Finding the perfect engagement ring to match your personal style and reflect the unique story of your relationship can be overwhelming. There are many different types of rings to choose from—and without researching and narrowing your options ahead of time, it might seem like you’ll never find the ring of your dreams.
Having an idea of what you like and what you are looking for can help ease the difficulty of searching for a ring and can make the process more enjoyable. Prepare yourself for the task ahead by familiarizing yourself with five of the most popular styles of engagement rings outlined below.
Antique and Vintage Engagement Rings
Purchasing new rings is not always better. In fact, many brand new rings are mass produced, which means a lot of other women are wearing the exact same style. This can make your ring feel less special and intimate.
Vintage engagement rings offer a rich history and one-of-a-kind design that you can appreciate for years to come. Typically, in order to be considered vintage, a ring needs to be over 20 years old. Pieces that are over 100 years old are known as antiques. Just like jewelry and fashion today, many different trends and techniques have been popular over the last couple of centuries. Due to this, jewelry is often classified into a specific era according to the time frame in which it was created and the style that it embodies.
Queen Victoria had a major impact on jewelry style during her reign, which is why the period between 1837 to 1900 is known as the Victorian era. Antique victorian engagement rings that were created during this time frame often feature bright colored stones, floral designs, and nature themes. However, some Victorian era pieces reflect the Queen’s mourning over the death of her husband and have slightly darker characteristics.
The period from 1901 to 1915 is known as the Edwardian era, and jewelry made during this time is often elaborate and draped in beautiful and bold gemstones, especially diamond, pearl, and emerald. This era is also one of the first that regularly used platinum as jewelry. Vintage Edwardian engagement rings tend to be very romantic in nature and intricate in design.
Art Deco Era
Geometric shapes, symmetry, and linework are just a few of the characteristics that separate Art Deco pieces from those of other eras. The Art Deco period spanned from 1920 to 1935, and its design characteristics were not just found in jewelry, but were also common in artwork, architecture, and other areas. Antique Art Deco engagement rings are often big, bold, and extremely intricate. Jewelry made during this time was meant to be proudly displayed and easily seen from across a room.
One and Done: The Solitaire Ring
Much like its name, the solitaire ring relies on a single stone to make a big impact—however, that does not limit design possibilities. A diamond solitaire is often a popular choice for an engagement ring, but it isn’t the only stone available; ruby, emerald, and opal are among some colorful gemstones that work well as solitaires. Aside from stone choice, solitaires can also vary when it comes to shape and cut, which allows you to hone in on characteristics that you like and makes finding the perfect ring less complicated.
While the center stone is the focal point of this ring style, the band often features smaller stones that add more detail and help the solitaire stand out. Solitaire rings usually come in one of two settings: prong or bezel. The setting you choose depends on whether you prefer a protective element for your stone or an emphasis on its size and brilliance. A bezel setting is raised so that it supports the stone and makes it less likely to catch on items or get scratched, while a claw-like prong setting allows more light to reach the stone from different angles.
When One isn’t Enough: Three Stone Rings
Less is not always more, which is why some brides prefer having more than one stone in their engagement ring. Three stone rings are popular because they offer the sparkle that many women love and more than one type of gemstone can be featured. Additionally, the three stone ring holds a special meaning to some couples because they represent the past, present, and future of their relationship. The biggest stone represents the present, which is why is it placed at the center of the ring.
Although you can find a truly unique solitaire ring, you can open yourself up to more options and creative designs when you have more than one gemstone to work with.
The New Normal: Wedding Sets
Many women choose to add an additional band to their engagement ring once they officially exchange vows. A band and an engagement ring can be purchased together as a set, or they can be completely separate pieces—it all depends on the preference of the wearer. Some women choose to have both rings soldered together to form one whole ring, while others keep them separate, allowing them to wear the rings individually. It is not uncommon for a third band to also be added to the wedding set, which usually represents an anniversary or addition to the family.
Artisan and Custom Diamond Engagement Rings
The ultimate way to ensure that your ring matches your style is by contributing your input into the actual design. Artisan diamond rings are hand-crafted and allow you to have a one-of-a-kind look. You can commission a designer to create a ring for you or choose from an existing artisan ring. The former allows you to design the ring and guarantees that you will be head over heels in love with your ring.
Something for Everyone
No matter what your preferences are, there is a perfect ring out there for every bride-to-be. Prepare for the task of finding that ring by taking the time to figure out what stones, metals, and designs fit your personality. This will help you narrow your search and make the process more fun and exciting.