Jewelry Blog

The Complete Guide to Elongated Antique Rings

Elongated antique rings and elongated gemstone rings on hands

Those who love vintage and antique rings will know that some of the most stunning craftsmanship will be on full display on 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 on everything you need to know about this gorgeous jewelry style.

What is an Elongated Ring?

an elongated antique art deco ring on models finger

An elongated ring is a ring with 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 been around for as long as craftsmen have been working precious stones into wearable art. They started to come to prominence in the mid-19th century but really flourished during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras. It was then that high-quality gemstones and detailed filigree were also integrated into the design.

6 Different Types of Elongated Rings

Elongated antique rings and elongated gemstone rings on hands

As you can imagine, there are so many elongated ring styles. We couldn’t possibly cover them all, but below will be 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, showcasing the era’s love for modernity and elegance. Chevron patterns, sunburst, and fan shapes are emblematic motifs, reflecting the period’s fascination with dynamism and technology. The designs emphasize linear, streamlined forms, presenting a sleek and efficient appearance.

Metals: Platinum is the preferred metal in Art Deco jewelry, enhancing the sparkle of the gemstones. At the end of the Art Deco era, White gold began to serve as a more affordable alternative, with its white sheen achieved through alloys with nickel or palladium. Yellow gold, though less common, was used occasionally.

Stones: Diamonds, with their unrivaled brilliance, were the central gemstones of choice, often cut in geometric shapes to align with Art Deco aesthetics. Sapphires, emeralds, and rubies added vibrant color contrasts, while onyx provided stark black accents, creating striking visual effects.

2. Antique Edwardian Elongated Rings

Edwardian elongated rings, also one of the most popular types of elongated rings, were made popular from 1901 to 1910. 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 the period, reflecting the era’s affinity for softness and femininity.

Metals: Platinum became the metal of choice during the Edwardian era, favored for its strength and ability to be drawn into fine wires for detailed work, enhancing intricate designs. Yellow gold was also used in some Edwardian elongated rings, especially in conjunction with platinum. These two metals combined provided a perfect backdrop for the era’s favored white-on-yellow jewelry theme, emphasizing elegance and purity.

Stones: Diamonds remained a preferred gemstone, often used in combination with pearls to accentuate the rings’ delicate appearance. Colored gemstones such as sapphires, emeralds, and rubies were also popular, set within the elaborate designs to add a touch of color.

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 that the actual stone itself 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 actual gemstone itself. As you will see in the examples below, the gemstones (and the halo that surrounds them) will usually need a ratio of at least 2:1 in order to qualify as an elongated gemstone ring.

5. Victorian and Georgian Elongated Rings

Victorian and Georgian elongated rings give a glimpse into the history and evolving aesthetics of the jewelry design during these consecutive eras.

During the Georgian era (1714-1837), elongated rings showcased craftsmanship with handcrafted designs featuring richly colored gemstones set in gold (or silver-topped gold). These pieces often displayed motifs inspired by nature, classical antiquity, and the era’s opulence, with a preference for diamonds in rose cuts and old mine cuts, alongside vibrant colored gemstones like garnets and sapphires, 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 and nature-inspired motifs to include more somber mourning pieces. Gold became the preferred metal, complemented by the use of diamonds, which grew in popularity towards the era’s end, and colored gemstones such as rubies and emeralds. The Victorian period also saw pearls and semi-precious stones like turquoise and opal, symbolizing purity and expressing the era’s complex emotional landscape.

Both periods emphasized the beauty and symbolic significance of jewelry, with Georgian rings prized for their artisanal uniqueness and Victorian rings for their sentimental and expressive designs.

6. Artistic Elongated Rings

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

If, however, the elongated ring is not inspired by vintage designs or motifs, it will usually be dubbed as 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

Examples of Elongated Rings from collection

Buying an elongated ring can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here is our advice from our 40 years in the 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 who can provide 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 compared to 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 elongated rings in showroom model

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 any 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

Afshin and Adira in showroom with ring and vintage jewelry

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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About Benjamin Khordipour

Benjamin Khordipour is one of the jewelry researchers and gemologists at Estate Diamond Jewelry. He received his official gemological degrees from both the GIA and GUBELIN. He also regularly contributes to Business Insider, Forbes, Rapaport, CNBC, and Brides Magazine. Benjamin was born in New York and joined Estate Diamond Jewelry in 2014. He is passionate about vintage jewelry and diamonds. This blog was built on his strong belief that jewelers have a responsibility to properly educate their customers. In 2019, Benjamin co-authored the book The Engagement Ring Guide for Men. His favorite vintage jewelry era is the Art Deco Era and his favorite type of stone is the Kashmir Sapphire. He also collects rare antique pins.