What embodies glittering romance more than a sparkling engagement ring? Love never goes out of fashion and is still a thing many people seek to find. Much time, effort and often money are spent in searching for, attracting and keeping our special one. If we are lucky enough to find our perfect mate, how do we express this all-consuming heartfelt emotion? There will probably be intimate dinners, fine champagne and gorgeous flowers,all of which may culminate in the ultimate token of affection – a ring that represents our intention to bind two individuals together in perpetuity.

The history of rings as love tokens and symbols of intent have uncertain origins but women wearing rings with keys as a sign of attachment to their husband have been found in Roman excavation sites. The first recorded use of a diamond ring as notification of a pledge to marry is attributed to an Austrian Archduke in 1477 to his betrothed. Royal use of this unique commitment to wed, flowed over in to the Court’s followers and ultimately all the way through society, to become one of our favourite traditions.

Fast forward to the 1920’s and 1930’s and the engagement rings of the decorative Art Deco era are associated with intricate gold filigree and glittering gemstone settings. Historians attribute this flamboyance to a surging optimism felt at the time, with the development of technology and increasing social freedoms of women in particular. Art is a reflection of its time, influenced by its mores and inspired by its values, and jewellery is no exception.

The Deco ring designs were characterised by geometry and symmetry of lines that drew on many historical influences to create a deliberately modern design. Famously known for its ‘Flapper’ women who intended to enjoy themselves and deliberately flout with convention, this post World War I era voraciously embraced all that was new and bold.

As the world opened up through travel and coverage by an expanding popular media, jewellery motifs were influenced by new cultural ‘discoveries’ such as the ancient Egyptians and African and Oriental visual traditions. The resulting styles were exciting, even a little unfamiliar, as goldsmiths explored daring designs of fancy metal work and vibrant gems. Large diamonds became a feature and were hugely popular with the general public, who proudly wore stunning solitaires surrounded by dazzling filigree.

Forward again to the 21st Century and Art Deco styles of ring are still supremely popular and on trend. The popularity of black onyx and other precious stones such as sapphires, rubies and emeralds incorporated with diamonds in to channel settings reflects the influence of this glamorous age.

As one of the premier sources for antique style engagement rings in Melbourne, SPJ craft unique Art Deco and Edwardian designs that echo the sparkling opulence of this eras.Browse their vibrant selection of colourful gemstone rings, mysterious black onyx or dazzling diamonds online or book an appointment to view antique engagement rings in Melbourne. Wear a design which encapsulates more than a century of handcrafted details dedicated to the embodiment of love.