The Expert Guide to Elongated Antique Rings

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Those who love vintage and antique rings will know that some of the most stunning craftsmanship is displayed in the elongated antique rings.

There is, however, so much to learn about when it comes to elongated rings. In this article, Benjamin Khordipour will guide you through everything you need to know about this gorgeous jewelry style.

What is an Elongated Ring?

An elongated ring has a face that runs tall from north to south. It will not matter if the face sits high or low above the finger or how much of the ring’s “real estate” is empty or filled. If it’s tall and long, it is an elongated ring. If, however, the face of the ring is wide, and it runs from east to west, it is an “east-west ring” and NOT an elongated ring.

Elongated diamond rings have existed for as long as craftsmen have turned precious stones into wearable art. They first became popular in the mid-19th century but flourished during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras. High-quality gemstones and detailed filigree were also integrated into the design.

6 Different Types of Elongated Rings

As you can imagine, there are so many elongated ring styles. We couldn’t cover them all, but below is an explanation of the most common types.

1. Antique Art Deco Elongated Rings

When it comes to elongated rings, the Art Deco is one of the most important entries, as it was during this era that the elongated ring market exploded into the public consciousness.

Art Deco elongated rings are celebrated for their geometric patterns, symmetry, and intricate filigree work. Chevron patterns, sunbursts, and fan shapes are common motifs. The designs emphasize straight lines and symmetry.

Metals: Platinum is the most popular metal in Art Deco jewelry. At the end of the Art Deco era, white gold became a more affordable alternative. Yellow gold, though less common, was used occasionally.

Stones: Diamonds were the central gemstones of choice in Art Deco jewelry. Sapphires, emeralds, and rubies added vibrant color contrasts, while onyx occasionally provided stark black accents.

Here are some examples:

2. Antique Edwardian Elongated Rings

Edwardian elongated rings are another popular type of elongated ring. They were handcrafted from 1901 to 1910.

Like Art Deco rings, they are renowned for their detailed elegance, intricate craftsmanship, and delicate designs. These rings often feature filigree work, employing fine metal threads to create lace-like patterns and milgrain detailing, adding beaded edges for a refined texture. Floral and bow motifs, inspired by nature and romance, are characteristic of this period.

Metals: Platinum became the metal of choice during the Edwardian era. It was favored for its strength and ability to be drawn into fine wires for detailed work. Yellow gold was also employed in some Edwardian elongated rings, especially when crafted as a lower metal than platinum. These two metals combined provided a perfect backdrop for the era’s favored white-on-yellow jewelry theme.

Stones: Diamonds remained the preferred gemstone, often used in combination with pearls. Colored gemstones such as sapphires, emeralds, amethysts, moonstones, and rubies were also popular.

Below are some examples:

3. Engagement Ring with an Elongated Stone

Unlike the previous entries, which are elongated motifs and styles, this entry is more of an approach to creating an engagement ring.

An engagement ring with an elongated stone means the actual stone is elongated. Unlike regular elongated rings, where various stones and metalwork combine to make an elongated ring, in this case, a single long gemstone is why the engagement ring is elongated.

Although any elongated gemstone can be set to create an elongated engagement ring, it is usually the emerald cut, cushion cut, oval cut, marquise cut, and radiant cut that will be featured.

Here are some examples for context.

4. Elongated Gemstone Rings

Similar to the elongated engagement rings, this type of ring isn’t tall because of the design but rather because of the gemstone itself. As you will see in the examples below, the gemstones (and the halo surrounding them) usually need a ratio of at least 2:1 to qualify as an elongated gemstone ring.

5. Victorian and Georgian Elongated Rings

Victorian and Georgian elongated rings give a clear glimpse into the history of jewelry designs during these eras. You can really get a strong feeling for the artistic motifs in these rings.

During the Georgian Era (1714-1837), the elongated rings showcased designs featuring richly colored gemstones set in gold (or silver-topped gold). These pieces often displayed motifs inspired by nature, classical art, and the era’s opulence. The diamonds were almost always rose and old mine cuts, alongside vibrant colored gemstones like garnets and sapphires. The gemstones were usually enhanced with foil backing for added depth.

In the Victorian Era (1837-1901), jewelry designs mirrored the queen’s life stages, evolving from romantic motifs to more somber mourning pieces. Gold was the preferred metal, complemented by the use of diamonds, which grew in popularity towards the era’s end. The Victorian period also saw pearls and semi-precious stones like turquoise and opal.

Here are a few examples:

6. Artistic Elongated Rings

Artistic elongated rings are a catch-all phrase that includes all elongated rings that don’t quite fit into the generic jewelry categories. An artistic elongated ring will distinguish itself with strong creative designs (and not much minimalism).

If a ring falls under the style or motifs of an antique era, it is usually called after that era, even if it was made more recently. So, for example, a recently crafted ring fashioned with Art Deco motifs will be called an “Art Deco Style Elongated Ring.”

However, if the elongated ring is not inspired by vintage designs or motifs, it will usually be dubbed an “artistic elongated ring.” These rings can have multiple stones that comprise their height, a large creative center gemstone, or elaborate metalwork.

Here are some examples of artistic elongated rings:

Tips for Shopping for an Elongated Ring

Buying an elongated ring can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here is the advice that Benjamin has collected based on our 40 years in the jewelry business.

  1. Research and Authenticity: Research the specific era (Georgian, Victorian, etc.) and style of elongated ring you’re interested in. Understanding the period’s characteristics helps verify a piece’s authenticity. Most importantly, look for honest jewelers with detailed provenance and authenticity certificates.
  2. Condition and Quality: Examine the ring for signs of wear, damage, or repair. Antique rings may show age, but the overall condition should be good, with intact settings and minimal loss to the detail work.
  3. Metal and Hallmarks: Identify the metal used (gold, silver, platinum) and look for hallmarks, which can provide information about the ring’s origin, date, and maker.
  4. Gemstone Integrity: Check the condition of the gemstones. They should be securely set without cracks or significant chips. Be aware that many antique rings feature old cut diamonds or hand-cut colored gemstones, which have different characteristics than modern cuts.
  5. Size and Alterations: Ensure the ring is already your size (or can be safely resized without damaging its integrity).
  6. After-Sale Services: Inquire about after-sale services such as resizing, cleaning, and restoration. A reputable antique jewelry dealer should offer services to maintain the ring’s condition or advise on proper care.

How to Clean Antique Elongated Rings?

Cleaning antique elongated rings requires a gentle approach to preserve their integrity and avoid damage.

  • Use a soft, lint-free cloth to lightly wipe away surface dirt or oils.
  • Prepare a mild solution of lukewarm water and a small amount of gentle, phosphate-free soap.
  • Dip a soft-bristled brush (such as a baby toothbrush) into the solution and carefully brush the ring, focusing on the intricate details and under the gemstones where grime can really accumulate.
  • Rinse the ring under lukewarm running water, ensuring the stream is gentle to avoid loosening settings or dislodging stones.
  • Finally, pat the ring dry with a soft, lint-free cloth and let it air dry completely before storing or wearing.

Avoid using harsh chemicals, ultrasonic cleaners, or steam cleaners, as these methods can damage the ring’s delicate metals and gemstones.

Talk to a Jewelry Expert

Are you looking to buy an elongated ring, or do you have any questions regarding elongated rings? Feel free to leave us a message.

We will respond within one business hour.



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