Old or New: Smart Ways to Shop for Antique Jewellery

Shopping for an antique engagement ring can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Knowing how to spot damaged or fake antiques could save you from purchasing a ring that’s not authentic.

Look for Bad Repairs

Over the years the ring has probably been repaired, but you want to make sure that faulty repairs have not damaged the wearability of the ring. When looking at the ring, check the front and back to make sure that nothing has been done to the ring that would make it difficult to wear, or that would allow for the stones to easily fall out.

Antique engagement ring

Antique engagement ring

 

Know the Era

Knowing the different styles and hallmarks from each era will help you to decipher whether or not a ring is authentic. For example, if you know a certain diamond cut was not made during the Georgian period, but the person selling it claims it’s from that period, then it may not be authentic.

Antique engagement rings are from the following eras:

 

  • Rings from the Georgian (1700-1830) period have intricate metal work with flowers, butterflies, ribbons, and scrolls. The gems used were diamonds, garnet, emerald, topaz, and amber and they were usually a rose or table cut. The settings were usually closed with a foil backing. It’s very rare to find a ring from this period.

 

  • Rings from the Victorian era (1837-1901) had diamonds, amethyst, pink and gold topaz, coral, turquoise, ruby, garnets, emeralds, black onyx, and pearls, among others. The cutting styles were rose cut, old mine cut, and step cut. The motifs included snakes, angels, crosses, Greek and Roman designs, clovers, flowers, and Celtic, crescents, horseshoes, and moons, among others.

 

  • The Art Nouveau era (1895-1915) had rings that depicted nature with old mine and old European cutting styles. The gemstones used were small diamonds, pearls, emerald, opal, amber, lapis lazuli, tourmaline, and synthetic gems, among others.

 

  • Edwardian (1901-1914) rings have a hallmark or a maker’s mark stamped on the inside of the shank. The motifs included bows, ribbons, stars, moons, shamrocks, and leaves. The gemstones were pearl, diamond, emerald, peridot, sapphire, ruby, and opal, among others. They were usually seen with a rose, old mine, or Old European cut.

 

  • Rings from the Art Deco era (1920-1930) featured designs with a lot of diamonds in them. Others gemstones used were emerald, sapphire, black onyx, crystal, ivory, and jade, among others. The stones were cut with old mine cut, Old European cut, and step cuts.

 

Art Deco engagement ring

Art Deco engagement ring

Where to Look

Authentic antique engagement rings can be found in a variety of places including local jewellery stores, online jewellery shops that specialize in antique jewellery, and estate sales. For those in Florida, Tampa Bay jewelry stores offer a great selection of antique jewellery.

When searching for that perfect unique and charming antique ring for your loved one, make sure to keep the above in mind, and remember you can always ask your jeweler if you have any questions or concerns.

Bio
Mia Middleton has earned herself the nickname of magpie; she gravitates towards shiny things, most notably jewelry, and has recently landed a dream job at her local jewelry store. In her spare time Mia enjoys shopping for antiques and collectibles and adding to her ever-expanding jewelry collection!

Put your love in print with Easy Art

One of the loveliest and most personal of gift choices this Valentine’s Day is the gift of Art. A framed print of a favourite photograph, film poster, work of Art, or even a reproduction of an advertising poster from the past can be very special, containing shared memories that may only be known to you and your loved one.

Easy Art have a, quite frankly, huge collection of Art prints that come in a range of sizes that they can also frame for you. Their collection ranges from classic and contemporary art work by artists ranging from Turner to Warhol, classic photographic imagery of works from the Kobal Collection and the Vogue Magazine Archives, and vintage posters once used by National Railways as advertising material in train station waiting rooms up and down the country.

Nostalgia fans will love the Penguin Collection, which reproduces the most famous titles from the Penguin Classics collection, as well as the now iconic children’s book covers.

Easy Art sells a range of both Art prints, printed on fine Litho paper, and canvas prints which are all ready for you to hang. The prints come in a range of sizes (you will need to check out your print of choice to see what sizes are available) with a good range of frames available too. You can see how your image would look framed by clicking on the framing options on the item page.

I have chosen a few of my favourite prints from Easy Art, including a film poster to Hitchcock’s masterpiece ‘Vertigo’, a late classic from Andy Warhol featuring my girl crush Debbie Harry, and my favourite photograph of all time, the sun streaking through the concourse of New York’s Grand Central Station.

What would you choose from Easy Art?

 The Great Gatsby Art Print | #431270 from £14.95 click to visit Easy Art


The Great Gatsby
Art Print | #431270
from £14.95 click to visit Easy Art

 

 Grand Central Station, Morning Art Print | #104881 £45.85 click to visit Easy Art


Grand Central Station, Morning
Art Print | #104881
£45.85 click to visit Easy Art

 

 London - St Pauls Cathedral Art Print | by National Railway Museum | #416054 £41.53 click to visit Easy Art


London – St Pauls Cathedral
Art Print | by National Railway Museum | #416054
£41.53 click to visit Easy Art

 Vogue July 1956 Art Print | by Henry Clarke | #433460 from £19.95 click to visit Easy Art


Vogue July 1956
Art Print | by Henry Clarke | #433460
from £19.95 click to visit Easy Art

 Vertigo Art Print | by Saul Bass | #426920 from £14.95 click to visit Easy Art


Vertigo
Art Print | by Saul Bass | #426920
from £14.95 click to visit Easy Art

 Job, 1897 Art Print | by Alphonse Mucha | #7352 £5.95 click to visit Easy Art


Job, 1897
Art Print | by Alphonse Mucha | #7352
£5.95 click to visit Easy Art

 Debbie Harry, 1980 Art Print | by Andy Warhol | #435344 £27.95 click to visit Easy Art


Debbie Harry, 1980
Art Print | by Andy Warhol | #435344
£27.95 click to visit Easy Art

 Going To The Match Art Print | by L S Lowry | #418626 £19.95 click to visit Easy Art


Going To The Match
Art Print | by L S Lowry | #418626
£19.95 click to visit Easy Art

 

 

Clarks and Liberty Arts Prints – they’re back!

One of my favourite collaborations last year was the one between Clarks shoes and Liberty Arts prints. The coming together of two classic British brands was a major success, combining the exquisite retro prints from Liberty, with Clarks great and durable design.

Chorus Voice £49.99 click to visit Clarks

Well, the great news is that a new collection has just been launched, with the emphasis very much on the court shoe. There are two major designs currently, the peep toe and the suede full court shoe. Each has a mid height heel, making them perfect as a very stylish work shoe, and there are both patent leather and suede designs available.

Chorus Voice £49.99 click to visit Clarks

Chorus Sing £49.99 click to visit Clarks

Chorus Sing £49.99 click to visit Clarks

Also in the collection are a couple of über gorgeous bags. This is where the Liberty print really comes into its own.  The Minorca Bay print, with its fan-like design, translates beautifully onto a very practical barrel bag, and can also be paired with the equally lovely Rimini Bay purse, sporting the stunning Art Nouveau print.

Minorca Bay £59.99 click to visit Clarks

Rimini Bay £29.99 click to visit Clarks