Antique Wedding Sets Throughout History All Entries
Each decade brings with it new trends. Over the past century engagement and wedding ring sets have evolved to match the fashion and style of the day. Today we're taking a look at the most popular and gorgeous antique wedding sets and some of the inspiration behind them.
1900-1909: La Belle Epoch
At the turn of the century, the most popular wedding sets were in the Edwardian style. They were inspired by French fashion and Britain’s new and more fun-loving king. The resulting rings were delicate and romantic, with lace-inspired details. Platinum was a popular metal choice at the time, and some designers used the metal to create beads placed around the ring’s diamonds. Brilliantly cut diamonds were the gemstone of choice.
1910-1919: The End of the Edwardian Era
During the 1910s the diamonds in engagement rings got much larger than they’d been in the previous decade. Because the stones had gotten so large, the bands became far less delicate. To counteract this change in style, jewelry makers designed bands with intricate details to add some beauty and character.
The Edwardian era ended abruptly in 1915 when World War I began, and platinum was no longer used for jewelry because it was needed for the war effort.
1920-1929: The Roaring Twenties
The Art Deco period began in the 1920s and inspired fashion and jewelry trends, completely altering the traditional look of wedding sets. During this time engagement rings became more geometric, moving far away from the soft, graceful lines of their predecessors. Severe shapes, sharp angles, and architecturally inspired patterns set these rings apart.
Emerald cut gems were popular in these designs. Onyx, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds became far more popular in these types of rings. White gold became a more popular choice of metal for the sets at this time due to affordability, though many people still went with platinum.
1930-1939: The Great Depression
When the Great Depression hit the United States, everything was affected, including wedding set designs. Engagement rings were far more toned down while still trying to keep some of the unique elegance of Art Deco.
Brides during this time chose rings that featured “picture frame corners” around the center stone or rings that resembled bows made of precious stones.
1940-1949: The Flying Forties
During the 1940s, there was a return to more feminine shapes and styles in wedding sets. The most popular engagement rings looked nothing like their Art Deco predecessors. Stone settings and cuts were more rounded, creating floral-esque shapes.
1950-1959: The Fabulous Fifties
The feminine styles and shapes continued into the 1950s, but things got really interesting for design in 1953 when Audrey Hepburn became engaged to actor Mel Ferrer. She helped introduce people to the stackable engagement ring trend. The interlocking wedding and engagement rings were revolutionary and they’ve never gone out of style since.
Teardrop and marquise cut solitaires also became all the rage during this decade. This was a very delicate and feminine style.
1960-1969 The Return of Art Deco
During the ‘60s there was a return to the Art Deco style of the 1920s, but with a more updated look. Brides opted for engagement rings in yellow and white gold with bold gemstone centerpieces. The patterns were also more rounded, resembling floral shapes.
If you’re thinking about selling your diamonds or a vintage wedding set, contact Ralph Mueller & Associates or call us at 480.949.9229. We offer top market value for your jewelry.