While it may not be everyone’s style, many brides love the romance and aesthetic of antique or vintage engagement rings. There’s the feeling of wearing history, as well as knowing that your ring is unique, possibly even one of a kind.
However, there are downsides that come with an antique ring. Technology has improved, leading to more brilliant-cut diamonds available. Also, older rings were typically constructed using a method called “mine cut” and tend to have a larger culet, which is the pointed part on the bottom of a diamond – leading to a darker center in the stone. On a similar note, the construction of ring settings has developed, leading to stronger and sturdier rings that stand the test of time. Restoration can also be difficult for some vintage rings, and the maintenance required can be extensive.
But if you’re in love with the look of antique engagement rings, you can get the best of both worlds with a vintage-inspired ring. The images below from real weddings offer inspiring styles purchased by real grooms for their brides. Click each picture to see more details from the celebrations that featured these gorgeous rings.
Photo by Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography
These intricate rings that evoke the Edwardian period are a great choice for brides that enjoy lacy looks and feminine details. Filigree metalwork is another popular method that influenced jewelers of the time.
Elements of Art Deco style include geometric shapes and colorful gemstones. The encircled accent diamonds framing the yellow center stone looks straight out of The Great Gatsby, while the triple shank ring is a subtle illusion to the structure of Art Deco jewelry.
Photo by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography
If you want an excuse for a Hollywood glam-themed wedding, a retro engagement ring is just the ticket. Platinum was not as available during wartime, but if it’s your preferred metal, a grand diamond or gemstone with feminine accents will still conjure up images of glamorous starlets of the golden age.
For more vintage wedding style, click here to see bridal designer Claire Pettibone's collection of vintage-inspired engagement rings, and be inspired by these 1940s-influenced bridal fashion accessories.