Antique Style Engagement Rings


Hi Liz,

I’d like to keep my overall budget around $4000. With that in mind, I’d like to keep my diamond budget to around $3000.
My girlfriend prefers cushion cut diamonds – she has an eye for antique style engagement rings and likes the classic look.

For carat weight, I’d like to look for a diamond in the .85 – 1 carat range. She is a nurse, so I don’t want something too large that gets in the way however I don’t want it to seem too small either.

For clarity, my main sticking point would be to be obviously eye clean. I’m not adverse to any particular rating as long as it looks clean to the eye.

For color, I’m OK with a slightly lower color grade as based on my research it seems that gives an antique look – I’d prefer it to be slight though.

I’m willing to pay a bit more but from what I’ve seen, it seems a good diamond, especially in cushion cut, can be found around that price.

Thanks and I look forward to hearing your thoughts!!!



Hi Nick,

Thanks for letting me know what you are looking for.

There are many different ‘looks’ a cushion cut diamond can have. There is no standard for cut or facet patterns so unfortunately, cushion cut diamonds tend to take a bit longer when trying to find the perfect one. With that in mind, as a start I like to point clients towards Brian Gavin’s Signature Hearts and Arrows Cushion Cut Diamonds. What I love about this style of cushion cut is that it takes the ‘old-world’ appeal and modernizes it giving the diamond an antique look with top of the line light performance.

Light performance in a diamond refers to the way a diamond reflects light. A well cut diamond optimizes the amount of white light while also offering beautiful contrast. Brian Gavin’s cushions offer all of this.

So, with that being said, if your budget is $3k for the diamond then I would recommend this .715ct G SI1 for $3,153.00:

I love this diamond. it has a gorgeous ‘G’ color and is an exceptionally clean SI1. It measures a nice 6.05×5.12mm which gives it a nice larger face-up appearance when compared to a round brilliant of similar carat weight. The hearts and arrows optical symmetry in this diamond is exceptional as well, so overall a very nice diamond for the price.

I do realize that you would like a slightly larger carat weight, but given the fact that these particular hearts and arrows cushion cuts have ideal light performance from AGS, they will face-up looking bigger than a round brilliant of the same carat weight.

As for a setting, Brian Gavin Diamonds does have some beautiful antique style looks. Antique is usually characterized with milgrain accent, scroll work, or tiny melee diamonds. I do have afew favorites that fit the ‘antique’ style category. Here are a few…

antique style engagement rings

Antique-style engagement rings from Brian Gavin Diamonds. From left, Lace ring in 18k rose gold, Avery in 14k rose gold, and classic micro-pave in 18k white gold.

The ‘Lace’ ring in 18k rose gold:

Wow, this ring is so delicate and beautiful. From the gorgeous flowing milgrain to the tiny accented diamonds along the shank, it is pure elegance. The head has four ‘claw’ prongs that come together in a beautiful ‘flower’ like design. This ring is over budget at $2,350.00, BUT we could see about getting a smaller cushion cut or one with lower color grade.

For example this one for $1,926.00:

Same size, but several color grades down. Perfectly eye-clean and offers gorgeous ideal light performance and hearts and arrows optical symmetry. This diamond would look fantastic with the above rose gold setting.

Another favorite setting is this stunning ‘Avery’ design for $3,260:

Again, a very unique and gorgeous setting that you can tweak to make more personal. A H&A cushion cut diamond would look absolutely stunning in this design. To stay within your budget you’d have to compromise on carat weight. Here’s a beautiful .532ct K VS1 that would look great:

Finally, a classic micro-pave ring with four prong head:

A classic, simple style with four beads per stone that makes the diamond melee appear larger while also offering a more antique feel. The four prong head allows plenty of light to pass through to maximize light reflection of the center stone cushion. I am also the proud owner of a BGD H&A cushion cut diamond, and you can read why I chose this diamond cut here:

Please let me know what you think about any of the above. This is just a start to see what you like/dislike, so feel free to ask any questions or comments.

Talk soon,



Hi Liz,

Thanks for all that great information. I really like the diamonds you put together. Some questions and comments below:

1) All these diamonds seem beautiful and it’s reassuring to read that article about the one you purchased from Brian Gavin. Are all diamonds they carry listed on their site? It was interested to see a large gap between the .7 carat stones all the way up to 1 carat stones.

2) I really like that rose gold setting – it’s so unique. I’m not sure how my girlfriend feels about rose gold though – I may have to somehow secretly probe that. I think the safer bet (which I really like and I know for sure she would like) is the classic micro-pave ring.

3) I assume all these settings are made to fit a cushion cut diamond?

4) What is the average turnaround time from Brian Gavin Diamonds? We have a little vacation planned for the first week of June and ideally I would like to propose on that trip.

5) If I expanded my budget a bit, what are your thoughts on this diamond? A bit larger at 1.1 carats however it seems priced unrealistically low compared to other diamonds of its size. Is there a major flaw?

Thanks again in advance!



Hi Nick,

To answer your questions…

1 – Yes, all the diamonds that BGD currently have are listed online. My guess on the large gap is that those are the most popular carat weights. There may be other reasons, and I’m happy to ask their team if you’d like to know.

2 – I do love that rose gold setting too. Keep in mind that you can get that ring in white gold or platinum as well. You can also change the diamonds to pink or blue sapphires in the ring. They also just have the ‘flower’ head with a plain band that is also very striking and unique. Here’s a link to the entire ‘Lace’ collection:

3 – Yes, all these settings are custom made to specifically fit your cushion cut diamond.

4 – Average lead time is about 4-6 weeks, depending on their workload. If you want to propose the 1st of June, then I would suggest picking out a ring ASAP!

5 – The 1.171ct L SI1 is indeed priced very low. It’s because of the color and clarity grade. This cushion cut diamond is an eye-clean SI1. The ‘L’ color will show a bit of warmth – but just the right amount and perfect for a woman that appreciates the antique look. Like I said, I own a .9ct K cushion of the same cut grade and let me tell you, it doesn’t remotely look warm or yellow at all. If someone were to closely inspect it then yes, they might detect some warmth – but that is to be expected. And honestly, I think it gives it personality and charm.

If you can stretch your budget to this nice big cushion then I would definitely recommend this diamond for you. Here’s a picture of a cushion cut set in a plain ‘La Fleur’ solitaire setting:

Just one more thing, keep in mind that rose/yellow gold help to absorb the ‘warmth’ found in J,K,L,M colored diamonds. So, if you look at a rose gold/yellow gold ring with a diamond of that color set in it, you will not easily perceive the color of the diamond. It will just look white. However, if you set a warmer colored diamond in platinum the contrast will be greater and you will definitely be able to see the warmth of the diamond from the side angle. So, just wanted to set expectations with you. 🙂

Let me know what you think and what questions you have.



Hi Liz –

Want to followup and let you know that I purchase a ring through Brian Gavin!

I worked with their staff to set up the purchase and they confirmed that they could have it ready by my planned proposal time.

I want to thank you for pointing me in the right direction and I’ll be sure to followup with some pictures when they come in.

Thanks again!


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