JEWELRY, GEMSTONES, COOL RINGS AND THINGS
Browse through our selection of Rings, Gemstones and other Jewelry to find the piece that is just right for you and the one you love. We have reviewed the rings, gemstones and jewelry offered by the major online jewelry stores. We have created our own selection of cool rings and things. Go on, choose a ring … give your loved one a ring to remember!
Antique – Vintage Rings
There is no better way of telling your loved one just how much they mean to you, than by giving them a beautiful ring. Whether it’s a Promise Ring, an Engagement Ring, a Wedding Ring or a ring to celebrate some other special occasion. And we’ve made the task easier by creating our own special selections of some of the most fabulous jewelry, gemstones and rings around.
If you want to find out more about our special selections, just click one of the boxes above. If you simply want to buy a ring, then go straight to our Online Jewelry Store or click one of the boxes in the left hand column.
Jewelry in one form or another has been around for a very long time. What is more, the custom of wearing small decorative objects on the body or on one’s clothing is common to all cultures. Two shell beads, were discovered on the slopes of Mount Carmel in Israel that have been dated back 100,000 years. Shell jewelry of a similar age has also been found in Morocco and Algeria. Jewelry was worn by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. It has been found in civilisations across all 5 continents.
For many years, the wearing of rings, bracelets, necklaces and other jewelry was limited to kings, queens and members of the nobility. The ancient rings below would all have been worn by those in positions of power.
Rings shown above:
1) Ancient Egyptian wedding band c 2000 BC
2) Copy of Egyptian scarab ring c 1000-2000 BC
3) Byzantine Gold Wedding Ring: 7th Century AD – Wikipedia/Musee de Louvre
4) Antique Gold Wedding Ring c 1500 AD
How things have changed! Nowadays, everyone has the opportunity to wear whatever sort of jewelry they choose.
Jewelry has usually been worn for personal adornment and decoration. However, a number of customs have grown up around the use of certain types of jewelry. The giving of rings to confirm an agreement dates back at least 6,000 years. Promise rings, Engagement rings and Wedding Rings have long been associated with the act of Betrothal and Marriage. Friendship rings, Claddagh rings and Purity rings have signified other forms of commitment.
Nowadays, it is possible to do all your jewelry and ring shopping online. You can choose your own gemstone, its quality, its shape and its cut – as well as your desired metal and the setting.
In order to help you in your choice of rings, this website provides information on the different types of rings available to you. We have also created our own hand-picked selection of the very best of the rings available … rings for women, rings for men, rings for couples … just rings, rings and more rings.
The term “promise ring” encompasses a wide range of rings: Romantic Promise Rings, Friendship Rings and Loyalty Rings, Claddagh Rings, Purity Rings, Chastity Rings, Faith Rings as well as traditional Posey Rings …. all available with a gemstone of your choice and in whatever setting you like.
Common to all the cultures is the symbolic role taken on by rings in betrothal and marriage. Whereas a Promise Ring has a number of meanings – see Promise Ring Meanings – the role of an engagement ring is quite clear.
Whereas a Promise Ring is seen as the first step on the journey that a couple will take together, an Engagement Ring represents a more formal statement of commitment – an agreement to marry.
In Western societies, the custom of a man giving an engagement ring to his betrothed (future wife) as a symbol of their agreement to marry can be traced back to early Roman times. However, similar customs exist in other societies. In Europe, the use of engagement rings is well documented from the 14th, 15th and 16th Centuries. It is in the 19th Century that the practice became widespread. Examples of 19th Century (vintage and antique) rings are shown below.
Designers of jewelry in the period from the 19th Century onwards have produced some of the most beautiful engagement rings imaginable. Victorian rings, Edwardian rings and Art Deco rings have their own distinctive characteristics and this has made Vintage Rings and Antique Rings so highly collectable – and highly valuable.
Many of the more popular designs have been copied and it is now possible to obtain a Vintage or Antique style ring at a fraction of the cost of a real antique.
It is only in the 20th Century that it became popular practice to give a diamond ring as an engagement ring – more a tribute to modern marketing methods than anything else.
These marketing techniques have proved so successful that, if you ask anyone today, they will tell you that a solitaire diamond ring is the only traditional form of engagement ring.
Diamond engagement rings therefore tend to dominate the pages in the catalogues of major jewelers. However, a diamond ring is not the only choice – and sometimes not even the best.
The 4 major gemstones are Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds. However, the full list of precious and semi=precious stones is much longer and encompasses a wide range of colors. What is more these gemstones are linked to the month of your birth and even to your Zodiac sign. So why not choose your own Birthstone as the centerpiece of your ring.
See our Birthstone Chart to see which gemstone is your own birthstone. You can then compare the gemstone that is traditionally associated with your birth month with the gemstone associated with your Zodiac Sign – your Zodiac Birthstone; they are usually not the same. That means you can choose the gemstone that you prefer.
A wedding ring is seen as the last in the sequence of gifts that a man gives to his betrothed and symbolizes the state of marriage. A plain yellow gold wedding band has been used in Western society as a symbol of married status for over two thousand years.
During the latter part of the 20th century, other metals such as white gold, platinum and titanium started to be used in wedding bands by both men and women to signify their married status. At the same time, wedding bands became more decorative as shown by the Gemvara Selection below.
Other special and romantic occasions:
Of course there is nothing more romantic than giving a ring as a gift to mark other special events – maybe a birthday or anniversary ring. And then there are other times of the year when the gift of a ring would be most welcome: for example St Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and of course Christmas. This is where a Birthstone Ring can be an inspired choice.
Rings have become a popular symbol of love, affection, appreciation and commitment. So why not cast caution to the winds and buy your loved one a ring to remember.