Wearing vintage fashions and jewellery has never been more popular than it is now. Many women feel that wearing vintage jewellery is like making a connection with bygone eras that were filled with glamour and romance, where women wore beautiful handcrafted pieces bought for them by their latest beau as a declaration of their love. In the UK, Art Deco is still one of the most popular styles in vintage jewellery for those who have a passion for past fashions, and in particular, this style of engagement rings has a timeless appeal. The reason for this may be that in comparison to a more classic design such as a solitaire engagement ring, an Art Deco engagement ring is a unique statement piece that could be considered almost quite unconventional, hence its appeal to those women who like to stand out from the crowd.
When did the Art Deco style of design emerge?
The Art Deco period of design began in France during the 1920s and 1930s (often referred to as ‘The Roaring Twenties’) as a direct follow on from the outgoing the decorative, flowing, and floral style of Art Nouveau style. The leading fashionistas of this time had become bored of the twisted lines and faded colours of Art Nouveau and replaced these with the direct contrast of geometric lines and bold colours that characterise style and designs.
This was a revolutionary age of great decadence, luxury, extravagance, and high society that was renowned for glitz and glamour. Women began to cut their hair short, went out to work and partied hard like their male counterparts. Flapper girls, the Charleston, the Great Gatsby, and glamorous Hollywood movie stars were all part of this fabulous period. The values of traditional femininity went out of style and the radical designs of jewellery very much reflected the frivolity and energy of this period.
Art Deco was the very first internationally recognised style revolution that influenced all lifestyle areas from fashion to jewellery, to interior design to buildings, and much more. It is an iconic style that saw design move away from the traditional flowing patterns to very modern geometric abstract sharp shapes. In fact, it is thought by many to have said to have been influenced by the bold geometric forms of Cubism and the bright colours of the Ballets Russes and Parisian Fauvism.
What is the Art Deco style?
This style of jewellery is often acknowledged as being very similar to those of predecessors from Edwardian times in their use of platinum, and diamonds as the focal point of their designs. However, the Edwardians preferred a more intricate design style and Art Deco jewellery is very far removed from this focusing upon modern clean lines and geometric shapes. Many believe that the fascination at the time with expeditions to Egypt, such as Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, was a direct influence upon Art Deco jewellery designs and clear similarities can be seen in the use of coloured gemstones such as Emerald and clean-cut angles and lines.
Art Deco jewellery is renowned for being clean, elegant, and sharp in design. A collection of items of Art Deco jewellery is characterised by streamlined chic cuts, perfect forms, circles, corners, angles, straight lines, and clear geometric shapes combined with bold splashes of colour. Square, rectangular, circular, and triangular shapes are intricately woven to create elegantly ornate bold patterns. This style is far from being understated in appearance utilising grand yet elegant geometry, long curved lines, motifs and bold colours.
Round and oval gemstones which had been traditionally used in pieces of jewellery were replaced with squares, rectangles, triangles, trapezes, diamond shoulders, and new types of cut introduced such as the baguette diamonds which emerged in the late 1920s. The metal was not visible due to a new method of fixing stones developed during this era. Typical settings for pieces of jewellery, rings and engagement rings were prong, cluster or box. Platinum and 10k or 18k white gold were the most popular metals during this era with white gold being introduced around 1915 to combat the rising price of platinum to meet the demand for a light-coloured metal. Yellow gold was very much out of style in this era.
What are Art Deco jewellery and engagement rings?
During 'The Roaring Twenties' every flapper girl dreamed of possessing a piece of Art Deco jewellery, and particularly an engagement ring (or better still a wedding band) with its sparkling diamonds or bright gemstones.
Engagement rings designed during the period were considered to be daring combining geometric patterns with angular lines. A typical style of Art Deco engagement rings would be a square cut centre gemstone surrounded by triangular stones or rectangular baguettes or all set into a bold geometric pattern. Authentic jewellery does not feature cuts such as modern round brilliant diamonds but uses other newer cuts such as baguettes, triangle cuts and emerald cuts. Diamond accents and stepped diamond shoulders were often used to accentuate the natural beauty of the more traditional diamond cuts such as antique cushion cut, transitional cut, the old European, and the Asscher cut. Calibre cut stones were a key feature in Art Deco designs - these are gemstones that are custom cut specifically to fit into a piece of jewellery, they are tightly spaced together against other stones or metal to give the wow factor to the overall design. Filigree work was another important feature of this era. This technique was perfected in the late 1920s through the use of die-cast machines which made it readily available by the early 1930s.
Coloured gemstones were often used in engagement rings and other pieces of jewellery of this period. Emerald, Ruby and Blue Sapphire were especially popular as they very much represented the style of the times with their bright bold decadent colouring. Typical Art Deco engagement rings would see these gemstones contrasted against the new shape of baguette cut diamonds which emerged in the late 1920s, and these jewellery designs were occasionally softened by the addition of pearls.
