Art Deco Engagement Rings
If you are looking for a distinctive ring with a unique vintage style, our collection of Art Deco engagement rings offers a stunning selection with a nod to the past. Utilising angular lines and the sharp geometry of baguette-cut diamond accents or stepped diamond shoulders, our Art Deco style diamond rings echo the streamlined beauty of this iconic era.
Explore our stylish collection of true to the original designs, made in the UK by our team of expert goldsmiths.
Prefer a bespoke ring? With years of experience recreating the elegant jewellery designs of the 1920s-1930s, our expert team can design the bespoke Art Deco engagement ring of your dreams. Get in touch for more details
Art Deco History and Design
Art Deco. The term brings to mind the excess and opulence of the 1920s-1930s. Filled with a spirit of optimism and adventure, the Art Deco aesthetic swept the world and has retained its appeal for over one hundred years. Defined by their sleek, streamlined design and bold geometric patterns, the Art Deco style of the early 20th century was influenced by the rapidly modernising world. From architecture to fashion and jewellery, Art Deco styles radiate the chic sophistication of their time.
The Art Deco movement sprang from the ashes of the first world war. The war had affected many facets of society, including the role of women. With men off fighting on the front, women were left to take up industrial tasks from farm to factory work. In turn, these new roles gave women new freedoms, culminating in their emancipation and gaining the right to vote in 1918. After the war had ended, many women wanted to retain the freedoms they had gained and continued to work. Fashion echoed these qualities, with thin, flat silhouettes, trousers and dresses that came to the knee, making them easy to move, work, and play sports. Gone were the days of restricting corsets and long, ungainly gowns. The Art Deco period was the emancipated woman, and both fashion and jewellery adapted to her ever-changing lifestyle. Art Deco jewellery did away with the large floral sprays favouring streamlined design. Instead, jewellery became an accessory meant to fit with the overall composition of the outfit, resulting in a wide variety of styles. A fashion arose for stacking and layering with line bracelets stacked high on the arms and long strands of pearls and rope necklaces layered over sleek drop-waisted. Rings took on a paired back modernism that focussed on geometry and the quality of gemstones rather than superfluous decoration.
Simple and Affordable
The Art Deco movement was all about modernism. Straying from the ornate decoration of the past, the Art Deco aesthetic favoured sharp edges and irregular surfaces, taking inspiration from cubism, futurism and the functionalism of Bauhaus. Jewellers utilised materials such as platinum and chrome in their streamlined creations. The bright white metals had a shine reflected in the machine-aesthetic of automobiles and steel skyscrapers of the time. Art Deco jewellery included yellow gold and silver. Bold coloured semi-precious gems such as onyx, amethyst and citrine were mixed in daring combinations. Simple and affordable materials such as glass and bakelite (known today as plastic) were raised to new heights and regarded for their functional appeal over intrinsic value.
Best Colour and Contrast
The bold geometry of many Art Deco designs lent themselves well to contrasting colour combinations. By mixing the glittering white of diamond and rock crystal against vivid flashes of colour from emeralds, aquamarines or other gemstones, Art Deco designers were able to highlight and contrast the intricate geometric patterns of their best work. The 1930s saw a return to monochromatic palettes, but the fashion for bold geometry remained. Instead of using colour, jewellers used baguette cut, Asscher cut and emerald cut diamonds to create dramatic geometric effects.
Modern with Taste of the Exotic
The discovery of King Tut’s tomb and ever-increasing trade with China, Japan and Africa led to a renewed interest in all things exotic. Many European jewellery designers incorporated elements of Asian design, such as jade, mother of pearl and carved gemstones into their exotic creations. In addition, they adapted natural motifs from Mexico and Egypt and utilised the geometry of African masks, favoured by artists like Picasso.
Frequently asked Questions
The Art Deco style emphasises geometry and paired back minimalist designs. The rapidly modernising world influenced jewellery designers of the time. Unlike the floral Edwardian styles that came before, Art Deco jewels emphasised simple angular forms and reduced decoration to a minimum. Art Deco designs play with the contrast of colour and material, using a mix of coloured gemstones set against the bright white of diamonds or platinum.
While many styles have waxed and waned in popularity, the minimalist aesthetic and easy wearability are just some of the many reasons why Art Deco jewellery remains popular today. Art Deco designs strip back any superfluous decoration that may quickly become outdated. Instead, the best Art Deco designs focus on the beauty of the gemstones, set to maximise their impact. Sleek and streamlined, Art Deco is the ideal choice for the timelessly chic woman.
The Art Deco period is usually defined as the years between the first and second world wars, in the 1920s-1930s. The V&A Museum in London, in their Art Deco Exhibition 2003, defined the Art Deco period as the years 1910 to 1939, from the end of the Edwardian era to the first year of Word War II. This was a period of rapid change and modernisation. During this time, women earned their emancipation and the right to vote. The automobile and aeroplane made travel quicker than ever before, and great steel skyscrapers rose from our cities. These changing times influenced artists and designers alike to create sleek, streamlined designs.
Jewellery of the time utilised bright, bold coloured gemstones such as red rubies, blue sapphires and verdant green emeralds, all set against the brilliant flashes of white diamonds. Art Deco jewellery likes to play with colour and emphasise unique materials such as semi-precious gemstones, aquamarine, onyx or amethyst.