Our Guide to Edwardian Era Engagement Rings
If you are an antique jewelry lover, you have surely come across some beautiful pieces with ornate metalwork, filigree, and feminine themes, like florals and bows. This jewelry has most likely come from the Edwardian period, and we are big fans of the distinctive style of this era. Read on to learn more!
Here's a quick overview of Edwardian Rings
When was the Edwardian era?
The Edwardian era was the time period from 1901 to 1915. This era directly followed the Victorian era, which ended when Queen Victoria died in 1901. The Edwardian period is named for King Edward VII, who was known as a leader who influenced the style of times to be quite elegant and sophisticated. This time period was also known as the Gilded Age in America.
What are the defining characteristics of Edwardian jewelry?
Edwardian jewelry can be described as highly detailed and intricate, featuring curving lines, scrolls, floral vines, milgrain, and nature-inspired designs. These rings are ornate and opulent, featuring diamonds as well as other rich-colored gemstones. Platinum was typically favored during the Edwardian era, but we do see rings in gold from this time period, as well.
Let's dive a bit deeper into these unique features!
Edwardian Era Details
The Jana ring is a great example of a classic Edwardian ring. Often described as "white-on-white", many Edwardian rings center beautiful white diamonds set in platinum for that eye-catching light and bright look. Jana features a K-color old European cut diamond encased in an intricate open-filagree setting. Platinum was the favored metal of the time as its strength allowed for the fine and intricately lacy design details that we see here.
The Wilma ring is another great example of quite a few quintessential characteristics of Edwardian jewelry. This stunning piece features three dazzling old European cuts in a vertical line, surrounded by smaller diamonds set in an ornate platinum setting reminiscent of leaves and vines. Lace-like filigree and milgrain along the edges add to this ring's true Edwardian charm.
Another characteristic often found in Edwardian jewelry is the simulation of fabric and the feel of movement in the metalwork. The Sorrel ring centers a lovely rose cut diamond that feels as if it is nestled in fabric, with the platinum work giving the feel of fluid movement.
Gemstones in Edwardian Rings
Diamonds were not the only stones used during the Edwardian period. We see plenty of pieces centering other beautiful gemstones, like the Misty ring, which features two glowing no-heat cushion cut Sri Lankan sapphires. With a navette-shaped halo of diamonds, this ring highlights the opulence and glamour of this era.
Gemstones were also used for detail, such as this ruby halo on the Crown ring. Twenty channel set calibré cut rubies surround a perfect pear diamond, all below a floral-themed crown. The intricate detail of this ring is quintessentially Edwardian!
The Imogen ring is another stand-out Edwardian era gemstone ring. This amazing piece was originally a brooch that was recently converted into a ring, and makes for a one-of-a-kind engagement ring or eye-catching cocktail piece. The glowing aquamarine is surrounded by a floating halo of various sized old European cuts.
Edwardian Engagement Ring and Band Pairings
Just as with rings from any era, band pairing is all about what feels right and looks best to the wearer! Here are a few ideas for how to pair a band with an Edwardian Era engagement ring:
The boldness of the Eleanor ring works best with something simple, like the Perfect band.
The Alouette ring pairs perfectly with the Jane band, which feels Edwardian in its intricate engraved detail.
A half-hoop like Birmingham is easy to pair with any band - we love it with the Chunky band.
Other Edwardian Jewelry
In addition to beautiful rings, the Edwardian period produced lovely jewelry, such as bracelets, necklaces and earrings. The Gregory bangle features nine old mine cut diamonds set in silver and 18kt yellow gold.
The Kimpton necklace features many of the characteristics we adore in Edwardian rings - intricate metalwork, refined lines, and and a white diamond set in platinum.
How special are the Setai earrings? These beautiful jade and diamond earrings feel opulent and sophisticated. This pair is truly a special relic from this era!
Edwardian Jewelry in Pop Culture
If you've watched Downton Abbey, you've probably caught some of the beautiful jewels worn by the characters. As part of the show takes place in the Edwardian era, there are quite a few spectacular examples of the styles of the times! One standout: Lady Mary in a beautifully intricate necklace and earrings that highlight the intricate jewlery design of the period.
The movie Titanic takes place in Edwardian era, and the famous "Heart of the Sea" necklace is a prime example of Edwardian era opulence! This fictional blue diamond worn by Rose is based on the Hope Diamond, a 45ct deep blue diamond which is estimated to be worth up to $350 million dollars!
How to Clean Your Edwardian Ring
Approach cleaning your Edwardian ring the same way you would any ring, which we have plenty of tips for! But first off, an important note - if your ring contains emeralds, pearls, opals or other soft gemstones, be sure to be very careful while cleaning and only use warm water (never hot water).
Follow these steps to get your ring extra shiny and sparkly:
- Using a mixture of hot water and mild dish soap (hand soaps generally have moisturizers in them that can leave residue), let your ring soak for about 3-5 minutes.
- You can scrub it gently with an infant toothbrush, focusing on the underside and those nooks and crannies that Edwardian rings can often have. These tight spaces are typically where dirt accumulates and dulls your stone’s shine.
- Follow with a rinse in warm water, making sure the drain is covered.
- To dry, use a 100% cotton towel, let it air dry, or use a hair dryer.
Wearing Your Edwardian Ring Every Day
Edwardian rings are safe to wear every day as long as they are worn appropriately. As these rings are antique at 100 years old, be extra mindful of whacking or smashing the ring against anything and remove the ring at appropriate times such as when you sleep, shower, workout, or are lifting heavy things.
If your ring contains a softer stone, like an emerald, pearl, or opal, make sure to take extra care to protect it! This being said, millions of people safely wear these rings daily. Just be sure to get insurance- which is what we recommend with any stone!
We also strongly recommend 6-month and 1-year prong and setting check ups to make sure your ring is as safe as the day you received it. You can always bring it to us for a complimentary cleaning and safety check.
Can I create a custom Edwardian style ring?
We take inspiration from the beauty of these antique rings, and can definitely create something that is Edwardian-inspired! Our Pheona ring is a great option to get that white-on-white look, and that opulent feeling so associated with the Edwardian era. Our Kat ring in platinum also feels very Edwardian in shape and detail.
1. Choose your VB-Made setting, such as the Pheona or Kat ring. We are sometimes able to accommodate minor adjustment requests.
2. Establish a budget and any desired diamond specs. Custom projects start at $15,000.
3. We will source diamond options and send them to you for approval. We consider the stones to be part of the art that we create, so for that reason we only create custom pieces when we source the stones. Please note that supply of authentic antique stones is very limited, especially 2-3ct true old mine cuts. Therefore you may need to have some flexibility with your wish list or budget if you desire a true antique diamond for your ring.
4. Once you select your diamonds a 50% deposit is required to begin the project. Deposits for custom rings are non-refundable but are transferable. Custom projects take 6-12 weeks to create once a deposit is received.
5. Once your ring is completed the remaining 50% payment is due prior to us shipping you the ring or you picking it up. Please understand you are commissioning us to create you a custom piece, therefore custom projects are final sale with no refunds or exchanges offered.
Edwardian era jewelry is incredibly beautiful and special. The detail and care put into creating these opulent pieces make for timeless rings that we just adore! Shop our collection of Edwardian jewelry here!