Trying to find out the actual year of my engagement ring!

by Laura
(North Carolina)

Hi! I am trying to figure out more information about my engagement ring. I believe it's from around 1890, but no one I've spoken to can actually give me a time frame and I can't drive to Virginia to a more reputable antique jewelry dealer, so here is the information you might need:

It is an old mine cut diamond, approximately .15 carats, claw setting in platinum with platinum shoulders. The rest of the ring is 18k gold. This ring is from England and not the US, which could be why I'm having trouble setting a time frame. The pictures are of the ring very close up, which might help more than one far away, as these show more description of the intricate detail.

Thank you so much!

Hi Laura,

What an enchanting ring! I was wondering from the info you provided though - why are you sure the ring is from England? Does it contain any stamps or do you have a little history about the ring? Stamps, and any history about the ring, can definitely help with an approximation on when the ring was created.

As far as when the ring could have been created, it looks very much like an Art Nouveau ring. The design of the ring, plus the metals and diamond, are very particular to this design period. If the ring is an authentic Art Nouveau, it would have been created sometime around 1890 to about 1915.

To start with, the use of platinum can help to date the ring. Platinum settings did not emerge until the late Victorian age in the 1890s - but this ring contains platinum shoulders too which would be somewhat unusual for the Victorian age. However, in the Art Nouveau and Edwardian design periods the use of platinum in jewelry really came into play at the turn of the century.

The use of platinum for the shoulders and setting of the ring is quite intriguing - is the ring an early example of platinum work in jewelry ring designs? Possibly!

The beautiful engraved designs on the shoulders of the band too are very Art Nouveau. Here you see shapes and patterns that bring to mind a naturalistic some geometric styling. The soft geometric details are also a frequent theme in - especially later - Art Deco jewelry designs, which directly influenced the Art Deco period.

Combined, you could possibly have a stunning representation of a ring made near the turn of the century which not only is an example of early platinum work but also displays the early "geometry and nature" designs which inspired the Art Deco movement.

Last but not least, the raised setting also practically screams "Art Nouveau!" as this type of setting was especially popular for ring designs of this time.

The mine cut diamond could have been cut during this period, or it is possible that the ring is crafted with a diamond cut during an earlier time. Throughout the 1900s, it was a common practice to re-use diamonds in this way.

I hope that some time in the future you will be able to have the ring assessed by an antique dealer - and if the ring has not been checked before for stability issues plus setting security, then treat the ring with extra care until you can find out more about its condition.

If you ever do have the ring checked by an antique jeweler in your area, we would love to hear the results!

Thank-you for sharing such a lovely ring with our visitors, and congratulations on your engagement!

Suzanne Gardner
Everything Wedding Rings

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