10 Vintage Rings Inspired By Every Decade of the Last Century

Michael Fried
Michael Fried

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Your engagement ring is a prime opportunity to showcase your love and personal style. And one of the best ways to incorporate extra character is through a vintage engagement ring that bursts with personality. 

Over the last century, from the 1910s to the early 2000s, engagement ring styles have expanded and changed. From Art Deco designs to colored gemstones, each decade offers its own charm. Take a look at these vintage style rings inspired by each decade.

1910s: Bella Vaughan Trinity Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Bella Vaughan Trinity Halo Diamond Engagement Ring
An example of an early 1900s’ diamond engagement ring (proho: Blue Nile)

From the early 1900s into the 1910s, Edwardian design was in full force. Edwardian rings featured elegant craftsmanship such as filigree. As a popular technique to add details that resembles vines and lace, filigree infiltrated the engagement ring market. Platinum also became a popular metal choice during this decade. 

You can find similar romantic rings with filigree details and exceptionally crafted styles, like the intricate designer Bella Vaughan Trinity halo diamond engagement ring from Blue Nile featured here. The accents, side diamonds, and center stone are a true nod to the early 1900s. 

1920s: Art Deco Geometric Diamond Engagement Ring

Art Deco Geometric Diamond Engagement Ring
An example of a 1920s’ Art Deco geometric diamond engagement ring (photo: James Allen)

The defining trend of 1920s style is Art Deco, marked by geometric shapes and distinct lines. From clothing to architecture, Art Deco captured the decade. To mimic this time period, look for antique style rings with geometric patterns and features, such as an engagement ring that showcases a large diamond alongside smaller diamonds in square or triangular patterns. 

Inclusive of square and rhombus shapes, this Art Deco ring from James Allen is a beautiful representation of the roaring 20s. 

1930s: Round Diamond Art Deco Inspired Fleur-De-Lis Pavé Engagement Ring

An example of a 1930s'-inspired Art Deco engagement ring
An example of a 1930s’-inspired Art Deco engagement ring (photo: James Allen)

Art Deco engagement rings remained popular through the 1930s, especially rings made of white gold. Because of the Great Depression, many couldn’t afford huge diamonds or ornate designs, so the rings of the 1930s contained Art Deco flair but were smaller with less pizzazz. Round cut diamonds were common, along with simpler designs.

While this 1930s-inspired Art Deco ring from James Allen is more understated than rings from the 1910s and 1920s, it still offers flair and intricate craftsmanship. 

1940s: Hand-Engraved Solitaire Engagement Ring

1940s' hand-engraved solitaire engagement ring
An example of a 1940s’ 1940s’ hand-engraved solitaire engagement ring (photo: Blue Nile)

During the 1940s, design and fashion stepped away from the strong Art Deco influence and into more floral designs made of yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold. Platinum had become harder to come by due to World War II. And solitaire rings with a single center stone were the trend as people recovered from the 1930s and World War II.

What else happened in the 1940s? De Beers launched their famous “A Diamond is Forever” campaign in 1947 to encourage more diamond sales after the Great Depression. From then on, thanks to that ad, diamonds are the marquee stone for engagement rings. 

The hand-engraved ring from Blue Nile featured here is a representation of a quintessential 1940s ring with a solid band and center stone.

1950s: Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring

1950s' inspired Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring
An example of a 1950s’ side baguettes style engagement ring (photo: Blue Nile)

Into the 1950s, more couples had the means to buy a diamond engagement ring. A wide range of styles exploded throughout this decade, but settings with braided details and engravings were the most popular. Side stones and three-stone rings became more commonplace as well, such as those with smaller baguette diamonds flanking either side of a larger center stone. 

The iconic 1950s style diamond engagement ring seen here features tapered baguette diamonds on either side of the round center stone. It’s three-diamond design makes it a dazzling piece with timeless appeal. 

1960s: Emerald Cut Emerald Ring

1960s green emerald center stone engagement ring
An example of a 1960s’ green emerald center stone engagement ring (photo: Blue Nile)

The 1960s offered a continued boom in engagement ring styles and color options. Coverage of celebrities became more widespread, allowing us to be inspired by the diamonds of Elizabeth Taylor, Lucille Ball, and Marilyn Monroe. Beyond colorless diamonds remaining predominant, colored gemstones, such as amethysts, emeralds, and sapphires, lined the jewelry stores as well. 

Rich in color, this emerald engagement ring from Blue Nile shines with romance and style.

1970s: Side Emerald Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

More diamond shapes became fashionable and readily available in the 1970s, including princess cut and oval cut diamonds. Brides also began pairing their engagement rings with coordinating wedding bands to create a complete set. Engagement rings with side stones were also trendy, forming beautiful designs and elaborate ring styles.  

The emerald cut side stones in this vintage style engagement ring from Blue Nile create a striking look that resembles a sophisticated 1970s aura.

1980s: Pear Shape Ruby and Diamond 3 Stone Ring

1980s Pear Shape Ruby and Diamond 3 Stone Ri
An example of a 1980s’ style ruby and diamond 3 stone ring (photo: Leibish)

The 1980s saw a lot of yellow gold engagement rings and fancy cut diamonds, which may not come as a surprise to some. The 80s allowed many to express their unique personalities in everything from their furniture to their engagement rings. Princess Diana’s oval sapphire and diamond halo ring is among the most famous rings of the decade, invigorating an attraction to colorful rings. 

The ruby and diamond ring from Leibish showcased above is a beautiful example of a vintage ring that bursts with 1980s inspiration. 

1990s: Graduated Milgrain Diamond Engagement Ring

1990s Graduated Milgrain Diamond Engagement Ring
An example of a 1990s’ style milgrain diamond engagement ring (photo: Blue Nile)

Large center stones and fancy cut diamonds continued to rise in popularity during the 90s, and white gold and platinum came into the limelight once again. With the expansion of the internet, more style options became available, allowing couples to design rings that were especially unique.

With a marquise center stone, this milgrain diamond engagement ring offers plenty of ornate detailing without taking away from the diamond’s beauty.

2000s: Comfort Fit Solitaire Engagement Ring

2000s' simple solitaire engagement ring
An example of a 2000s’ simple solitaire engagement ring (photo: James Allen)

At the turn of the century, people looked once again to more classic styles, including solitaires, three-stone rings, and round cut center stones. Just as many trends are cyclical, more traditional ring styles made a reappearance in the early parts of the new millennium.

A stunning solitaire provides simple style while allowing the diamond to be the main attraction, like in this modern comfort fit engagement ring

Want the perfect diamond or gemstone to pair with your setting? Here’s how to choose the best center stone:

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Please enter your email address to receive your personal one-time use unique coupon code for 25% off engagement rings:

What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
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