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What Are Features of Art Deco Wedding and Engagement Rings?


The distinctive Art Jewelry Period encompassed the years between World War I and World War II. The Art Deco years are considered to be the 1920s and the 1930s. The term Art Deco derived from the Parisian Exhibition of 1925, called the Exposition des Art Décoratifs et Industrials. Significant influences to Art Deco Wedding Rings would come from Cubism, Modernism, The Russian Ballet, and the discovery of King Tut’s Tomb.

Design Features

Wedding ring styles would begin to change, though some designs would continue to be very similar to the Edwardian Jewelry Period.

The popularity of filigree wedding rings would continue, however, the filigree designs would be reinvented. Art Deco rings would become more geometric in design and more abstract. Diamonds would be set in square, hexagonal or octagonal mountings. Wedding jewelry would have more formalized and stylized floral designs. The ring’s filigree petals would be stiff curves and their leaves would be more angular. Rings would be designed in a floral bouquet design or have flower engraved into the mounting. Designs would have more spiral motifs and a greater use of sinuous curves. Rings might have the bows designs that were used in the Edwardian Jewelry Periods, but the deco bows would be more substantial. Often two metal colors would be used to create a more linear, geometric design.

The gold wedding band would no longer be popular. It would be replaced with a platinum wedding band that would have an engraved orange blossom flower design. In the late 1920s, the first matching engagement ring and matching wedding band would be marketed.

By the late 1920s, men’s wedding bands would be fashionable again. Many of these men’s wedding bands would match the bride’s wedding set.

Gradually designs would shift towards simplicity. By the 1930s curves were more austere or would be converted into angles. Art Deco rings would become bolder, heavier and place less significance on gemstones.

The late 1930s would bring the introduction of small accent gemstones. Rubies or blue sapphires gemstones or synthetic gemstones would add color to the previous all white rings.

Diamonds and Gemstones

The economic influence would have an impact on diamond used in wedding rings from the 1920s to 1930s. During the 1920s a center diamond would be surrounded by levels of diamonds. While during the 1930s, diamonds would be smaller and fewer diamonds would be used in wedding rings. Diamonds would frequently be placed in an illusion setting to give the appearance of a larger diamond.

The new influence of enhanced diamond cutting tools would allow for new diamond cuts to be created and with greater symmetry. Baguettes, emerald-cuts, trillions, trapeze-cut and calibre cuts would be introduced.

Synthetic stones began to replace gemstones when it became impossible to get sapphires and rubies out of India and Burma after the start of World War II.

Metals

Platinum would be particularly popular and would be used frequently in art dec1920s and 1930s wedding rings. Platinum would allow for creative filigree, linear designs and precise shapes. The introduction of white gold in 1917 would bring a metal with a look that resembled platinum. Yellow gold with white gold tops would be fashionable.

chris cosby is antique jewelry historian for ten two three estate jewelry, an online boutique specializing in ladies antique diamond filigree rings.

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Listed: March 8, 2010 12:03 am