An engagement marks a significant point of our lives. It is like the door through which you walk into marriage. Everyone wants to celebrate and mark their engagement in the most memorable and exclusive way possible. Often, engagement rings are used to seal such occasions as they act as seals to the promise of marriage between couples. Does the type of engagement ring determine how good your engagement is? Well, if you’re considering Edwardian engagement rings, then you can bet your celebration will remain on many people’s lips for some time, maybe even forever.
History of the Edwardian Engagement Rings
The years 1901- 1908 are considered by most historians to be the “beautiful era”. This is because it was at that time that clothes and jewelry were produced. The period could be described as being extravagant as rings made during the time were flamboyant and had complex designs that were highly valued and appreciated. The rings made included those meant for engagement which usually did not match up well with the lace dresses that were worn during weddings. The rings’ complex nature made it that women wore engagement rings on a different hand than their wedding rings.
The Edwardian jewelry came up to complement the white dresses worn by brides back then. The name came about in honor of Edward VII who was king of England at around that time. He and his wife Alexandra were the fashionable leaders of the Belle Époque. But despite the fact that the jewelry making period was name after them, the practice was influenced by jewelry created in other places in Europe, mostly France. The Edwardian era was successful thanks to advancements in metal fabrication which allowed the use of platinum in making jewelry. A new type of detail enhancement called “milgraining’” was also established and widely used. It involved setting a small border of platinum beads around the edges of a classic engagement ring in order to give it a soft and stylish appearance.
However, the ear came to an end during World War I when platinum became scarce due its high demand in making war crafts. To date, the Edwardian engagement rings remain highly valued for their rich past, exclusivity and femininity.
Features of Edwardian Engagement Rings
The original Edwardian style was flashy yet traditional. There is a clear evidence of heavy romance influence in the various styles of rings that perfectly blended with the charm of the period. The Edwardian engagement rings were beautiful and unique but still bore common characteristics which include:
· The use of platinum, white gold or silver: The nature of these elements made it possible to create delicate designs. Platinum is strong yet light which made it possible for jewelers to create indiscernible details where little metal was needed to shelter a gemstone.
· Fashioned to be delicate: The rings are generally light in terms of weight and have a feminine look.
· Contain sophisticated filigree patterns which are handcrafted, along the ring band and crown. Also included are pierced patterns and integrated designs.
· Use of diamond and pearls to highlight the center of the ring which often is carved into romantic images such as hearts, vines, flowers, birds or bows. A new style of diamond development was identified and the diamonds were cut into new shapes taking in marquise, emerald and baguette cuts.
· Addition of milgrain edges or etchings to improve the texture of the metal of the ring. Milgrains would be developed by using a fine metal band to keep the diamond in place and add adornment of small beads of metal.
· Curved rings and arches with fine curvature to work well with the filigree and scrollwork overlay.
· Have accents that entirely surround the ring on each surface, including the sides of the shank, the crown and the band itself.
· Use of simple prong setting in engagement rings. It is also common to find the bezel setting put to use.
· Some Edwardian engagement rings would be signed if they came from a top jewelry designer. However, it is more common to find metal content marks signed on Edwardian wedding rings.
All these features of the Edwardian engagement rings were brought together to create a good appearance of the rings on the white-lace garments. This was an improvement from the conventional rings that seemed to contrast with the white garments that were used as wedding gowns.
Buying Guide for Edwardian Engagement Rings
When buying an Edwardian engagement ring, you want it to be genuine and offer you value for your money. Have an expert appraise a specific ring before deciding to buy it. This gives you great assurance of authenticity and you also get to know its worth. An appraiser will deduce information such as specific time period of the design, manufacturer information, faux or real gems and weight, grades and measurements of the particular ring.
Finding Edwardian Engagement Rings
Just like any other antique piece, finding Edwardian engagement rings can be quite difficult to get. To find one you may have to locate estate sales or those holding private collections. Some special antique shops may also be having a selection of the Edwardian era rings. Making an online search or reading relevant materials on the subject may help you trace where to find the rings.
Unlike modern rings which you can have custom made. Getting an original personalized Edwardian ring is almost impossible. The much you can do is to have them adjusted or polished.
What Do Edwardian Engagement Rings Cost?
The prices for Edwardian engagement rings vary depending on the age of the ring, quality of the stones and how much detail it has. The overall quality of the ring also contributes to its total value, which is from $6000 – $12000. You are likely to find the replica of Edwardian rings in many modern jewelry shops. Such often go for a lesser price but lack the authenticity.
Clearly, the Edwardian engagement rings are a timeless and priceless piece. The craft and ingenuity behind them sets them apart from other designs making it an ideal ring for any engagement. They allude romance and at the same time carry a great past.
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