GUIDE TO ANTIQUE ENGAGEMENT RINGS
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couples today are choosing to mark their engagement with an antique,
or antique-style ring. For some, this choice comes from a desire
for a ring as unique and special as their relationship; others love
the sense of old-fashioned romance in their design.
antique engagement rings on the market today date from the late
1800s through the 1950s. Victorian era jewelry is often in yellow
or rose gold; some rings are quite simple, with a single Old Mine
or Old European Cut diamond; others have a row of antique diamonds,
or deep, intricate carving. It was during this time that Tiffany
introduced its classic diamond solitaire.
gold and platinum became a popular choice for engagement rings in
the early twentieth century. The Edwardian bride often wore a ring
with a filigree design, a technique of piercing metal to create
an intricate, openwork look. Art Deco wedding rings sometimes have
a more geometric shape, with diamonds set in steps on each side
of the center stone. Bridal jewelry of the 1930s-40s feature delicately
engraved patterns, and romantic, feminine carvings.
shopping for a vintage or estate engagement ring, it is important
to inspect the condition of the piece. The prongs holding the center
diamond, and any small stones, should be solid and secure. The shank
of the ring (the part that extends around the back of the finger)
should be of sufficient thickness; this, of course, can be replaced
in the future if necessary. Keep in mind that your engagement ring
will be worn everyday; therefore, it is wise to choose either a
newly made antique-style ring, or a vintage ring in very good condition.
caring for your antique engagement ring is important to keeping
it beautiful. If you use hand cream, it is recommended to rinse
your ring under hot water each night (don't forget to put the stopper
in the sink!) to keep grease, and dirt, from building up on the
diamond. You can also use a baby's toothbrush and mild toothpaste
to gently scrub the diamond. Do not scrub the metal part of the
ring, as this can cause scratches; use a jeweler's polishing cloth
to renew the shine of the gold or platinum.