Vintage Reproductions

September 27th, 2018
Categorized under: Jewelry

It’s easy to fall in love with vintage engagement rings! Perhaps it is a family ring, passed down over the generations with decades of sentimental value, and you want to carry on the tradition by wearing it yourself. Or you’ve been searching for a very unique design and have found the perfect vintage piece by exploring estate vendors. However, you come across your vintage favorite, the bold gemstone cuts and fine hand-crafted details of period jewelry are full of history and are so fun to wear.

Historically, vintage rings become heartaches when these original pieces are so well-loved they literally start to fall apart… Or someone else was eyeing that same rare antique and it has SOLD… What do you do then?

At Green Lake Jewelry, the answer is simple. Bring us your damaged vintage rings or nostalgic auction-site images, and we can help you make a reproduction of the piece (and even help you add your own personalized updates). Below are some of our favorite remakes of vintage rings. These are not refurbished rings, they are entirely new pieces of jewelry. From Art Deco to Edwardian, we can recreate any period or hand-crafted detail from your original ring.


Emerald Accent Engagement Ring

Here, you can see how an original inspires the new ring and a bit of the process involved. The good news- all the diamonds from the original were structurally stable enough to be set into a new piece. Unfortunately, over the years the ring had lost an emerald, and the remaining emerald accents were too chipped and irregular in nature to be re-set. The solution was to custom-cut this color-blocked section of the ring so all the emeralds matched and fit together perfectly, like when the ring was first made. Gemstone sourcing can make or break the timelessness of a vintage re-production. Utilizing vintage-cut gemstones means every last detail of the new ring has an antique feel and it is just as cohesive as the original!


Art Deco Engagement Ring

This sentimental family engagement ring was brought to our studio and recreated using the original diamonds. At the bench, our talented jewelers re-created the milgrain that had worn away with time. With new versions of vintage rings, there is often a subtle increase in the dimensions and tolerances of the design. The thinness of the original design is due to decades of wear shearing away details and metal. It’s amazing to see how our jewelers can turn back the clock with their handiwork to create a new ‘antique’!


Great-Great-Grandmother’s Ring

We love a great-great design, and it is such a treat for our jewelers and designers to reverse-engineer and explore every detail of these historical pieces to create the new ring! Every original vintage ring is carefully examined by our team to see what techniques were used in its creation. For this ring, the jeweler applied their knowledge of engraving, chasing, and the die-striking process of vintage pieces to re-imagine the details, worn away from lifetimes of wear. Sometimes the details of a vintage ring are like a fuzzy memory. When a ring is made new, the end result is a gorgeous heirloom that is crisp and in clear focus.


A Beloved Wedding Set

The original engagement ring in this wedding set had seen it all! It was in need of costly repairs and re-tippings. It had several ‘additions’ such as a shadow band that didn’t quite match up (because the original ring was smushed), and sizing beads to keep the wedding set from spinning. The best way forward (and most cost-effective in the long run) was to recreate the ring using the original gemstones. The new ring is updated by being completely symmetrical and having crisp geometric milgrain edges to frame those gorgeous single-cut diamonds. The wedding band was updated with half-wheat engraving, a feature that had worn away from the engagement ring, which makes it a more cohesive wedding set. The entire piece was also re-made with a euro Shank to make the ring more stable on the hand.


A New Vintage Sapphire Ring

After inheriting some estate jewelry from a great-grandmother, this client brought in a skeleton of a ring to be the inspiration for her new engagement ring! We used the ‘bones’ of the original piece to direct the design of the new one and the sapphire presented by her partner became the center gemstone. We love how the new vintage ring highlights the sapphire so beautifully with its hexagonal bezel, and the meander pattern [a classic greek motif] in the under gallery is so crisp and clear! The milgrain and engraving are tributes to the original piece too.


Circa. 1910 Crown Solitaire Ring

This vintage solitaire from circa. 1910 was beginning to crack and had become damaged over the years from wear. We recreated the design with a pierced crown-style basket and used filigree curls to create the pierced details of this dainty engagement ring. The original diamond was re-set, and we think it will enjoy its new home for years to come! The client-designer collaboration for this ring was also done entirely online from our studio in Washington State with the client in Washington D.C.. It might seem daunting to work with us from across the country to recreate a vintage piece, but it can be challenging to find a local jeweler who offers this service. Our Design Page tool allows us to share sketches, mock-ups and process photos in real-time so you can stay connected throughout the re-construction of your vintage piece.


A Pierced Halo Update

This gorgeous vintage ring was brought to our studio and recreated with the original vintage diamonds. As the design was reimagined, the overall shape was slightly elongated per the preference of the client. The frame around the entire halo design was also made less prominent to better showcase the center and the geometry of the interior accent diamonds. While time had smushed the original shoulders of the ring, our modern recreation brought back crisp lines and imagined the angled and open shoulders merging together as two strands as they wrap to form the band.


A Mother’s Engagement Ring

One of the best parts of wearing a vintage ring is the connection you have to the original wearer! In this case, a client brought in her mother’s engagement ring for a refresh and repair- only to discover it was too far gone to fix. There were cracks in the metal, poorly done previous repairs, and a missing diamond had been ‘replaced’ with a blob of white gold. It would cost so much to repair, it made more sense to start over. The new version of this ring was cast in platinum for added durability and brings out all the fine details that had faded with the original: a geometric illusion setting for the center diamond, fine rows of milgrain bordering the accent diamonds, and crisp pierced platinum in the under-gallery. Changing the metal to platinum is also a great option if you can’t wear a vintage piece because you are allergic to the metal it was originally made in!