History of Edwardian Engagement Rings
Edwardian Engagement Rings are rings created in the Edwardian Period (approximately 1901 - 1918) in what has been called the "beautiful era" by historians referring
to the jewelry (often spelled jewelery or jewellery) and clothing produced during this time. This was a period where extravagance ruled; rings made during this period (including engagement rings) were
ornate and had intricate designs unlike today’s rings which are more geometric in design. Women usually wore these engagement rings on a different hand than their
wedding rings. The intricate patterns on the ring did not match up well with the intricate designs of their wedding ring. Edwardian jewelry was meant to complement the white delicate lace dresses worn by the stylish women of that time. Even today there are many places where this style of jewelry is still for sale or where people can
buy original pieces from this era. Below is a list of some of the features of engagement rings made during this time.
Features of Edwardian Engagement Rings
- Designed to be as delicate as possible.
- Rings were usually made out of platinum or platinum over gold. The Edwardian era was when jewelers began using platinum in their jewelry. The strength of platinum
over gold allowed them to create more delicate designs.
- A diamond in the center surrounded by designs which often included flowers, birds, or bows. The Edwardian period saw the development of new styles of diamonds.
Diamonds were cut in new shapes including marquise, baguette, and emerald cuts. Rose-cut diamonds were also popular.
- A jewelry making technique called Milgraining was utilized. The jeweler would make a border of small balls or ridges on the outer edges of the ring or around a
- Delicate ornamental work. This often includes scrollwork and lacy patterns.
- White-on-white was a popular look.
Information on the Edwardian Period
The Edwardian Period began in 1901 with the death of Queen Victoria and the succession of her son Edward (Edward VII) as King of the United Kingdom. Edward and his
wife were the fashion leaders of the time. They set the style for the fashion elite which was influenced by their travels throughout Europe.
This era is often regarded as a romantic fashionable golden age. However it was also a period where the British class system was very rigid and a great economic gap
existed between the wealthy and poor. It was a period of a greater awareness of human rights; women and laborers pushed for fairer treatment. It was the period that
proceeded World War One which would ravage Europe. The king died in 1910 but this period of fashion is generally extended to sometime after his death. Some historians
mark the end of the period as 1912 when the Titanic sank. Others mark the end as the beginning of World War I in 1914 or the end of the war in 1918; and yet others
extend the period to 1919 when the Treaty of Versailles (ending WWI) was signed.
Conclusion - History of Edwardian Engagement Rings
Although this period of jewelry making and design is named after King Edward and his wife it was influenced by jewelry being created else where in Europe; especially
in France. This period saw beautiful jewelry created that is still admired and worn by many people today. Edwardian engagement rings made today are fashioned with the
traditional ornate patterns and designs of the Edwardian era.