Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Right Hand Engagement Rings? Could We Please!

Recently, The Mr. did something that I would love to see become common place in today's jewel-filled world.  But I get ahead of myself (I tend to do that.).  I should start at the beginning of this story.  It is, after all, a proposal story...

It started 15 years ago when this guy I knew finally decided he liked me.  Fast forward about a decade and he decided that maybe we ought to get married.  So we did.  And because we can't do anything in a traditional manner, we got married on a Friday the 13th.  But it was the next day that wasn't quite as lucky for us.

Our wedding sets taken on the day of the wedding.

You see, when The Mr. finally popped the big question, he knew what stone kind of stone to get but not what setting.  I can be a bit particular.  So in what was stroke of brilliance, he popped the question with my chosen stone in a plain band with the words, "So you can still wear it until you design the setting you want." Brilliant.  Superbly brilliant.

From our wedding, I wanted a cushion cut stone.  The history of the cut itself is what originally
drew me to the cut itself.

That design process took a bit but when it was completed, that simple band got a new life with another stone - a smokey topaz that I loved and already had in my stone collection.  

So although we bucked tradition and got married on a typically superstitious date, the next day truly was the day with the bad luck when someone broke into our house and stole the vast majority of my jewelry - including that sentimental band with the smokey topaz in it.

Sometimes, it's nice to be able to switch up your wedding set(s)!

The culprit was never caught - nor were any of my jewels recovered.  I was devastated!  Not just about that plain band but also about all of the sentimental pieces such as my great-grandmother's pearls, the ring my parents gave me on my Sweet 16 and more.

But this past Christmas, The Mr. did the next best thing to recovering the original - he got me another plain, stoneless, platinum semi-mount!  And to make it even more special, this year also happens to be our five year anniversary!

The .51 carat heart cut diamond from my personal collection is an exact carat weight match for the
cushion cut  stone The Mr. originally proposed with.  Other than the shape, the only other differences
between this stone & my cushion cut stone are the color & clarity.

I spent the next few months trying to decide - Colored stone? Stone shape? Diamond?  Stone size?  And more.  Finally, I made the decision to stick with tradition and use an existing stone from my collection.  A stone that was a bit atypical for my personality type - especially by those who know me well.

I chose a half carat, chunky heart shaped diamond.  Later on, I would come to find a matching antique, platinum eternity wedding band in the shape of hearts from one of my favorite sellers, Addy's Vintage, that could be resized by another of my favorite jewelers, Tivol.  Together, the two are the perfect match!

The heart shaped platinum eternity band from Addy's Vintage has quickly become one of the favorites in
my collection of antique wedding bands.  I've never seen an eternity band with engraved hearts in
this format before & it's a perfect match for the diamond heart.

Occasionally, I would switch out and wear the heart set in place of my actual wedding set.  You know, a gal's got to stir things up a bit sometimes!

However, recently I have taken to wearing the heart set on my right hand.  I mean, really, is there such a thing as wearing too many diamonds?  I say, emphatically, NO!  And in this case, both rings have a level of sentimentality for me that really is quite special.  

On my left, the wedding set The Mr. put on my hand the day of our wedding.  On the right hand, the replacement
platinum band with the heart shaped diamond with matching eternity band.

So, I ask:  "Why can't we wear engagement/wedding sets on our right hands as well?  Especially sentimental ones?  Heck, why can't we stack multiple engagement rings on our right hand like stacking bands?  I mean, I can honestly propose that the perfect gift is a new engagement ring every five years to be worn as right hand stacking rings.  Makes anniversary shopping easy; wouldn't you say?!

What I would really love to hear are your thoughts!  Post a comment below and let me know your thoughts on the right hand engagement ring debate.

Be sure and follow Inspired Antiquity on Facebook:, Twitter: @NpiredAntiquity, Pinterest: & Instagram: InspiredAntiquity

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Secret Messages of Floral Engravings

Throughout history, we humans have valued our secrets.  Especially those of the romantic variety.  Shakespeare made his living off tales of secret love.  The story of J. Edwin’s ardent love letters to a woman named, “Annie,” that were hidden in a brick wall in 19th century Raleigh and only recently discovered.

This yellow & white gold wedding band from Estate Jewelry Mama, size 5.5, shows the arrow-like look of acanthus leaves, $340.

So it’s only fitting that the tradition was continued and even expounded upon into the Edwardian and Victorian eras.  There have been many articles written about REGARD rings as one form of secret messages between lovers and confidantes.  (Click here to read more about REGARD jewelry.)  But what were some other ways secret messages and meanings were relayed between lovers, husbands or family members?  

Although a bit worn, this antique platinum band from Victoria Sterling, size 8.75,  shows the delicate detailing of Ivy Leaves, $480.

Of course, one of the most obvious is through engravings along the inside of rings, lockets, etc.  (To read more about of my personal attachment towards sentimentally engraved wedding bands, click here.)  Another one of my personal favorites is through the engravings along the outside of wedding and engagement bands.  Many of these were floral or plant-based in nature.

From Magpie Vintage Jewelry, you can see the acorns in this 10k rose gold band, size 6.5, $265.

Much like today, in the late 1800s to early 1900s, every flower had a specific meaning.  Here, in conjunction with the masterful Kate Cragon of Heart of Solid Gold, we've outlined a few of the most commonly seen on antique wedding bands:

  • Ivy Leaves – everlasting love. Also used alongside the phrase; I will cling to thee. Ivy is a climbing plant/vine, known for its strength.
  • Acorn / Oak Leaves – Strength 
  • Orange Blossom – Purity, chastity and innocence.
  • Wheat – Prosperity and fertility.
  • Acanthus Leaf (Resembles Tiny Arrows) – Loyalty, truth and faithful devotion.
  • Dogwood Blossom – Constancy and endurance (perfect for a wedding ring!).
  • Forget-Me-Knot – Always remember me.
  • Fern – Fascination or when in mourning it can mean sincerity.
  • Evergreen – Fidelity or wedding love, an everlasting love.
  • Apple Blossoms – Apples symbolize peace and their blossoms are symbolic of beauty.
  • Bamboo – Flexibility, endurance, suppleness and youthful vitality.  Can also represent luck.
  • Chrysanthemum – Love
  • Pansies – Thinking of you.
  • Rose – Love, hope and joy.

This antique white gold band from Brockton Gems is a beautiful example of the Forget-Me-Not pattern, size 5, $365.

There are also many other types of engravings seen on antique bands which have special meanings.  Just like their floral counterparts, many of these are based in nature.  Other examples include:

  • Clasped Hands – Often known as a fede ring, shows the clasped hands of two lovers.  Sometimes they clasp a heart between them to also symbolize romance. 
  • Hearts – Love, romance, a traditional symbol of love.
  • Ouroboros (Seen as a serpent “eating” its own tail) – Eternity

From my personal collection, this engraved heart band from Addy's Vintage goes perfectly with my heart-shaped solitaire.

So perhaps now, when you are searching for the ideal wedding band to go with your vintage engagement ring or as an anniversary gift to the love your life; you'll seek out the one with the engraving that most accurately represents your affection.  I know the love

A modern interpretation, this ouroboros wedding band from Saara Reidsema in 14k gold is stunning in its simplicity & meaning, $260.

Be sure and follow Inspired Antiquity on Facebook:, Twitter: @NpiredAntiquity, Pinterest: & Instagram: InspiredAntiquity