How to Wear Vintage Rings and Modern Rings Together

This Excellent Dear Calla Question Deserved a Big Answer


Vintage Wedding Set on the Left Pairs Well with the Modern Golden Pearl Ring

Dear Calla,
I have been enjoying reading your website for a few months now and I’ve found you and the ladies who post comments both informative and helpful.

But I do not know where to post my dilemma.

See I, along with my sister inherited mum’s vintage jewelry. I’ve had them cleaned and valued and refurbished where necessary and resized for me and in one case remade (thanks to your wonderful advice about wearing not warehousing).

The Vintage Wedding Set With Diamond Stacking Rings Now Has the Width to be Worn With the Big Modern Blue Topaz Ring

I’ve even learned to take ownership of my left ring finger.

I inherited my grandma’s and a much loved great auntie’ s solitaire engagement rings.

I now wear them both at the same time. (My other half is not into jewelry so I always bought my own and my left hand has always been empty until now).

Anyway my inherited rings are beautiful and sparkly, but they were from depression era marriages so although not tiny, are of a more modest size.

Vintage rings

This Delicate Vintage Opal Needs Help to Balance with the Large Amethyst Ring

I must say I rather like them and I think of my grandad and my great uncle struggling away to save for these rings, and I wouldn’t dream of changing them because I enjoy wearing them as they are.

Sometimes You Can Stack a Number of Vintage and Too Small Rings to Balance a Large Ring on the Opposing Hand

I think of all the ancestors of these ladies and also my great grandma (I had sapphires set into her wedding band, one each to represent each of her children) and I’m terribly grateful and honoured to be now wearing them.

I have mum’s eternity ring from 1971. And an early 1980s emerald flower and diamond ring. I remember being at her side when she brought it for herself.

This Little Pearl Ring Looks a Little Lonely Balanced With The Big Wide Banded Shell Ring

I call these inherited rings ‘the ladies who lunch’ as I have quite a physical job I only wear rings in the weekend.
Anyway…even though I’m quite a conservative person I tend to buy big modern rings with wide bands with a big look.

I love my vintage rings and I continue to shop jewelry in that modern style and my hands suit big rings. I want to wear my modern rings with the smaller vintage rings. When I tried to do this it’s hard not to overshadow the inherited rings.

I have even purchased a couple of estate rings from the same era so I have something else to wear with the family rings, but that leaves my expensive beautiful big modern rings at home.
I have googled this issue, but all I find is advice for remaking inherited rings, but I love what I inherited just the way they are.

When This Thin Pearl Ring is Flanked With Matte Finished Stacking Bands it Gives the Width and Interest to Balance Well with the Shell Ring

So any advice about how do I mix and match?

Or what modern style I need to buy to merge the eras together?

I’m surely not the only person with this dilemma?
Thank you
Nicky from New Zealand

Vintage Rings and Modern Rings, My Answer

Dear Nicky,

I’m so happy that you shared your story of your Mum’s and family rings and what you have done with them. They sound so worth wearing, especially with the history they have for you.

When I combine vintage and small rings with modern and large rings I use similarity in width to help create a balance.

Vintage rings

The Tiny Opal and Garnet with Seed Pearls Ring Stands Out Beautifully with the French Cut Pave Diamond Eternity Bands. Without them the Pearl Ring Would Overwhelm it

My favorite way to  achieve this look is to either stack rings on either side of my tiny or vintage ring to create a bit of heft, or to combine dissimilar rings for a eclectic mix of color and style. By combining my tiny rings, I get a bigger look.

Center Big Gem Ring Has A Narrow Shank and Works Great With Four Stacking Beauties

Mixing simple and timeless stacking rings with vintage rings or modern designs gives you the choice to be quite artistic in how you dress up your little rings.

I dived into my jewel box for big and bold, and delicate and tiny, and vintage, and started playing and snapping pictures to share with you.

When you are looking for mates to add to your little vintage rings, don’t be afraid to pair a more modern stacker with a vintage piece.

If you love vintage and modern, and large and small, you can play around with some of these ideas and wear both with a flair.

Your  Personal Jeweler,

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About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

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Nicky Wilmott
Nicky Wilmott
6 years ago

Dear Calla Thank you soooooooo much for the advice I had a play day yesterday with my rings and I can’t believe how great they look together, working more width. I wish I knew how to post pictures My emerald ring makes mum’s emerald ring pop with colour. And when we look back at pictures of mum, it turns out she wore a lot of her rings stacked together!!! I’m just so happy to have nothing fighting for attention now! My next purchase is going to be a pair of sapphire and diamond bands to add to my mix and… Read more »

Angela Waterford
Angela Waterford
4 years ago

My sister handed me some necklaces that look like they are vintage pieces, and I would like to complete its look by pairing them with rings that look just like their designs. I think I’ll get some custom rings created by a good designer so they will have a good quality. Thanks for the tip that I can stack the rings together with the vintage ones I have so they will give me a unique look.