The word diamond takes its name from an ancient Greek word which means invincible. It’s not hard to understand the rationale behind this as diamonds are, more or less indestructible. In fact, an interesting observation when pondering this valuable and beautiful gemstone, is that the only substance able to scratch a diamond is another diamond!
When one says the word engagement ring, diamonds are automatically what come to mind, however, it is interesting to note that as recent as the late 1800’s, a cameo set in pearls was the standard choice of an engagement ring. In the latter part of the 19th century, The De Beers Consolidated Mines of South Africa started the “Diamonds are Forever” slogan that we still hear to this day.
De Beers Approach to Diamonds
De Beers approached people with the theory that because a diamond does indeed last forever, it makes the best choice for an engagement ring. It is obvious that many agreed with this theory as diamonds have held fast as the overwhelming favorite for engagement rings ever since.
Of course diamonds have been used for engagement rings even before they became the accepted standard, and Edwardian engagement rings in specific, quite possibly have the most interesting history of all. The smallest diamond ring ever given as a gift in the contemplation of marriage, was given to The Princess Mary, daughter of the infamous Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, when she was betrothed to the son of King Francis I, although when she reached adulthood the marriage actually never took place.
The History of the Edwardian Design Engagement Ring
The Edwardian period is referred to by historians as the “beautiful era,” and as far as clothes and jewelry were concerned, it was certainly a period of extravagance. During this era, those designing engagement rings did not embrace the modern geometric forms, but rather chose traditional and intricate patterns when designing these types of rings.
Edwardian diamond engagement rings from this era were traditional, but still resplendent and ornate.
They were generally designed with elaborate lattice patterns along the band of the ring and its crown, which included pierced patterns and merged designs.
True Edwardian rings from this era could not be matched as a set due to the intricate and detailed patterns in their design, which would be obscured when coupled with another ring.
Modern Edwardian engagement rings are still fashioned with the same intricacy and attention to detail. One of the only noticeable differences is that they are now designed to accommodate the possibility of being worn in a set with another ring, as most women choose to continue wearing their engagement rings after adding their wedding bands.
What is the Average Cost of an Edwardian Diamond Engagement Ring?
The average cost of a diamond engagement ring is $3500.00 to $4500.00. Of course, income levels vary from couple to couple and not everyone purchasing an engagement ring will buy one in this exact price range.
Depending on the cut and grade of diamonds used, an average 2 carat ring may cost anywhere from $2995.00 to $15,995.00. Some couples may be on a limited budget but still wish to purchase an engagement ring in a more expensive price range. This may be possible in some circumstances, as most jewelers offer financing for engagement rings as well as other types of jewelry.
Where Can a Consumer Purchase an Edwardian Diamond Engagement Ring?
When deciding where to purchase an engagement ring, a bride and her fiancee have several different options available to them. Obviously, the traditional choice is a local jewelry retailer, who will probably have a small selection of Edwardian style engagement rings to pick from.
It is quite possible however, that choices may be somewhat limited as this style is not in as high a demand as other types of diamond engagement rings such as a round brilliant, or princess cut diamond ring. Another option a prospective bride may wish to consider is a vintage Edwardian style ring. These may be found in antique stores or even in pawn shops or other types of non-traditional retail outlets.
One must bear in mind, however, that antique rings are, of course, previously owned, and as such may be imperfect in certain places and perhaps not as brilliant as a ring that is brand new. However, for a bride-to-be who is also an antique-lover, this is an excellent choice.
The purchase of engagement rings, and other types of rings on the internet is also an increasingly popular option for consumers searching for the perfect piece of jewelry. One obvious benefit of this alternative is the ability to choose from a virtually unlimited selection of retailers, which is obviously not an option when shopping locally. Caution should be used if purchasing an engagement ring over the internet, and steps taken to ensure that the ring, or the loose diamond purchased, is the one actually received, and the value is as stated.
This can be accomplished by researching the history of the company selected, getting all details of the transaction in writing, and knowing exactly what is expected of buyer and seller. At the very least, the buyer should charge the purchase on a major credit card, as the bank or card issuer can charge the item back if it is not as stated.
For an especially large purchase, an escrow account can be set up with an attorney who will handle the transaction, although the buyer needs to be clear on exactly what fees will be charged for this service.
What Makes Edwardian Diamond Engagement Rings Unique?
What sets Edwardian diamond engagement rings apart from most other styles is the detailed and intricate patterns of the setting. The cut of the diamond depends on whether or not it is a modern, or vintage Edwardian style ring. There are three basic diamond cuts used by modern stone cutters when shaping diamonds.
They are Step cut, Brilliant cut, and a mixed cut, which is a combination of the first two cuts mentioned. Depending on what type of diamond is chosen for an Edwardian style ring, it will probably be cut using one of the above mentioned techniques. Antique Edwardian diamond rings however, will usually sport what is called a mine cut, or a European cut diamond. These cuts are by and large, obsolete, but are still found in antique diamond rings.
Some Popular Brands of Edwardian Style Engagement Rings
When looking for the perfect engagement ring, an individual may wish to begin by researching some of the most popular brands. A few of the brands well known for their Edwardian diamond engagement rings include Janeliunas, Weston, and MaeVona. If searching on the internet, one may wish to consider Forever Jewelers, or Stein Diamonds as these are very popular jewelry sites that carry a good reputation.
Tips on Sizing
The best and most fool proof way to find your proper ring size is to visit a local jewelry store and have a specific measurement taken. There are other ways this can be done, but for something as important as an engagement ring, they are not recommended. If a person chooses an antique
Edwardian engagement ring, they should keep in mind that as mentioned earlier, these rings were not designed to be worn with a wedding band, but rather placed on the right hand on the day of the wedding, and generally worn there from then on. Since ring sizes can vary between the left and right hand, it’s a good idea to measure both rather than just the left. Although it is not common to have a full half size difference between hands, it is possible, and the only way to know for sure is to have both fingers measured ahead of time.
How to Get the Best Deal
One way to ensure that you are getting the most for your money is to comparison shop. This is universally true regarding any type of purchase and is sound advice. As soon as two people decide to become engaged it’s a good idea to begin shopping for their ring immediately. This gives ample time to compare different retailers and prices, but still leaves enough time for the bride-to-be to enjoy wearing her engagement ring before her wedding.
It is worth mentioning that if a holiday is quickly approaching, most retailers participate in holiday sales events, and none more so than jewelry stores! One thing to consider for the couple who happens to become engaged late in the year, is that immediately after Christmas most retailers slash prices to unload surplus holiday stock. Shopping on the internet is also an excellent way to save money on an engagement ring, as this cuts out the middle man which subsequently lowers the price of the ring.
How to Ensure She Will Like It
In years gone by, an engagement ring was viewed as something that should always be a surprise, as the prospective bride was not supposed to have guessed that her future husband would be proposing. This left the choosing of the ring entirely up to the groom, and is still sometimes done this way in modern times. The more commonly accepted method now however, is for both partners to shop and decide on a ring together. This is the best way to make sure the bride-to-be will be happy with her engagement ring.
However, if an individual does decide to surprise his future wife, the best way to make sure she will like what he chooses, is to observe her taste in other jewelry. Most women are very consistent where their preference in jewelry is concerned, making this a way to notice certain likes and dislikes without having to ask, and possibly give away the surprise.
It’s also a good idea to familiarize oneself with the guarantees and return policies of the retailer where the ring will be purchased. Edwardian style diamond rings are beautiful and unique and are definitely an excellent choice for an engagement ring.