2010s Tennis Bracelets
Diamond, 14k Gold, White Gold
2010s Contemporary Bridal Rings
Diamond, 18k Gold, White Gold
2010s Solitaire Rings
Diamond, 18k Gold
2010s Contemporary Bridal Rings
Diamond, 18k Gold, Rose Gold, White Gold
21st Century and Contemporary Engagement Rings
Finding the Right Rings for You
No matter their origin or specific characteristics, rings are timeless, versatile accessories. They’ve carried deep meaning since at least the Middle Ages, when diamond rings symbolized strength and other kinds of rings were worn to signify romantic feelings or to denote an affiliation with a religious order. Rings have also forever been emblematic of eternity.
Over time, rings have frequently taken the form of serpents, which have long been associated with eternal life, health and renewal. Italian luxury jewelry house Bvlgari has become famous for its widely loved Serpenti motif, for example, and its Serpenti ring, like the other accessories in the collection, began as an homage to jewelry of the Roman and Hellenistic eras. The serpent is now a popular motif in fine jewelry. Jewelry devotees have long pined for rings adorned with reptiles, thanks to antique Victorian rings — well, specifically, Queen Victoria’s illustrious engagement ring, which took the form of a gold snake set with rubies, diamonds and an emerald (her birthstone). Designs for Victorian-era engagement rings often featured repoussé work and chasing, in which patterns are hammered into the metal.
Engagement rings, which are reliably intimidating to shop for, are still widely recognized as symbols of love and commitment. The most collectible engagement rings are those from the Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco eras. Named for the monarchies of the four King Georges, who in succession ruled England starting in 1714 (plus King William’s reign), antique Georgian rings, be they engagement rings or otherwise, are also coveted by collectors. Pearls, along with colored gemstones like garnets, rubies and sapphires, were widely used in Georgian jewelry. The late-1700s paste jewelry was a predecessor to what we now call fashion or costume jewelry.
The Art Nouveau movement (1880–1910) brought with it rings inspired by the natural world. Antique Art Nouveau rings might feature depictions of winged insects and fauna as well as women, who were simultaneously eroticized and romanticized, frequently with long flowing hair. Art Deco jewelry, on the other hand, which originated during the 1920s and ’30s, is by and large “white jewelry.” White metals, primarily platinum, were favored over yellow gold in the design of antique Art Deco rings and other accessories as well as geometric motifs, with women drawn to the era’s dazzling cocktail rings in particular.
Whether you’re hunting down a chunky classic for a Prohibition-themed cocktail party or seeking a clean contemporary design to complement your casual ensemble, find an exquisite collection of antique, new and vintage rings on 1stDibs.
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