Popular Art Deco style engagement rings of the 1920s and 1930s are distinguished by streamlined geometric patterns and abstract designs using diamonds and gems in contrasting colors with some actually dating back to 1915. It was a time of dramatic social and political change when more Americans lived in cities than on farms for the first time ever.
Art Deco History - Diamond Sapphire Ring - 16958 from The Three Graces on Vimeo.
How Art Deco Got Its Name
Art Deco took its name from the 1925 Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes held in France. This time followed on the heels of the scarcities of World War I and introduced a new opulence and extravagance in jewelry. New jewelry styles often emerge as reactions to major world events. For instance, before Art Deco, Art Nouveau displayed modernist elements inspired by the Industrial Revolution and World War I, and before that even Georgian jewelry motifs were influenced by things like excavations of the ruins of Pompeii and discoveries of Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign.Art Deco Engagement Ring Stylistic Elements
Art Deco was inspired by technology and progress and engagement rings of this period introduced this progressive feel with stylistic elements like contrasting patterns, brightly colored jewels like rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and even black onyx, layered geometrical shapes including squares, triangles, and octagons, as well as symmetrical lines. Rings were crafted using silver-toned metals thought to represent a futuristic world since gold was considered old fashioned at the time. However, some natural world influences from the Nouveau period did make their way the Art Deco artistic style.
Art Deco engagement rings are in high demand, and like any vintage engagement or wedding ring, these rings offer the opportunity to find a one-of-a-kind ring, but where do you look? Visit antique stores, estate sales, and check with reputable jewelers who specialize in antique jewelry. The best advice I can offer is to take your time and stay within your budget. Ask if the ring can be resized and what metal it is made of, because antique rings with white gold bands are often a mixture of gold, silver and nickel and for many nickel causes an adverse reaction with prolonged skin contact. This happened to me when I tried to wear my mother’s wedding ring. So before you buy, it would help to establish whether or not this could be a problem. Also if it can be resized, will it affect the value of the ring? Lastly have the ring authenticated, because many quality replicas were crafted back in the 1980s, and today are sold as the real deal.
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