The beauty and elegance of Edwardian antique cluster rings makes them ideal for engagement rings.
Designs from this period (1901 – 1910) exhibit a subtle touch that emphasizes style. Their grace and fine workmanship creates a perfect ring for a female finger. This era produced elegant rings set with sparkling Victorian and Edwardian-cut diamonds. Frequently, these were combined with precious gemstones such as a sapphire or emerald.
The clusters could be circular or rectangular shape and featured slender bands. The bands were robust yet delicate in appearance. Platinum was ideal for this fine work, as it is flexible at high temperatures and strong, enabling intricate designs to be fashioned with less metal than gold, the precious metal of choice before platinum. The final addition was a fine millegrain finish in the metal around the gemstones. A wheel is used to form tiny beads around the setting edge, thus softening the edge and reflecting the light.
The originality of the Art Nouveau movement (1895 – 1910) and the extravagant yet delicate jewels of the Belle Époque period (1890 – 1914) influenced the Edwardian era. The Belle Époque is often associated with the ‘garland style’, characterised by swags and garlands of flowers, flowing and gently tied ribbons and bows with an almost lacelike quality. This was the height of fashion at the time and epitomized luxury in jewellery. The great French jewellery houses of Cartier, Chaumet, Tiffany, and Fabergé led the jewellery styles.
The Art Nouveau period is associated with flowing lines, with the emphasis on semi-precious gemstones. This was the era of the ‘eccentric jewellers’ where inventiveness in style was prized and gems and metals were used to further the design rather than for their monetary or scarcity value.
At the turn of the 20th century, the Edwardian era produced magnificent and sumptuous brooches, tiaras, pendants and objects of artistic quality. Jewellery became less ornate towards the end of the Edwardian era and more delicate, with platinum being used more frequently together with the new cuts of diamonds.
The London Victorian Ring Co makes rings from original antique designs. Jewellery is fashioned in Hatton Garden UK, as it always has been through four generations of the same family.