Antique Victorian Ring

by lakeerieartists

Victorians had many skillful jewelers that created intricate and unique necklaces, brooches, and rings that still are beautiful to give as gifts today.

There are some things about the Victorian period in history that are so appealing, and one of those is antique Victorian jewelry. Victorians had many skillful jewelers that created intricate and unique necklaces, brooches, and rings that still are beautiful to give as gifts today. There is something special about knowing that your antique Victorian ring has journeyed through history until it came into your life.

Of all the antique Victorian jewelry, I have a special place in my heart for the antique Victorian rings. Victorian jewelers were fine craftsmen and made each piece by hand, which is still the best way to make rings today. However the materials for precious metal and precious stone rings are so much more expensive today, and that doesn't even begin to include the expense for the labor.

The Beauty of Victorian Rings

Metalsmiths and jewelers during the Victorian period used many of the same tools and techniques that metalsmiths and jewelers do today.  Although today we have the precision of computer technology to create the sheet metal and metal wire from raw gold and silver, the creation of a piece of jewelry still has to be done by hand unless the ring is cast from a mold. With a mold, the original piece is hand carved by the artist first, then copied from the mold made from the original piece.

Jewelers still set stones by hand, solder and cut by hand, and hand finish many fine details on jewelry today.  Victorians liked a lot of detail on their jewelry, and rings were used for several purposes.  Rings were created for weddings and engagements, but were also used as signet rings, and for sealing official documents with wax.

Antique Victorian Diamond Ring

Antique Victorian Opal Ring

Antique Victorian Cameo Rings

During Victorian times, cameo rings were popular, and were carved by hand from gemstones, agate, or shell. These cameo rings usually featured a portrait that was in relief white against a colored background. Cameos usually had a pink, blue, or black background.

But Victorian rings also had many gemstones embedded in the design of the ring. Often a colored stone like emeralds, rubies or lapis were surrounded by smaller diamonds, or a diamond was surrounded by other diamonds.

Many rings had a broad or wide face on a slender band especially for women, and mens rings were more geometric in shape with less detail.

Antique Victorian Cameo Ring

Antique Victorian Ruby Ring

Antique Victorian Filigree Ring

Many of antique Victorian rings had metal filigree surrounding the outside of the ring or around the center stone of the ring.  Filigree is a very fine wire that is shaped into curling patterns similar to paisley print on fabric.  Sometimes the filigree wire was twisted to give it an even fancier, more delicate look.  Filigree was often made in scalloped sections to enhance or show off the main gemstone or cameo.  It was typical of the Victorian period to add more detail to the jewelry designs, instead of keeping designs simple, and plain.

In addition to filigree, often rings did not just have one gemstone, but several place in a pattern of a flower, a cross, or another pattern.  Because each antique ring was handmade, there were no two alike, making each man or women's jewelry.

Antique Victorian Filigree Ring

Antique Victorian Jade Ring

Antique Victorian Rose Gold Ring

Antique Victorian Onyx Ring

Buying Antique Victorian Rings Today

Antique jewelry is often one of the best preserved antiques in any household because jewelry is expensive, and meaningful to the owner, and because jewelry owners usually take excellent care of their jewelry.  Also jewelry is not diminished by time, most jewelry can be made good as new just by cleaning it.

That is great news for collectors, and fans of antique Victorian rings, because it means that you can find authentic Victorian antique rings for sale in excellent condition.  One of the best places to look for authentic Victorian rings in on Ebay.  There are several reputable sellers of authentic Victorian rings in many different ring style for men and for women.

I have listed several Victorian ring styles on this page including gemstone rings--onyx, citrine, tiger eye, jade, turquoise, coral, opal, diamond, and ruby.  Most of the rings are gold, although you can also find silver and platinum Victorian rings.  I was searching for authentic antique Victorian rings for this article, but you can also purchase reproductions of Victorian rings that are very beautiful.  The reproductions are Victorian style but not really from the Victorian period.  So that just depends on if you want an authentic piece of history.

Antique Victorian Emerald Ring

Antique Victorian Citrine Ring

Antique Victorian Engagement and Wedding Rings

Victorian engagement and Victorian wedding rings are very, very beautiful, and there are some excellent choices of engagement and wedding rings on Ebay.  If you don't like the rings that are featured here, you can click through any of the links to go to Ebay, and you can browse through the antique ring section.  Offerings literally change hourly, so don't be discouraged if you don't find something at first glance.

You can also find engagement and wedding rings with unusual stones (at least for today's market) like citrines that really stand out for a wedding ring.  No one else will ever be able to have the same ring as you if you buy an antique Victorian wedding ring.

Antique Victorian Intaglio Rings

Intaglio is the opposite of a cameo, where the gemstone is carved, but the design is cut into the stone instead of being in relief.  Intaglio was often used as a sealing ring for important documents and letters.  The wearer would drip hot wax onto the document, then press the ring face into the wax to form an official seal.  Since the seal was on the person's finger, it was very difficult for someone to steal it, or copy it.

Intaglio was cut into a flat ring usually square or rectangular in shape and usually worn by men, because they handled most of the business and official transactions during the era.  The ring style is a simpler style because of being used for seals.

Antique Victorian Polki Ring

Antique Victorian Intaglio Ring

If you are looking for a really unique 14K gold men's ring for your husband or boyfriend, one of the best places to look is on Ebay.
Updated: 09/27/2014, lakeerieartists
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blackspanielgallery on 07/14/2015

These are from a time when artisans took pride in each piece made. It is impossible for robots in mass production lines of today to take pride in anything. And, jewelers repeating actions like robots can be almost as bad.

BrendaReeves on 03/29/2012

I love antique and vintage jewelry. Thanks for the article. I'm headed to your other jewelry articles right now.

Yeirl on 03/29/2012

You got some gorgeous rings here. I enjoy reading your wizzes... helps me with my rotten English. Thank you.

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