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Rings for all occasions 

Antique and Vintage Rings

Vintage and antique rings of all shapes and sizes have long held a special place in the hearts of fine jewellery lovers.

No matter their origin or specific characteristics, rings are timeless, versatile accessories. Dating as far back as the 3rd millennium BC examples of what we would recognise as finger adornments have been found in places such as the Indus Valley Civilisation and a number of examples have been found across Egypt as early as 4500 BCE


They have always carried deep meaning with pieces from the Middle Ages, when diamond rings symbolised strength and other kinds of rings were worn to signify romantic feelings or to denote an affiliation with a religious order. Rings have also forever been emblematic of eternity.


Over time, rings have frequently taken the form of serpents, which have long been associated with eternal life, health and renewal. The serpent is now a popular motif in fine jewellery. Jewellery devotees have long pined for rings adorned with reptiles, thanks to antique Victorian rings — well, specifically, Queen Victoria’s illustrious engagement ring, which took the form of a gold snake set with rubies, diamonds and an emerald (her birthstone). Designs for Victorian-era engagement rings often featured repoussé work and chasing, in which patterns are hammered into the metal.


The most collectible engagement rings are those from the Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco eras. Named for the monarchies of the four King Georges, who in succession ruled England starting in 1714 (plus King William’s reign), antique Georgian rings, be they engagement rings or otherwise, are also coveted by collectors. Pearls, along with coloured gemstones like garnets, rubies and sapphires, were widely used in Georgian jewellery. The late-1700s paste jewellery was a predecessor to what we now call fashion or costume jewellery.

Art Deco jewellery, on the other hand, which originated during the 1920s and ’30s, is by and large “white jewellery.” White metals, primarily platinum, were favoured over yellow gold in the design of antique Art Deco rings and other accessories as well as geometric motifs, with women drawn to the era’s dazzling cocktail rings in particular.


Whether you’re hunting down a chunky classic for a Prohibition-themed cocktail party or seeking a clean contemporary design to complement your casual ensemble, find an exquisite collection of antique, pre-loved and vintage rings at Howell 1870.

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