The Art Deco Period, 1915-1935, opened with a World War and ended with one. In between were periods of extremes – from the extravagance of the “Roaring ‘20s” to the poverty of the Great Depression. It was also a period of astounding technological advancements. The Wright Brothers’ invention took off and the world cheered on Charles Lindbergh when he completing the world’s first trans-Atlantic airplane flight. Henry Ford began mass producing cars, increasing the supply and lowering the price making cars accessible to everyone, not just the rich.
If you’re not a big follower of engagement ring trends (it is a pretty niche interest, to be fair), allow us to fill you in. Diamonds are out, coloured gemstones are in. While the classic solitaire engagement ring still holds the title of most popular, it won’t for much longer. Brides-to-be are choosing non-traditional rings in droves, and celebrities are following suit. Many young brides are also increasingly concerned about ethical issues like conflict diamonds and fair trade. A desire to avoid mass-produced engagement ring designs that cause damage to the earth and its people means that vintage rings are the old-but-new next big thing.
I’d long had a tough time imagining a two-stone engagement ring. But this one has convinced me the silhouette can absolutely work.
It’s common for guys (and girls) to assume that the jewelry stores they see advertised on TV are the best option for buying engagement rings. After all, these companies spend millions of dollars to advertise all over the United States and convince you that their jewelry is the most beautiful.
An excellent way of ensuring that you have an Art Deco-styled ring, without the worry of authenticity and quality, is by creating your own. At Fairfax & Roberts we specialise in Art Deco design, and source high-quality materials or recreate items from treasured heirlooms.
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Any medium or large city will have a handful of jewellery stores that specialise in vintage or antique engagement rings. Within that handful, there’s bound to be at least one jeweller who is super passionate about gemstones and jewellery design. Find that one (or two, or three) store(s) and pay them a visit. Even if you don’t intend to buy from them, you’ll get to see as many art deco engagement rings as you want up close and get the jeweller’s invaluable insight.
Rest assured you’d never stop looking down at your hand if it was decorated with this stunning piece of art.
This bespoke engagement ring was carefully design and made from white gold and an oval diamond. Excellent craftsmanship and finish.
Diamond, onyx and platinum make for a stark yet chic contrast. Some brides-to-be might find this color palette to be appealing. Photo: Robert Weldon/GIA. Courtesy: Private collection
With the ornate patterns and detailed extravagant shapes, it should come as no surprise that many celebrity engagement rings feature elements of art deco styling. The most famous being Scarlett Johannson’s engagement ring which features the classic antique patterns seen in art deco engagement rings, as well as what appears to be rose-cut diamonds.
For a new engagement ring in the vintage art deco style, visit a jewelry store specializing in custom designs. Find some photographs of real art deco rings that you are inspired by and discuss how you can include symbols of your relationship with your designer. Although the ring will not be an authentic antique ring, a woman’s heart will melt at the thought of her fiance personally designing her engagement ring.
The Art Deco design style is defined by bold geometric patterns, clean lines, streamlined forms, sleek composition, curved shapes, smooth surfaces, and exquisite craftsmanship.
I have surprisingly strong opinions about engagement rings for someone who isn’t planning to get engaged anytime soon. (Probably because girls are raised to have strong opinions about engagement rings starting at age 4, but, you know, I digress.) My opinions are many—I want something unique-looking in structure, vintage-looking in color, and maybe sans diamonds entirely. But this diverse array of preferences tends to intersect at one genre of jewelry: Art Deco engagement rings.