One of the most popular styles in vintage jewellery must be Art Deco and for those who have a passion for fashions from the past, Art Deco style engagement rings have a timeless appeal. An Art Deco engagement ring is a unique statement piece that in comparison to a more classic design such as the solitaire engagement ring, is quite unconventional hence its appeal to those women who dare to be different. Let’s take a look at the world of Art Deco jewellery and engagement rings:
When did the Art Deco style of design emerge?
The Art Deco period of design began in France during the 1920s and 1930s as a direct follow on from the outgoing Art Nouveau style. Leading fashionistas 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 Art Deco style.
This was an era of great decadence, luxury, extravagance, and high society. Women began to cut their hair short, went out to work and partied hard like their male counterparts. During this period the values of traditional femininity went out of style and the radical designs of Art Deco jewellery very much reflected the frivolity and energy of this period. Art Deco influenced not only jewellery and fashions but its influence spread into architecture, interior designs and many other lifestyle areas.
What is the Art Deco Style?
The Art Deco style could be said to be are very similar to those of their predecessors the Edwardians in the use of platinum, and diamonds as the focus of the 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. It is believed that the fascination with expeditions to Egypt in the 1920s, such as Howard Carters discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, was an influence upon Art Deco jewellery designs and similarities can be seen in the use of coloured gemstones and clean-cut angles and lines.
The style of Art Deco jewellery 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, and trapezes with new types of cut introduced such as the baguette cut which emerged in the late 1920s. Metal was not visible due to a new method of fixing stones that was developed during this era. Typical Art Deco settings for engagement rings were prong, cluster or box. Platinum and 10k or 18k white gold were the most popular metals during this era. White gold was first introduced around 1915 when it was invented to combat rising platinum costs and to meet the demand for a light-coloured metal. Yellow gold was very much out of style in Art Deco jewellery.
A typical style of Art Deco engagement ring would be a square cut centre gemstone surrounded by triangular stones or rectangular baguettes or all set into a bold geometric pattern. You will not see cuts such as modern round brilliant diamonds in authentic Art Deco jewellery but will find other stunning antique diamond cuts such as the old European, antique cushion cut, transitional cut, and Asscher cut. Calibre cut stones were a key feature in the design of Art Deco jewellery design and these are gemstones that are custom cut specifically to fit into a jewellery design. They are tightly spaced together against other stones or metal to give maximum impact to the overall design. Filigree work was another important feature in the Art Deco era as this technique was perfected in the late 1920’s through the use of die-cast machines which made it readily available by the early 1930’s.
It was not uncommon for coloured gemstones to be used in Art Deco designs. Rubies, blue sapphires and emeralds were especially popular as they very much represented the style of the era with their bold bright decadent colouring and they were occasionally complimented by the addition of pearls.
To possess an Art Deco engagement ring with its sparkling diamonds or bright gemstones in a platinum setting was the dream of every flapper girl and even today Art Deco style remains a timeless classic still being a popular for engagement rings or other pieces of jewellery. Here at Rêve Diamonds we make the original jewellery designs from the Art Deco era to bring you your very own piece of this iconic era.