The Victorian Era (1837-1901), named after Queen Victoria (1819-1901), was an era of romanticism and prosperity. With the rise of the Industrial Revolution, the social structure has undergone tremendous changes, and urbanization and industrialization have developed rapidly. This period also witnessed a series of cultural and artistic movements, such as the Victorian architectural style, literary works and artworks, which all reflected people’s pursuit of romance and idealism at that time.With the changes of society and the development of industry, people’s demand for jewelry is also growing. As a symbol of love and marriage, rings became one of the most commonly worn jewelry by women at that time. This period had a profound impact on European art, culture and dress. Queen Victoria’s personal life also had a great impact on the fashion and jewellery industry. In this article we look at Victorian engagement rings from various angles during this period.

Design Features of Victorian engagement rings

The design styles of engagement rings during the Victorian period were diverse, with influences from classicism and the incorporation of oriental elements. Engagement rings often feature intricate settings and delicate embellishments. These rings may have ornate patterns or relief-like decorations that showcase the craftsman’s skill. The overall shape of the engagement ring in the Victorian period was also more ornate, focusing on symmetry and streamlined design. Victorian engagement rings came in a variety of shapes and designs. From traditional round diamonds to oval, square or heart-shaped, each form has its own unique charm.

Materials and Gemstone Selection

During the Victorian period, ring materials and stone selection reflected the social, cultural and economic climate of the time, as well as personal wealth and status.

About material:

Gold: Gold was one of the most common ring materials during the Victorian era. It has a precious texture and timeless value and is often used to create high-end engagement rings.

White Gold: White gold also became popular during the Victorian period. Its white-silver hue and preciousness make it a popular choice, especially in rings set with diamonds.

Silver: Although silver is more common than gold and white gold, silver rings were still favored by some during the Victorian era, especially when financial conditions were limited.

About gemstone:

Diamonds: As technology advanced and diamond mining techniques improved, diamonds became one of the most popular gemstones during the Victorian period. Its hardness and sparkle make it ideal for engagement rings.

Sapphires: Sapphires were also favored during the Victorian era, and their deep blue hue and elegance made them a popular choice.

Ruby: Often used in settings, ruby’s deep red hue gives the ring a unique sense of opulence.

Emerald: Emerald was also popular during the Victorian period, and its emerald green hue and natural texture make it a fascinating gemstone choice.

The Symbolism of Victorian engagement rings

During the Victorian period, various pattern rings had specific symbolic meanings, reflecting the values and cultural concepts of the society at that time. Here are some common pattern rings and their symbolic meanings:

Flower: Flower pattern rings symbolize love, beauty and purity. Different types of flowers may represent different emotions, such as roses symbolizing passion, lilies symbolizing purity, and carnations symbolizing maternal love.

Heart: Heart pattern rings are a great choice to symbolize love and affection. These rings are often given for occasions that express romantic feelings or promise eternal love.

Spiral: A spiral pattern ring represents eternity and continuous love. The spiral shape symbolizes the infinite continuation of time and enduring emotions.

Cross: Rings with cross patterns have religious significance and are often used as gifts to symbolize faith and piety. These rings may represent faith and blessings from God.

Snake: Snake pattern rings became popular during the Victorian era and often symbolized everlasting love and fidelity. The snake shape is also considered a symbol of life, symbolizing rebirth and rebirth due to its ability to shed its skin.

Queen Victoria’s Wreath: The Queen Victoria’s Wreath Pattern Ring was designed to commemorate the love between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. These rings usually consist of rose and forget-me-not designs, symbolizing eternal love and fidelity.

Gemstone options

Common Styles

During the Victorian period, engagement rings came in a variety of design styles, reflecting the social culture and aesthetic tastes of the time. Here are some common Victorian engagement ring styles:

Intricately detailed inlaid rings: Victorian rings often featured complex inlays and decorations, such as patterns of flowers, vines, spirals, etc., demonstrating the craftsman’s exquisite skills.

Classical Style Solitaire Diamond Rings: Traditional solitaire diamond rings were still very popular during the Victorian era and were often paired with a classic six-prong setting to showcase the beauty and sparkle of the diamond.

Snake Rings: The snake pattern was very popular during the Victorian era and was seen as a symbol of eternal love and fidelity. Snake rings often feature detailed carvings and decorations that reflect the romanticism of the era.

Halo Ring: The core design of a Halo ring is a center stone surrounded by a ring of smaller stones, usually small diamonds or other gemstones. The Halo ring combines classic and modern design elements, giving it both a traditional romantic atmosphere and modern fashionable charm.

Three-Stone Rings: Three-stone rings also became popular during the Victorian era and consist of a center diamond and two smaller diamonds, symbolizing past, present and future love.

Queen Victoria’s Wreath Ring: Inspired by the love between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, this ring often consists of a pattern of roses and forget-me-nots, symbolizing eternal love and fidelity.

Religious-themed rings: In an era when religious beliefs are prevalent, some rings may have religious-themed patterns, such as crosses or symbols of Christian teachings, to express the pursuit of faith and blessings.

Three stone engagement ring

The Cultural Impact

The Victorian era was an era when romanticism was prevalent. As a symbol of love, engagement rings emphasized the importance of romance and emotion. People began to give their rings a deeper meaning, viewing them as symbols of commitment and loyalty rather than just a decorative item. During the Victorian era, diamonds gradually gained recognition and popularity as the stone of choice for engagement rings. This trend continues today, and diamonds have become a symbol of eternal love.


In conclusion, Victorian engagement rings were more than just ornamental pieces; they encapsulated the values, aspirations, and societal norms of the Victorian era. Reflecting the intricate craftsmanship, the choice of materials, and the symbolism embedded within their designs, these rings served as tangible representations of love, commitment, and social status. From the intricately detailed settings to the carefully selected gemstones, each aspect of Victorian engagement rings carried layers of meaning and cultural significance. As timeless artifacts, they continue to captivate modern audiences, influencing contemporary jewelry design and serving as cherished heirlooms that bridge the past with the present. Through their enduring legacy, Victorian engagement rings remind us of the enduring power of love and the enduring allure of craftsmanship, beauty, and tradition across generations.