Tag Archives: family heirlooms

The symbols of romance – antique engagement rings

If you think that all couples wishing to get married are choosing only modern designs for their wedding rings … think again. This is because among them, there are many couples who are planning to have a more traditional wedding and more so because some such couples are into old-fashioned romance.

antique engagement ring

Believe it or not, the best place to search for antique wedding bands could be your own home and that of your partner’s. If both of you are lucky enough to possess family heirlooms in the form of antique style wedding rings, you could end up with authentic antique wedding rings and what’s more, for free. The advantage here is that if you wish to make alterations in the size and design of such rings to suit you, these can be carried out by any professional jeweler.

To cater to the special segment of couples looking for antique wedding rings, several jewelry stores and retailers have separate sections where you and your partner can find matching antique style wedding rings. Apart from such jewelry stores, there are many specialized, mail order jewelry catalogues and online jewelry stores which feature a wide range of antique wedding rings as well as antique filigree wedding rings.

However, it is important to be fully convinced of the legitimate status of such stores, the specification of the antique wedding rings you may order and the authenticity of the gem stones, should they form part of your rings. Photographs of antique style wedding rings in jewelry catalogues or online directories can be deceptive, therefore, you must be careful and exercise some caution.

History of Antique Engagement and Wedding Rings

The early Roman era is credited with the initial custom of giving rings for wedding purposes. After families reached a marriage agreement for their children, an engagement would be celebrated with an established rite. Engagement rings would be exchanged during this ceremony. The engagement ring would be placed on the left ring-finger in accordance to an Egyptian belief that that a very fine vein ran directly to the heart from the left finger. The Romans used an ancient clasped hand design for betrothal rings. This “fede” or “trust” ring remained popular for centuries and is still used in jewelry.

Typically antique wedding rings from the 19 th century and the 20 th century were plain gold bands. Many of these gold bands were engraved with expressions of affection or important dates. Gemstones in antique jewelry were expensive luxuries as trade with the Middle East and Asia had not yet allowed for the flow of imported stones.

antique gold engagement ring

The 1920s wedding rings used more geometric designs and colored stones. Art Deco engagement rings were constructed with old-mine cut, European-cut and brilliant-cut diamonds and set primarily in platinum or white gold.

During the 1940s, platinum was required for war efforts and was prohibited for other purposes in the U.S. Silver would often be used instead of platinum and jewelry hoarding occurred.

1960s and 1970s wedding rings would bring a change by using yellow gold mixed with diamonds instead of platinum, silver or white gold.

When shopping for antique and estate wedding rings it is important to confirm that the ring is symmetrical. It is also important to verify that all gemstones in estate engagement rings are tight and in good condition. Antique diamonds should be closely examined for chips or internal fractures.

Tiffany Style Engagement Rings

A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding Tiffany Rings ceremonies involve an exchange of wedding vows by the couple, and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure or leader, presentation of a gift such as offering, ring, symbolic item, flowers, money.

Tiffany engagement rings

Exchanging rings- may it be gold, platinum, titanium, and tungsten ring are the oldest and most universal symbol of marriage, but the origins are unclear. The ring’s circular shape represents perfection and never-ending love. The rings are exchanged during the wedding ceremony and according to tradition, symbolize the love, faithfulness and commitment of the marriage union.

According to some customs, the wedding ring forms the last in a series of gifts, which also may include the engagement ring, traditionally given as a betrothal present. Other more recent traditions encouraged by the jewelry trade seek to expand the idea of a series of ring-gifts. The promise ring is often given when serious courting begins, while the eternity ring that symbolizes the renewal or ongoing nature of a lasting marriage, sometimes given after the birth of a first child; and lastly a trilogy ring, usually displaying three brilliant-cut round diamonds each in turn representing the past, present and future of a relationship.

A European tradition encourages the engraving of the name of one’s intended spouse and the date of one’s intended marriage on the inside surface of wedding rings, thus strengthening the symbolism and sentimentality of the rings as they become family heirlooms.

Among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians, the exchange of rings is not technically part of the wedding service but rather are exchanged at the betrothal. It is always a two-ring ceremony. Traditionally, the groom’s ring will be made of gold, and the bride’s ring made of silver (though gold, titanium, and tungsten ring are commonly used nowadays) and are blessed by the priest with holy water.

The priest blesses the groom with the bride’s ring, and places it on the ring finger of his left hand; he then blesses the bride with the groom’s ring and places it on her finger. The rings are then exchanged three times either by the priest or by the best man.

The custom that calls for the future bridegroom to give his future bride a jeweled ring upon proposing to her is also common among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians, albeit this ring is not used again at the betrothal or wedding. Indeed it need not be a ring at all, but any piece or set of jewelry- such as a bracelet, brooch, earrings, necklace, tiara, or rarely whole parure. Though rings such as tungsten ring are now commonly used.