As more of my friends are starting to get married. I am thrilled to take on the task of sourcing special antique rings for the engagement.
There are no rules to relationships these days, so even the act of engagement is a lofty subject. To ease the burden of this big step, many young people are starting to look for more casual or alternative styles to the large, obvious solitaire diamond.
In antique jewelry, the romance is in the symbolism. Design elements are incorporated to connote loving attachment. Here are a few styles that symbolize commitment in a more subtle yet meaningful way.
This refers to a ring with two stones in a cross over style setting. The stones can be two of the same, or mismatching. This style of ring was often used for engagements during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The cross-over style symbolizes two souls intertwined.
The toi et moi ring's popularity was believed to have started when Napoleon gave a sapphire and diamond engagement ring to Josephine in 1776.
Art Deco Filigree
lf you want to make a sparkly statement, but can't afford a grandiose stone, an elaborate setting might be the solution.
Filigree styles from the Art Deco era help emphasize a stone, making it look larger than it is. It still has the glamour and flash of diamonds, but it is usually accomplished with smaller stones. The artistic setting is excellent for someone with unique personal style. There were so many filigree patterns made during this time period, it would be hard to find two of the same.
Fede or Gemel Ring
A Fede ring (also called Gemel ring) is an old engagement ring style that features two hands clasped together. They usually have a hinge mechanism that clasps the hand to reveal a stone or a heart stamping. These are quite rare, but they can occasionally be found in nice condition.
The claddah ring has been a symbol of engaement since the 17th century in Ireland. It features two hands holding a heart topped with a crown (representing friendship, love, and loyalty).
According to tradition, the heart is worn pointing away on the right hand if the wearer is single, toward the body when the wearer has a love interest. When worn on the left hand, it should point away if the wearer is engaged and toward the body once the wearer is married.
Also known as "True Lovers Knot" or "Celtic Lovers Knot". This symbol was often used by sailors separated from their lovers. It is modeled from an difficult to untangle knot style. These rings can sometimes be found with a diamond in the center to make it extra engagement friendly.
Symbolically the belt motif represents the notion of "holding your love tightly", attachment and eternity. These usually have fairly simple designs and can look fairly modern when worn today. These make excellent engagement rings for males, or women with a more understated style. Read more about buckle motif symbolism in my previous blog post.
A prevalent Victorian symbol, the snake is an emblem of eternal love. The popular style began when Prince Albert proposed to Queen Victoria with what is considered the very first engagement ring, which was in the image of a snake with an emerald-set head.
There are so many options in today's jewelry market. The choice of ring should be as unique as the romance it represents. Antique rings are an excellent way to make a sentimental statement sure to last for generations to come.
See all available ring options, engagement and otherwise, at LUXXORVintage.com