Your Guide to Selecting the Perfect Vintage Engagement Ring


When you’re ready to pop the question, you need the perfect ring to go with it. You’ve heard your fiancé-to-be say how much she loves vintage engagement rings. They’re becoming more and more popular, so if you choose one in this category, your sweetie is sure to love it.

However, you want it to be genuinely vintage and match the wants and needs of your girl. There are specific considerations to make before purchasing a ring, including considering the preferred style and authenticity of the ring.


Use this guide to make your proposal perfect:

The Bride

Many engagements don’t follow the traditional pattern of the man buying the ring in secret to surprise his bride. Couples often go together to choose a ring, as many brides prefer to choose the ring themselves. If that’s the case, choosing a ring should be relatively simple. At the very least, you can take her to look at vintage rings to get some ideas of her favorites before choosing the right one.

If you’re old-fashioned and want to keep it a surprise, there are more subtle ways to consult her preferences. You might seek the help of a friend, roommate, or sibling. You can consider her taste in jewelry, check her internet search history, or watch her social media accounts closely.

With a little bit of sleuthing, you’ll soon know what type of vintage ring she wants.

Engagement Ring History

You’ve probably never considered engagement ring history until this moment, so take a few minutes to brush up on styles of jewelry throughout history. This will help you get a more authentic vintage ring.

The term vintage means many different things considering the context. For example, VHS players are now considered vintage, even though they were all the rage 20 years ago. However, the term vintage for engagement rings can refer to antique rings that are 100 years or older or rings made sometime between the 1920s and 1950s.


You’ll see vintage ring styles dating back to the Georgian period from 1747-1837. This time period often brought designs with leaves, birds, and flowers. Unpolished silver and gold were popular at the time.

There was also the Victorian period from 1835-1900. Most rings were made in yellow gold, although a few were designed with rose gold. Most contained faceted diamonds, pearls, opals, or a combination of the three. This was also the period where solitaire diamonds became popular.

Next was the Edwardian period from 1900-1920 where platinum rings with intricate filigree or scrollwork designs were popular. The gems were often sapphires or rose cut diamonds.

The last highly popular vintage ring era, and arguably the most popular in rings today, was the art deco period. It includes geometric shapes and sleek straight lines. Diamonds, particularly large, faceted rocks worked into an intricate design of platinum or white gold, were the most popular. Colored stones like rubies, emeralds, and colored diamonds were also common.

A few vintage ring styles have popped up since this time, but these are the four most popular eras for vintage engagement rings. Research each to determine the style you think your bride would like. As you learn more about the periods of vintage engagement rings, you’ll likely get a feel for the cuts and styles that were most common so you can match her tastes.

Antique or Copy

Vintage style rings are often passed down from generation to generation, but if you don’t have such a beautiful heirloom in your family (or someone else was given the ring), you’ll have to buy one. You can take the route of purchasing an antique ring that’s truly from one of the periods mentioned above or you can purchase a brand new ring that’s made to resemble some of those styles, usually with a modern twist.

Today’s jewelers are following trends that have shifted towards vintage engagement rings in order to meet modern tastes. They’ve created several ring series with halo, princess, or square cuts common to the vintage era. Yellow gold is making a comeback, but rose gold and white gold or platinum are still very popular. You can likely find a brand new ring your love will enjoy complete with warranty and servicing.

Or, you can seek out an antique ring with all the history and charm that comes with older jewelry. If you purchase an antique vintage ring, make sure you’re getting the real deal. Old rings accrue value with age, so they’ll cost a pretty penny. Have the ring authenticated by an expert before handing over your cash.

There’s something about hand-made craftsmanship without the modern tools we have today that makes it timeless and beautiful. Also, many of these antique rings come with stories attached, which makes for a romantic start to your new lives together.