Post # 1
I’m kind of confused why a lot of people call these “antique” or vintage style rings?. Neil Lane is an example, but you can GIS “antique style” engagement ring and the whole page will be filled with examples – basically its the settings with lots of melee diamonds.
I see a lot of places calling rings with these multiple-melee diamond settings antique or vintage style. I go to a lot of auctions with real antique jewelry (pre-1950 to 1800) and they look nothing like all these halo/diamond encrusted bands I see nowadays. For the most part they just didn’t have the techniques and time to cut and set multiple tiny diamonds. Most antique rings I see have filigree work (which I almost never see in contemporary rings) and mine or European cut stones.
These melee encrusted rings seem like the def. of “contemporary” rings to me since the style and composition has really only been possible with recent cutting and manufacturing techniques.
Am I missing something? Is there a reason other than the look these are called antique/vintage look? Any body else look at authentic antique jewelry and wonder what the connection to the current crop of jewelry (engagement and otherwise) called antique or vintage style?
Post # 3
Here is mine. I don’t know if it’s really ”vintage”-style because I haven’t done a lot of researches over the true vintage or antique jewelry before purchasing it, but I knew I was looking for something that didn’t scream ”modern” and that would somehow be ”timeless”. That even though fashion changes over time, I wouldn’t grow tired of it. It is also one of the only ones, within the price range I was looking, that had embellishments on the sides, while most of the wedding bands I saw didn’t.
Post # 4
Interesting post! With your experience with auctions of real vintage jewelery, it is interesting you question what is the current “vintage” that is currently advertised.
My ring was described as being “vintage-inspired” There is a double halo with different stone sizes, and the shank is plain.
Post # 5
My ring is one of those that is an “antique” styled ring. It doesn’t have tiny stones but there are smaller stones on it, the wedding band is curved with small stones and both rings have milgrain. I honestly think it’s a selling technique, most actual vintage rings I see are not diamonds and if they are the stones are much smaller than what’s used in rings today, making them seem very dainty (which is something I like). It’s sort of like how most people today thinks the 80s=neon spandex/big hair and when people think of the 1920s they assume everyone was glitzy and glammed up like The Great Gatsby or Chicago, we pick and choose what we want to remember about a time period.
Post # 6
I hear what you’re saying about not having the tools to set multiple little diamonds. The detail came from the metal work back then. Many pieces of true antique jewelry I’ve seen have filigree and beautiful craftsmanship. I consider my ring antique inspired for is metal work and intricate design. Also I feel like the pave diamonds add a level of detail reminiscent of all the old metal detail which was done (think edwardian pieces) as strictly metal work, whereas now the diamonds bring in the detail while also adding bling. To me it’s the amount of detail similar to filligree which puts it in the antique inspired camp. Irrespective of pave diamonds having been around or not. It’s the inspiration which propelled the modern design using present day tools.
Post # 7
@MirnaMinkoff: I hear what you’re saying re melee/pave/micro pave-set diamonds, as you don’t see these in genuine antiques. For me, ‘antique style’ refers to just that: the style. So, a lot of cluster/multi-stone rings, or certain ring shapes (eg daisy) are often referred to as ‘antique style’ as those styles/shapes are common in antique jewellery. Whereas I also see a lot of, say, halo rings marketed as being ‘antique style’ and for me these aren’t: they are, conversely, very modern IMPO, and I have never looked at a halo and thought ‘Oh, that looks antique!’ So I think sometimes it’s not misleading exactly, but is maybe trying to give a piece a kind of provenance/’history’ that it doesn’t actually have, if that makes sense.
I would describe my current ring as being antique-style, as although it has pave diamonds surroudning the centre stones and on the shoulders, the shape and the fact it is a cluster lend it an antique look. Also because of the colour clarity and cut of the stones, they sparkle a certain way and have what at times is an almost grey colour which for me looks at times like an older ring; often you see that same colour. Weirdly, while my new ring is pretty much an exact copy, the colour of the stones and the way they sparkle makes it look much more modern. So, I think different factors come into play.
However, I’ve had a LOT of people ask if my ring is antique: so, it must have that certain look about it. Here’s my current ring:
And my new one:
And both of them together (kind of hard to capture what I mean by them looking different in a photo; I think it’s more obvious in real-life):
Post # 8
Thanks everyone.Actually some of the rings in this thread do have what I would consider an “antique” look to some degree (like NauticalDisaster–chouette) at least far more than what I see being specifically marketed as such.
@Scintillante – Beautiful ring, but I consider yours more of the “modern” or contemporary look due to the halo, but the lovely gold band does decrease that effect.
I guess the the thing that really marks it at “modern’ (and nothing like an antique/vintage style to me) is when there is a halo AND the band is covered with melee stones – those are instantly identifable as rings produced within the past 5 years.
@LoveBeingaMrs – I see what your saying about maybe the melee being inspired by what used to be detailed metalwork on rings.
@Barbie86: Yeah, I think of the halo settings as the ‘new style” or current look for e-rings – so much so that i bet people will be able to guess the decade you were married in the future by seeing a halo setting. (Just like a yellow gold & pear/marq diamond is a sign of a 1960’s engagement.)
