Adorned in History with Walton's Jewelry

Feb 27, 2024 at 09:43 am by RMGadmin

Georgian era (1714-1837) silver-topped 14k yellow gold 2.00ct Old Mine Cut Diamond Ring $25,100
The Art of Choosing an Antique Diamond Ring
With Walton's Jewelry
While modern diamond guides focus on the 4Cs (color, clarity, cut and carat weight), these guidelines didn’t exist a century ago— the minimum age for a piece to be considered antique. In the realm of antique gems and jewels, where each piece whispers  tales of bygone eras, the rules of modern diamond selection take a delightful departure.
Unlike today’s guidelines, turn-of-the-century jewelers relied on a keen eye and a trained hand. Before the Industrial Revolution and the advances it brought along in stone cutting and metal smithing, each gem was shaped and set by hand to optimize its play of light. Two cuts, in particular, were exceptionally common for diamonds of the time: Old Mine and Old European.
Before the invention of modern gemological tools and using little more than a magnifying lens, descriptions of gemstone clarity and color were broad. A diamond might be considered “eye clean,” while a ruby could be described as having “feathery” inclusions. These generalizations were often used when describing gemstone color as well with no formal color-grading scale existing at the time.
Old Mine cut diamonds, most commonly faceted during the Georgian and Victorian periods (1700s to 1800s), feature a distinct cushion shape, while Old European cut diamonds, faceted between 1880 and 1930, became more symmetrically round—and cutters were no longer limited by the octahedral shape of the rough diamond.
While the international carat was introduced in the 1870s and many stones would have been measured in the same weight standard they would be today, there’s a bit of a challenge...
Once the gemstones are set into jewelry, it takes an expert to give an accurate estimate, which is one of the many reasons why working with a trained jewelry professional such as a GIA Graduate Gemologist is so important when buying antique jewelry.
What other factors are important when selecting antique jewelry?
Jewelry is so much more than simply something you wear. It is precious adornment, and in the case of an antique engagement ring, it’s an embodiment of history’s romance and celebration of love’s endurance.
It seems only natural then, that such a personal article would require significant consideration of the persons involved in acquiring any new-to-you jewelry.
1. Lifestyle
Consider how the engagement ring fits into your everyday life. While a high-profile setting may be perfect for a bling-loving bride, the same design may not work for someone with an active lifestyle. A low-profile setting can offer comfort without sacrificing sparkle.
2. Personal style
A quick peek into your partner’s jewelry box may be all that you need to guide this decision. Traditional white diamonds or a pop of color? More recently, many couples have decided to shop for a ring together which many see as both romantic and practical.
3. Budget
Finances aren’t the most glamorous part of the ring shopping experience but are a necessary factor nonetheless. You can explore online collections to get a sense of which pieces align with your budget. And remember to reach out to a professional with questions (we love questions!).
Antique and modern diamonds may come with GIA reports, but there is so much that can be learned from seeing a diamond glitter in the sunlight and feeling the platinum embrace on your finger that simple cannot be captured in a printed list of specifications.
Walton’s Jewelry, with a 50-year legacy in the heart of Downtown Franklin, GIA-educated experts and an extraordinary selection of antique and contemporary engagement rings, invites you to discover the perfect ring.
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