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Vintage Engagement Rings

Vintage Engagement Rings

Vintage is hardly a new trend, especially when it comes to engagement rings. Vintage rings have been popular ever since 1477, when the Archduke of Austria betrothed Mary of Burgundy with a diamond ring. (Did you know that was the first recorded use of a diamond ring as a symbol of engagement?) Recently, with the help Kate Middleton's engagement ring hype, vintage style rings are more popular than ever. Today most authentic vintage rings are hand-me-downs or purchased for extremely high prices from high-end, antique jewelers. 

Vintage engagement rings are available at a variety of price points. For those of us who can't afford a real vintage ring from back in the day, there are always vintage style rings. In 2011, it's easy to buy brand new rings that look just as old as vintage. Jewelers (both in store and online) sell a variety of unique vintage inspired engagement rings. Designers use old molds to design settings, brilliantly mimicking the romantic, timelessness of true vintage rings. Some of these rings look so authentic that it’s hard to tell they aren’t actually originals from the late Victorian era. What makes a new ring look vintage? Most vintage inspired rings are designed with a delicate diamond crusted setting known as pave. More contemporary engagement rings tend to have clean, either highly polished or matte finished looks. Pave settings have an older appearance because of the small diamonds beaded within the metal. Vintage rings are identifiable because of their intricate detail and carvings. Whereas modern engagement rings generally have no carvings, vintage rings have stunning details. It is these details that makes vintage (or in this case vintage inspired) rings so exquisite. Real antique rings may have initials or messages carved for the original owners. Additionally, they often have lace-like, romantic patterns on the band. Vintage imitations usually have one main diamond, as opposed to three diamonds for example. In such rings, the larger center stone is highlighted with gentle accents surrounding. While diamonds are the classic pick for engagement rings, gems of other colors are just as, if not more, precious.

Antique style engagement rings often have stones other than diamonds. Sapphires and emeralds are popular choices as they are classy and considered high-society. Recently, Kate Middleton brought the sapphire back in style when Prince William of England asked her to marry him. William gave Middleton's an 18 carat sapphire ring, surrounded by 14diamonds, a Windsor family heirloom worth over $300,000. When selecting a vintage inspired diamond ring, make sure look for these characteristics. 


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