Colour change sapphire ring

The History of Antique & Vintage Jewellery

When a ring is over 100 years old, we call it ‘antique’. We have many antique rings in our collection from the Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian eras. Antique engagement rings are each individually created and represent a little piece of history. They do need extra care and attention due to their delicate nature but when cared for well, they will give a lifetime of pleasure.

A vintage ring is less than 100 years old. An antique ring is over 100 years old.

A vintage inspired ring is one that is new but has been made to an old design, often using old gemstones. Sometimes high quality, contemporary, laser cut stones are used if you want a vintage look with the big sparkle of laser cut diamonds.

The Historical Time Periods of Jewellery

Georgian: 1714 – 1830

Rose cuts and table cut diamonds were commonly used. Many diamonds were backed with foil to give them extra sparkle. Many Georgian rings have floral, bow or scrolled motifs. All jewellery from this period is handmade.

Victorian: 1835 - 1900

The reign of Queen Victoria. Victoria was very loved by her subjects and her tastes in jewellery and fashion were copied nationwide. Birthstones were often used instead of diamonds in engagement rings. After her husband Albert died in 1861, the queen went into mourning. This mourning period inspired the gold lockets and black jet jewellery we see from this period today.

Edwardian: 1900 - 1915

The reign of Edward V11, beginning in 1901. Society was sophisticated and elegant. Platinum was introduced as advances in metal fabrication continued. The strength of platinum allowed jewellers to make fine, detailed, delicate pieces that were as delicate as lace in appearance. Everything was light, feminine and airy. Probably our favourite period here at LOK.

Art Nouveau: 1895 - 1915

An artistic revolt to the industrial age. It was a short time period that brought us creativity and design all crafted lovingly by hand. Enamelling was used widely, as were moonstones, opals and agate. Think Gustav Klimt and Rene Lalique.

Art Deco: 1915 - 1935

The roaring 20s were a time when everyone wanted to live life to the fullest after the war. Jewellery became almost architectural, reflecting the great changes in society. Lines were straight and the emphasis was on the bold and geometric. It was the time when jewellery began to turn towards the bold contemporary styles we see today. Think Tiffany, Cartier and Van Cleef And Arpels.

Retro: 1935 - 1950

The glamour of old Hollywood was the inspiration for Retro. It is bright, bold, highly polished and features large emerald cut gemstones like amethyst or citrine. Think Oscar Heyman and Buccellati.