Actually Barbie the center of your ring does remind me of an antique style (but not the band) – antique/vintage settings did use more of a “cluster” diamond look sometime. Also the “color” you refer to – the really bright white/clear diamonds were only discovered in SA mines about 60 or so years ago – they have produced the “whitest” color diamonds every seen. Up until that time a E F or G color diamond could be quite rare. The diamond mines before SA just had different conditions and rarely produced ultra-white color diamonds. (Not to mention minecut diamonds have a different type of sparkle to them – more internal than external. The Old European cut was the first to really blaze, and looks esp beautiful by candlelight.)
Thanks for all your input everyone. i can at least now see some instances of the “antique style” being a bit more realistic on some of these rings but all and all I think it is mostly a marketing ploy more than anything. I guess when it comes to a long-term item like a engagment-ring or wedding band you never want to market it as “the new fad” or style just because they are supposed to hold up for 50 plus years.
Bit off Topic, but: I’ve also been kind of amazed at how fancy “wedding bands” have become and use lots of stones – melee or otherwise. My mother had a giant flawless solitarie engagment ring (over 2 carats) but the simplest, plain, white gold band. The majority of my childhood I didn’t even realize there was a ‘weddingband” (It matched her e-ring and set beneath it, so it almost just look like her ering had a double band) She told me it was her “wedding ring” and I always assumed she was talking about the diamond ring. I was a bit shocked when I found there were 2 seperate rings, and the wedding band was the really plain one.)
Post # 9
Just adding, I don’t know if it’s clear enough on my picture, but I actually don’t have a stone on my ring. It’s white gold, with diamond dust in the middle !
I think vintage-style is somewhat inspired from shapes of styles of an era, but don’t necessarily replicate it.
If you want a true vintage or antique ring, why not look in flea markets, antiques shops and places like that, where you could find authentic jewelry that used to be someone’s grandmother or great-grandmother’s ring ? I might eventually buy a more expensive one, and those are places I would go ring-hunting for authentic vintage jewlry. 🙂
Post # 10
@NauticalDisaster: Oh, I’ve already got my ring, so I’m not actually looking. I was def. going the real vintage ring route, until (well I’ll explain below). But right before I got the stone for my ring I started really exploring the current world of engagement rings at jewelry stores and online – and the amount of new rings advertised as ‘vintage style” was one thing that really befuddled me. (BTW I knew a lot about antique/vintage jewelry – not so much about the current scene.)
The story behind my ring is topic related so I’ll share. My finace was definitely going to buy an “authentic vintage” – meaning actually produced in the 1950’s-60’s ring. I actually collect modernist jewerly from the mid-century era (1940’s-60’s) – so he knew that’s what I would insist on having. (And because I”m so picky and know what I like, he pretty much just insisted I help him find what I want and he would pay.)
It wasn’t easy to find a vintage modernist ring that would fit the bill as an engagement ring but then I got incedibly lucky. My husband found out one of my absolute favorite designers from that era was still alive and working. (Lucky! All the other designers on my top 5 list had died years ago) So I was able to have a custom design done by one of my all time favorite studio designers. We used as our starting point designs they had done in the 1950’s that I adored and then they did orginial sketches for me to chose from based on what I submitted.
The diamond my husband found for it was a beautiful old european cut diamond.
To say I love my ring is a vast understatement, I NEVER thought I could love a ring so much. I am so picky about jewelry and the designers I like that finding a ring I would be happy to wear for the rest of my life wasn’t an easy task.
But had this designer not still be alive and able to work with me there is absolutely NO doubt I would have been buying a vintage ring – heck I even gave my fiance a list off the designers’ names who I okayed for my ring. (You can usually only find these pieces either at auction or at a few stores that specialize in that period and style. Sometimes called “the wearable art movement” ) I luv me some real vintage jewelry.
Post # 11
@MirnaMinkoff: I would have LOVED a vintage ring, but, I did want the micro-pave which they didn’t have.
Also, thanks for the info re diamond colours: that makes so much sense! The stones in my original ring are H-I coloured, and in my new one they’re D coloured. What you said about the cut is also interesting: they sparkle very differently, it’s hard to explain though without being able to show someone IRL; but my original one looks particularly great in certain lights, esp candle-light.
Re my centre arrangement: yes, it’s quite typical of antique rings; you see a lot of antique ‘daisy’ clusters (as they’re typically called). But they don’t have the micro-pave halo like mine does.
Post # 12
I think the key word with these rings is style, not vintage or antique. For example, modern halos are inspired by those Victorian daisy clusters, but with bigger center stones and pave accents to better appeal to today’s tastes. As a result of other present-day tastes, such as white metals being the predominant metal you’ll see in a jewelry store, you’ll notice less rose gold than Victorian rings, but a similar amount compared to the Art Deco era.
Although this post is about e-rings, true vintage wedding bands are rarely used due to designs that aren’t conducive to resizing. All that engraving and filigree can only be made a bit bigger if it goes all the way around the ring.
Post # 13
Mine is vintage-style. I have filigree and milgrain, which are pretty antique details.
Funny you say that stones on the band and halos are modern, considering my great grandma’s ring from the late 1920s looked very similar to mine (halo, details, etc.).
Post # 14
@vorpalette: I guess I should qualify that by saying ‘micro/melee stone halos” and I have seen stones around a center stones on antique rings but they are much larger and look much different than the “modern” halos I see on current rings.
Here is a good example, its a blog post showing real antique rings which might have what you could call a “halo” but they look night and day difference to me.
The old rings have a “halo” with 7 small stones, as opposed to 12 to 20 that you see on the modern rings (and usually on top of a band with melee stones too) – just very different aesthetic to my eyes.