It might be expected that, after the sedate Victorian era, there was a moderate reaction. This moderate reaction actually came in the Edwardian period, which lasted from 1901 to 1910, the short reign of Kind Edward VIII.
Following is a delicate Double Peacock necklace from around 1900 made in gold with enamel feathers accented by small diamonds. The birds are holding a large opal.
Some characterize the jewelry of this era as “platinum and diamonds.” Stylistically, this period overlaps with the Art Nouveau movement. Art nouveau is associated with “art for art’s sake”: delicate curves and sinuous lines abound. This style of engagement ring is more about style than precious material, and we see enameled and sculpted rings, as well as unusual gems, such as opal, or rare colored diamonds.
Even though diamond cutting was rarely standardized, old mine cut diamonds still had great appeal, and were sought after. Platinum was declared a strategic metal in World War 1, and white gold for engagement rings and wedding bands was reintroduced.
Shown is one of Dacarli’s many popular antique engagement settings.
The last great period which can be considered “antique” occurred between the world wars. This epoch was variously known as “the jazz age” or “the roaring twenties”. The modernism of this period was characterized by clean sleek lines and architectural structures (think of the Chrysler Building!). The antique engagement rings of this time reflected symmetry, clean lines and sculptural simplicity.
This style was also called “Style Moderne” and was influenced by the modernity of Piet Mondrian and L’Corbusier.