Vintage and antique rings are an easy way of adding a vintage feel to your look. Here we take a look at some popular ring styles during the 20th century.

art nouveauArt Nouveau
Art Nouveau jewellery from the 1890s onwards focused on organic shapes and forms such as the female body. Rings often featured enameled details and popular motifs such as flowers – orchids, irises, pansies and vines were very popular – swans, peacocks, snakes, dragonflies and mythological creatures.

Parisian designer René Lalique, Vienna’s Wiener Werkstätte and Liberty & Co. in London all contributed significantly to the popular designs of the day, which shifted the focus of the jeweller’s art from the setting of stones to the artistic design of the piece itself.

Lalique’s dragonfly design is one of the best examples of this.

The outbreak of WW1 changed public attitudes to jewellery and rings, and a more sober style developed.

Art Deco
Growing political tensions in Europe,  the after-effects of the war and a reaction against the perceived decadence of the turn of the 20th century led to simpler forms, combined with more effective manufacturing for mass production of high-quality jewellery.

The Art Deco style of the Twenties and Thirties saw the introduction of modern materials such as plastics and aluminium. Ring styles became very geometrical with sun ray patterns popular in style. Aquamarine diamonds, sapphire and emeralds were often used as well as classic diamond clusters in platinum settings.

60s ringModern
The modern jewellery movement began in the late Forties at the end of World War II. The advent of new materials such as plastics and colouring techniques has led to an increased variety in styles. During the Sixties and Seventies rings were often made out of novel materials such as wood, and designers started to look towards oriental and Asian countries for design inspiration.

Today you can easily find vintage rings on websites such as Etsy. Silver rings – which often come in classic shapes inspired by Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Sixties designs – are another great way of replicating vintage styles.