All of these design features combine to give Art Deco jewellery its iconic, unique, and timeless style, which even today remains a timeless classic still being a popular choice with our customers for engagement rings, rings or other pieces of occasion jewellery.
What should I look for when choosing an Art Deco engagement ring?
Ever since Pippa Middleton wowed the fashion world with her dazzling four-carat diamond Art Deco engagement ring, rumoured to have cost over a quarter-of-a-million pounds, Reve Diamonds have been inundated with requests from our valued customers for engagement rings that wouldn’t look out of place at one of the Great Gatsby’s wild and opulent parties. So, if your fiance is a lady who likes to make a daring statement or who appreciates the beauty of vintage jewellery designs, then an Art Deco engagement ring is the perfect embodiment of the opulence and iconic style of the 1920s and 30s, and to this day remains timeless in its elegance. The main features that you should look for when choosing an engagement ring are:
Circles, triangles and rectangles.
The shape of an Art Deco Engagement is perhaps its most important element. Engagement rings feature bold shapes regardless of whether it is an architecturally-inspired setting or a large centre diamond. Some rings also feature different contrasting shapes such as a round centre set within a cushion halo. In another ring design, you may see large Emerald cut centre stones mirrored with horizontal and vertical lines. A design element that is very unique to Art Deco rings is the use of small square gemstones set into halos instead of tiny rounds, or the addition of triangular or trapezoidal side stones to a round or square centre, both of which make a statement piece which will turn heads.
Consider adding colour
Art Deco engagement rings are characteristically big and bold which is a sign of the times in which they originated, often featuring coloured gemstones as well as diamonds to give that pop of colour. In some designs these coloured gems are the centre stone, in others, they are used with a bold coloured halo or as side stone accents.
Size is all important
In the 1920s/30s ladies lived in a time of opulence and excesses with newfound freedom so naturally, they wanted to show off their worth, good taste and style. Accordingly, the jewellery of the period was very flashy. This need to create the wow factor resulted in many Art Deco engagement rings being centred around very large stones. The use of affordable coloured gemstones allowed this look to be achieved for the right price range even if the groom to be didn't have a massive budget! And if you don't want a large centre stone another way in which to create the look is to opt for a smaller stone set in a big geometric setting such as round halo, cushion, or even square.
Platinum is the way to go
During the heyday of Art Deco, platinum became extremely fashionable and in fact, white gold was invented to provide those who could not afford the price of platinum with a less expensive alternative that looked as good as the rare metal. Yellow gold and rose gold was the choice of Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian eras but the Art Deco period was the time for something completely fresh and new hence why fashionistas of the 1920s loved the ice-cool look of platinum or white gold.
Get the ring sizing right
An important part of the customer service that the expert team at Reve Diamonds provide at our shop is ensuring that our customers have the right size of engagement ring through professional ring sizing. Whether you’re buying an Art Deco ring or any other design, it’s vital that you get the ring sizing right size. As part f our commitment to excellent customer service we do of course provide re-sizing service for your ring purchase but please bear in mind that whilst altering a ring to make it smaller doesn’t pose any problems, making a ring bigger can weaken the band and even lead to it breaking at a later time. Therefore, taking advantage of our free ring sizing service when considering our range is to be highly recommended.
How do I buy an Art Deco engagement ring from Reve Diamonds?
Within our unique collection are engagement rings and wedding bands that a true reflection of the designs of this modernist era and offer an accurate homage to eye-catching vintage beauty. We have a selection of Art Deco engagement rings in our collection that are already designed, but we can also make a bespoke Art Deco style ring to suit your tastes and budget and of course to fulfil the dreams of your loved one! We are widely recognised as experts in recreating engagement rings that are in keeping with the jewellery designs of the 1920s and 1930s. So if you are a lover of vintage-inspired fashion and particularly admire the elegance of this era, then why not celebrate your very own unique engagement ring from Reve Diamonds.
Here at Reve Diamonds our shop and website offer an amazing range of diamond engagement rings for you to purchase that will be the perfect choice to show your lifelong commitment to the one that you love. Our diamond inventory features over 30,000 loose diamonds of all shapes, styles, and sizes, meaning that you can find the perfect diamond for your diamond engagement ring that matches your budget.
Art Deco is a popular choice for many customers who want to create a timeless statement piece that will forever be in style whether it is a diamond engagement ring, a wedding band, or any other piece of jewellery to be worn every day or for that special occasion. At Reve Diamond, we ensure that all the diamonds in our Art Deco Engagement Rings collection are sourced ethically and perfectly cut. This results in beautiful and timeless pieces at the right price, in the right style and with our commitment to offering all our customers great value for money. All of our loose diamonds are available to view in our London, UK showroom. Simply book an appointment by contacting our email address or call us now!