Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Vintage Style Wedding Rings: Georgian Era

Georgian Rose Cut Diamond and Emerald 5-Stone Band
Vintage style wedding and engagement rings offer the perfect opportunity to find a unique one-of-a-kind ring. Georgian era (1714 to 1837) rings are a rare find, but worth the search if you’re looking for handcrafted quality jewelry. This period gets its name from the Hanoverian Monarchs of the United Kingdom who reigned during that time including four Georges: George I who reigned as king from 1714-1727, George II (r. 1727-1760), George III (r. 1760-1820), and George IV who reigned longer than any other king in English history. William the IV finished out the Georgian era reigning from 1830-1837.

Features of Georgian Era Rings
Because the Georgian era covered more than 100 years, the style of wedding rings as well as other jewelry evolved over that time. The Baroque style led in popularity until 1750 with its over-all symmetry and thick ornateness. After 1750, the Rococo style emerged with lighter asymmetrical lines. As a result, the period offers a variety of popular motifs including: bows, crescents, flowers, leaves, and ribbons. The thing that the entire era has in common is that all the jewelry was handcrafted. In fact, the artisans hammered 18 k or higher gold ingots and other metals like silver (for gemstone settings), iron, and steel into thin sheets by hand before they even started to fashion the rings or other pieces.

Rings from the Georgian era often feature gemstones like sapphires, diamonds, and emeralds in closed-back settings. A popular choice included foil backings which enhanced the gemstones scintillation by candlelight. However, if you are fortunate enough to make such a fine, it is important to note that contact with water will destroy the delicate foil, so be sure not to wear the ring if your hands are going to get wet.

Another thing worth noting, if you’re in the market for a vintage ring from this era, is that because gold assaying wasn’t enforced until the 1900s authentic Georgian jewelry isn’t stamped, nor does it bear any maker’s marks.

Where to Find Georgian Vintage Style Rings
Finding vintage wedding rings from this time period can be very difficult, not just because they are from so long ago, but because the jewelers from that time often melted down pieces they considered out-of-date in order to craft pieces fitting the current trend. The best places to shop for these rare rings will be reputable antique jewelry outlets like the Antique Jewellry Company out of London.

Photo credits: Erica Weiner, Erica Weiner

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