Art Nouveau Style Engagement Rings - A buyer's Guide
When we see clients struggle to choose a ring, it is most often because they are not well informed about the history and values of the rings they’re looking at. If your partner is someone who appreciates the details and significance of the ring, they’re going to be floored when you opt for the ring that we will be discussing in this article. So, here’s our little guide to wowing your partner by choosing the ring of their dreams!
If you or your partner share a common love for art and nature, here’s our pick for you- Art Nouveau Engagement Rings!
A brief background to the Art Nouveau era
Art Nouveau means “new art” and it happens to be a product of the Arts and Crafts Movement in England. The movement took a “back to basic” approach but had a strong design sense. Therefore, the Art Nouveau period saw no restrictions on how nature and animal motifs should be utilized. These rings were crafted in France during a particularly creative era, between 1890-1915. Art Nouveau jewellery was a reaction to a number of things that were happening in France. This was the time when women were fighting for their rights to study and work. Hence, the pieces made during the initial days depicted lovely, unthreatening women as mermaids and “scary” women as medusa. This represented the dichotomy of how French men saw their women. However, as time went on and Art Nouveau jewellery reached all of Europe, designs and the meaning behind it had changed.
Though this era lasted for a brief while, Art Nouveau engagement rings are known for their superior workmanship and sui generis designs. During this period, there was huge demand for handcrafted jewellery as it was nearing its expiration due to the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of machine-made jewellery. During industrialization, a lot of high-tech machines were introduced to make jewellery thus making it about mechanical processes rather than skilful craftsmanship.
Vintage Art Nouveau Rings features?
Art Nouveau engagement rings favoured designs inspired from nature and experimented with geometrical shapes. Returning to nature being the main theme of this period, the lines and shapes reflected the symmetry of nature.
Art Nouveau engagement rings were identified by soft swirls and flowing symmetry. And the gentleness of Art Nouveau is one of its compelling qualities. It is also home to bold colours and materials that weren’t used before while making engagement rings. Moreover, fired enamels were popularised and as a result, bright coloured enamels which had a stained glass-like appearance were used in vintage Art Nouveau engagement rings.
Recurring motifs in antique Art Nouveau engagement rings were insects, birds and celestial bodies. However, in modern Art Nouveau engagement rings one is more likely to find designs like butterflies, dragonflies and flowers. Art Nouveau doesn’t appeal to everyone but it is home to some of the most beautiful and remarkable pieces in the broad spectrum of engagement rings. If ever a design style defined and manifested itself perfectly, it’s Art Nouveau - with its incredibly artistic, intricate and breathtaking jewels produced by skilled craftsmen.
Platinum made its way into the public forum during the early artistic periods of Art Nouveau. 14k and 18k gold and silver bands were commonly used while white gold and platinum were reserved for luxury pieces.
Pearls were a main characteristic feature of Art Nouveau, followed by Opal, Topaz, Ruby and Moonstone. Small diamonds/accent diamonds were added around the central gemstone to create a diamond flower-like appearance. Abstract designs like circular sunburst shapes and whiplash curves were slowly introduced, and many pieces were made with the highly sophisticated aesthetic of the Edwardian Era. Art Nouveau jewellery was artistic with flowing curves and motifs. They were not angular with geometric shapes (like Art Deco) but were feminine and delicate. Natural life forms were represented boldly in rings and in pendants. These were works of pure art sculpted in metal!
Art Deco vs Art Nouveau
Since Art Deco was introduced right after Art Nouveau, people often assume them to be one and the same. However, they are in no way similar to each other. The beginning of the 20th century witnessed massive industrialization. One can easily distinguish (with a keen eye of course) Art Deco from Art Nouveau rings by their characteristic angles and well-defined symmetry. By this time, mechanization filtered down to all fields including jewellery making. Suddenly, cutting diamonds took only a few hours as opposed to days and sometimes even months. Most importantly, the production of these rings took a fraction of the time previously required. The Art Nouveau era is the last era that saw fine hand-made craftsmanship, extravagant designs and the unrestrained use of colour.
Modern Art Nouveau Engagement Rings
If you are wondering how Art Nouveau engagement rings are relevant to the modern bride-to-be, we got you! Modern Art Nouveau engagement rings are the way to go.
No more whiplash curves or fired enamels but the artistry remains! To begin with, some of the characteristic features of modern Art Nouveau engagement rings are modern micro Pavé setting, butterfly and swan inspired rings, flower-inspired rings and nature-inspired rings. Round shaped diamonds, sapphires, moissanite, rubies and emeralds are used for the centre diamond along with some accent stones!
Examples of Modern Art Nouveau Engagement Rings
If you are looking for an elegant option, this is swan-inspired ring may be for you. The central diamond is set atop a four-prong setting. The accent diamonds are set in a channel setting while the ring encompasses modern artistic lines.
This beautiful butterfly inspired engagement rings piece on captures the true essence of an Art Nouveau engagement ring,
This butterfly inspired ring, with two Pavé set diamond rows in a cathedral setting is the perfect option if your partner loves some bling!
Consider this flower-inspired halo engagement ring!
A pavé set diamond band with undulating sides is matched with a captivating stylish halo assembly. Milgrain and beading add a soft vintage touch to this elegant ring. Another lovely one is shown below! Intricate, artistic and inspired!
So, why choose Modern Art Nouveau engagement rings?
The exceptional thing about Art Nouveau pieces is that, even when you don’t make Art Nouveau pieces, elements of it will find their way into the designs. That is the beauty and the distinctiveness of Art Nouveau rings. Apart from its influential design, it takes an accomplished craftsman to make these fine, labyrinthine pieces, which makes it all the more exclusive. Since they belong to a highly artistic era, only a few jewellers have truly mastered it. As mentioned earlier, Art Nouveau engagement rings are not only unique but also cater to people who have deep sentimental values. If you or your partner feels one with nature and celestial bodies, these rings will most certainly add a personal touch.
Aside from all the reasons mentioned above, these rings can be passed down as heirlooms to future generations and they will still stand out!
Where and how to buy modern Art Nouveau rings?
You can buy them from vintage stores if you are looking for an original but they surely will cost you a fortune. Moreover, the design and the style may be outdated or over the top for a modern-day bride. In order to suit your style and wearability, you can get them custom made from brands like Gemvy. We at Gemvy, https://gemvy.com customize the band, and the setting can be modified or redesigned to fit any shape and size of diamond. We have trained artists and designers who are excellent craftsmen that try to capture the spirit of the vintage ring while spinning a modern twist to it.
If you need any help or assistance, you can reach out to our experts and they will guide you in making an informed decision.