replaced the promise ring, and the two were not typically worn together after the wedding. The promise ring went by other names in other countries and regions.


Deb Says:
February 22nd, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about such things in her books so they were around longer than that. Diamonds got popularized by DeBeers, but various garnets were very popular with the Victorian era.


Angela Says:
February 25th, 2015 at 4:07 pm

My fiance found a local artist that does sustainable rocks. So she owns her own lab, so my gem was grown; she also uses recycled gold, so my setting is technically white gold. And the box it came on, all recycled cardboard. I love it; and it wasn’t that cheap or expensive probably $500 – 1K


Dorothy Says:
June 23rd, 2015 at 7:43 pm

Almost the first thing David Copperfield does after he and Dora are engaged is buy her a ring. “When I measured Dora’s finger for a ring that was to be made of Forget-me-nots, and when the jeweller, to whom I took the measure, found me out, and laughed over his order-book, and charged me anything he liked for the pretty little toy, with its blue stones.”


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