A Guide to Choosing and Wearing a Victorian Engagement Ring

Victorian 4.20 Carat Old Mine Cushion Diamond Cluster Antique Ring

Victorian 4.20 Carat Old Mine Cushion Diamond Cluster Antique Ring

Settings, Band Pairing Ideas, and Care

So, you're considering purchasing a Victorian engagement ring but unsure where to begin. Let's start with the basics: A Victorian engagement ring is more than just a piece of jewelry—it's a piece of history. Dating back over 100 years (1840 to 1900), these rings have likely graced the fingers of multiple generations, each leaving their own mark. This rich history imbues the ring with a unique charm and character that simply can't be replicated.

Victorian Etruscan Revival 2.01 Carat Emerald & Diamond Cluster

While it's true that owning a Victorian engagement ring requires a bit more care and attention than a newer piece, the appeal lies in its unparalleled uniqueness. Unlike mass-produced rings, a Victorian ring is truly one-of-a-kind. Its authenticity is undeniable; even at a glance.

Victorian Old European Cut Diamond Rose Gold Vintage Engagement Ring

In a world where lab diamonds and generic settings abound, Victorian rings stand apart as genuine treasures. While others may question the authenticity of modern rings, there's no mistaking the realness of a true Victorian masterpiece. From intricate designs to gorgeous gemstone choices, these antique rings offer a blend of history and sophistication. In this guide, we’ll explore the nuances of wearing a Victorian engagement ring, from setting style options, complementing band ideas, and care guide.

Victorian Engagement Ring Setting Styles

Victorian engagement rings come in various styles, each with its own unique charm.

Victorian Wedding Stack Three Stone Engagement Ring

Three Stone Engagement Rings

This quintessential setting also known as a trilogy or yesterday, today and tomorrow ring is popular choice for engagement and the Victorian era provides some of the most unique versions of this style. For example the Victorian engagement ring above is a beautiful display of a super chunky antique old mine cushion in exaggerated prongs, very typical of the Victorian era. Consider a three stone with fun gems like emeralds and opals, shown below, very popular during the 19th century like the unusual emerald three stone featured below.


Cluster Engagement Rings

Featuring a halo of smaller gemstones around a central stone. Victorian clusters come in a variety of styles. Featuring unique diamond cuts and unusual setting styles even within the cluster setting style.


Victorian clusters offer some of the most unique styles for engagement rings. While many of these won't fit with a wedding band, they are showstoppers and truly one-of-a-kind.

Victorian 2.88 Carat Cushion Cut Sapphire and Diamond Cluster

Solitaire Engagement Rings

Simple yet elegant, solitaire engagement rings showcase a single stunning gemstone, allowing its beauty to take center stage. Victorian solitaire engagement ring settings typically display intricate metalwork and details often quite ornate unlike modern solitaires.

Victorian Old European Cut Diamond Rose Gold Vintage Engagement Ring

Navette Shaped Engagement Rings

Also known as a marquise shape, navette rings boast an elongated, pointed oval design, adding sophistication and elongating the finger. This shape really gives you the opportunity to do something different for your engagement ring. While many wear a marquise diamond shape, it's rare to see an entire setting in this shape. The Victorian era boasts many navette shaped style rings that would work beautifully for an engagement ring, if you're willing to go bold!

Victorian 1.31 Marquise Cut Diamond & Turquoise Navette Engagement Ring

Unique Diamond Cuts and Alternatives

Victorian engagement rings being over 100 years old offer a plethora of unique antique diamond and gem options. Rose cut diamond were very popular during the 19th century with a flat base and a dome-shaped crown, rose-cut diamonds offer a romantic subtle glow with a very antique look. Old mine cushion cut diamonds were the first of their kind, initially developed and worn during the Victorian era, they were the first cut to come close to a round shape but were instead slightly irregular with large facets. Each was hand cut with artistic rather than machine precision, so each old mine cushion is entirely unique. Old European cut diamonds can be found in Late Victorian rings starting around 1870. They are the first true round diamond shape while still featuring larger facets as compared to modern brilliants. For those seeking alternatives to diamonds, Victorian rings offer a myriad of option including: emeralds, sapphires, rubies, turquoise, and pearls.

Victorian Opal & Rose Cut Diamond Carved Half Hoop Antique Ring

Each gemstone offers its own unique beauty and symbolism, allowing couples to personalize their rings to reflect their style and personality.

Victorian Cushion Cut Ruby Carved Half Hoop

Metal Options for Victorian Engagement Rings

Victorian engagement rings are typically crafted from gold or a combination of gold and silver, often featuring intricate details such as filigree or engravings.

Victorian 1.02 Carat Old European Cut Diamond Engraved Engagement Ring

Band Pairing Ideas

While some Victorian engagement ring styles may not easily accommodate a traditional wedding band, there are several complementary options to consider.

Antique Engraved Victorian Bands

Choose an antique wedding band featuring intricate engravings or filigree that complements the detailing of your Victorian engagement ring. Antique engraved Edwardian wedding bands are also very complimentary to Victorian rings.

Victorian Bicolor Engraved Antique Wedding Band Size

Diamond Eternity Bands

Choosing a diamond eternity band is a perfect way to enhance the sparkle of your Victorian engagement ring. While finding a Victorian diamond eternity band may prove challenging, fear not! A modern, vintage-inspired eternity band set with antique diamonds offers an elegant alternative that pairs beautifully with your Victorian engagement ring.

Consider options like the Old Miner, available in blackened metal and yellow gold, which complements the antique charm of a Victorian ring flawlessly. This blend of old-world diamonds with modern craftsmanship ensures a perfect match. The French Cut Band features antique French cuts, while this is more of a Deco style we love blending eras and this particular band happens to work with almost any era including rings from the Victorian period. Or add a unique band like the Quill and Quill with diamonds and have fun with your stack!

Old Miner Diamond Eternity Band
Victorian Engagement Ring and Band
Victorian Cushion Cut Ruby Carved Half Hoop
The French Cut Band

Wear Your Wedding Band on the Other Hand

Another aspect to consider is the placement of your engagement and wedding bands. While traditions vary across cultures and countries, in the United States, it's customary for women to wear their wedding bands on their left hand. However, there's no hard and fast rule dictating which hand should bear which ring.

Old Miner Diamond Eternity Band

One recommendation we often make to our clients is to wear their wedding band or band stack on the opposite hand from their engagement ring. This not only offers a balanced look but also allows each ring to shine individually without overwhelming the finger. For example, once you're married, you might choose to wear your engagement ring on your right hand, while your wedding band graces your left.

Victorian ring with a wedding band

Caring Guide for Your Victorian Engagement Ring

Victorian engagement rings are heirlooms of the past and have survived a century of wear however they do require special care to maintain their beauty over time. Here are some essential tips: Clean your ring using a soft brush and mild soap solution to remove dirt and oils that can dull its sparkle. However don't overdue it. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Steer clear of harsh chemicals such as chlorine and bleach, as they can damage both the metal and gemstones. So avoid the pool and the ocean when wearing your ring or simply leave it at home when doing these activities. Professional Maintenance: Periodically have your ring inspected by a professional jeweler to check for loose stones or signs of wear.

Wearing a Victorian engagement ring offers a chance to own something truly rare and unique. With the array of styles available, choosing one may feel overwhelming, but you'll know when you find the perfect match. While matching a band can be challenging, it also allows for a personalized touch, resulting in a truly distinctive look.

Remember to take extra care with your ring due to its age and intricacy, but don't forget to enjoy it! Your Victorian ring is a rare beauty, much like your love—cherish it as a symbol of your enduring bond and wear it with pride.

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