Retro Rings: How To Shop For A Vintage Jewel Of Promise

Posted in News   |   By

Liljana Tomova

Mar 29, 2017 8:30:31 AM

There is nothing quite like getting proposed or married with an authentic antique-styled ring in this copycat times we are living in, especially if being a passionate admirer of vintage jewelry. Some of the most remarkable vintage jewels of promise date back to the Victorian and Edwardian era when jewelry was at its ultimate elation.

But there is a lot more to say about the glam and beauty of vintage-inspired jewelry. That is why we recommend you to stay with us and learn about its most praiseworthy specimens - retro rings.

 

DIAMOND ILLUSION-SET ANNIVERSARY RING CROSSED ROWS 10K WHITE GOLD 3/4CT TDW

Diamond Illusion-Set Anniversary Ring Crossed Rows In 10k White Gold 3/4ct Tdw

HISTORY AND FAME

Jewelry reports say that first models of retro rings appeared in a chaotic period in world’s history, a period that embodied the upheaval of WWII and other dramatic changes in the society. For instance, the major influences on jewelry art in those days were: the War Effort, the years of recovery from the Great Depression, the entrance of women into the work force and last but not least, Hollywood.

All these remarkable periods in history are called ‘the retro years’. Hence, the name of the jewelry pieces made in these amazing times. Thanks to their genuine designs and one-of-a-kind properties, retro rings have always been, without any shadow of doubt, the most attractive target of passionate collectors of antique jewelry.

BLUE SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND ACCENT 1/3 CTW MILGRAIN RING 14K WHITE GOLD

 

Blue Sapphire & Diamond Accent 1/3 Ctw Milgrain Ring In 14k White Gold

DIFFERENT DESIGNS AND STYLES

Retro rings are nothing more, nothing less than a fabulous combination of the awe-inspiring Art Deco and Edwardian flair.

It is popularly said in jewelry that retro rings made in the period of 1930s-1950s display geometry with movement. Some of the most magnificent geometry ring designs were circles matched with squares, rectangle forms paired with oval shapes, or blocks with ribbons.

The most authentic characteristic in the design of retro rings is that symmetry encounters asymmetry. In other words, this ‘confused’ design is treasured as the most popular and noteworthy style of the golden retro years that was probably inspired by the uncertainty and instability of that time. More precisely, the war, the huge social changes and the disorder in financial sectors contributed to the birth of this captivating and intriguing jewelry trend.

And of course, we cannot talk about retro-ring designs without dedicating a few lines to the Hollywood’s impact on them. As you can already imagine, the expensive Hollywood world left a profound mark on retro jewelry. Famed Hollywood actresses like Elizabeth Taylor, lit the screen and seduced the audience with their show-stopping rings, hat pins and brooches adorned with dazzling diamonds or adorable gemstones.

All of these retro jewelry adornments were made to delight, to entertain and most importantly, to be forever remembered. Some of the most captivating designs of retro rings were those featuring floral accents, birds, ribbons, hearts, scrolls, flags, stars and themes inspired from the rich American-Indian culture.

 

EMERALD MOISSANITE AND DIAMOND ANTIQUE CATHEDRAL BRIDAL SET 2 1/10 CTW IN 14K WHITE GOLD

Emerald Moissanite & Diamond Antique Cathedral Bridal Set 2 1/10 Ctw In 14k White Gold

POPULAR METALS AND GEMSTONES FOR RETRO RINGS

When it comes to the selection of metals for creating different types of retro jewelry, including rings, it is very important to say that it was immensely influenced by WWII.

At the top of the list is platinum, as the most used metal for making retro-styled jewelry pieces. The key reason why platinum was so desired and sought-after was its capacity to provide the jewel with impressive grades of brilliance and fire, thus making it a captivating adornment that the royalty of the 1920s and the 1930s was absolutely crazy about. Unfortunately, once WWII knocked on the door, all platinum resources started being used exceptionally for war purposes, so platinum stopped playing the role of a popular jewelry metal for many years.

As a consequence, it was replaced with white gold, but then, another obstacle aroused. In 1943, the U.S. government restricted the use of white gold, so jewelers could no longer rely on this metal for manufacturing retro jewelry adornments.

Therefore, the only light and shining metal left for jewelry use was palladium. The ‘palladium jewelry’ years are remembered as one of the most daunting period for jewelers, due to the fact that palladium is a particularly difficult metal to work with. Hence, it is no wrong to say that the 1940s retro jewelry is in fact, palladium retro jewelry. Fortunately, this period lasted for only a few years. After the end of WWII, sources of platinum and gold were recharged and palladium was no longer fashionable.

OVAL BLACK AND WHITE DIAMOND BEZEL HALO RING 3 1/3 CTW 14K ROSE GOLD

Oval Black & White Diamond Bezel Halo Ring 3 1/3 Ctw In 14k Rose Gold

In terms of gemstone arrangements, diamonds were the most demanded precious-stone option for retro rings. Nothing was considered more alluring, elegant and glamorous than diamonds, so they were undoubtedly, the biggest favorites in the making of costly vintage jewelry pieces. Other popular gemstone options were rubies and sapphires, mostly because they marry perfectly well with the captivating beauty of diamonds, creating mesmerizing patriotic-themed jewels thanks to their blue, red and white color appearance.

It won’t be wrong to also mention the amethyst, the citrine, the aquamarine, the peridot and the tourmaline, as gemstones seen in magnificent retro-jewelry creations. All these gems were usually nested in channel setting, showcasing multiple precious stones. Also, the popular invisible setting was invented in exactly this period (the 1930s) and it was part of many retro diamond rings.

 

FOREVER BRILLIANT MOISSANITE & DIAMOND STAR HALO BRIDAL SET 1 1/2 CTW 14K WHITE GOLD (2 PIECE SET)

Forever Brilliant Moissanite & Diamond Star Halo Bridal Set 1 1/2 Ctw In 14k White Gold (2 Piece Set)

HOW TO SHOP FOR A RETRO ENGAGEMENT OR WEDDING RING?

As we always advise our readers, the most secure way to get a valuable and authentic retro jewel is to choose a reputable and experienced retailer. Shopping for retro jewelry can be a pretty demanding and complicate task, since there are many features and preferences that need to be ensured. For example, always keep in mind the ‘asymmetry meets symmetry’ rule that is remarkable for this jewelry style. Also, retro rings usually come with an eye-catching design by featuring large and captivating center stones that in most of the cases, weigh more than one carat.

For any other questions about retro rings, feel free to contact us. Kobelli Jewelry Team is expecting you.

Written by: Liljana Tomova

Kobelli Jewelry

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