A Definitive Guide to Buying Vintage Engagement Rings

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by Suzanne Sachs  5 min read

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THE BASICS --

Vintage engagement rings can be an amazing choice for many couples to showcase their love and commitment, but it is critical to thoroughly understand what vintage means before investing in one of these unique and distinguished pieces. Vintage Diamond Ring is your resource to explore these stunning
engagement rings in depth so you can feel confident to choose the perfect vintage ring for your relationship.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW--

What Makes an Engagement Ring Vintage?

The word “vintage” is widely used to describe many things, including wine, fashion, music, photographs, collectibles, and of course, jewelry. Unfortunately, the word is so casually used that it is often incorrectly applied to anything that may have a few years of age, but isn’t truly vintage. Understanding what makes
jewelry vintage is essential to finding a vintage engagement ring.

In terms of engagement rings and jewelry, vintage is generally defined as a piece that was manufactured at least 50 years ago, but no more than 100 years ago. There is some flexibility depending on the jewelry design, such as a ring that may be just 45 years old but clearly reflects the design and style influence of a slightly older era.

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Identifying Vintage Engagement Rings

Vintage rings and jewelry must be identified carefully to ensure their authenticity. When investigating a piece of vintage jewelry, including vintage engagement rings, look for clues such as…

• Paperwork

The original certifications of the jewelry and its gemstones can help you easily trace its authenticity. Also look for receipts, ownership records, insurance claims, repair records, and other paperwork that can establish the jewelry’s age and value.

 

• Gemstone Cuts

Older estate jewelry features diamonds and gemstones that are hand-cut with different techniques than modern gems. Cuts such as the mine cut, rose cut, and old European cut are key indications that a piece is truly vintage.

 

• Craftsmanship

Before the age of laser cutting and machine precision, master artisans and craftsmen gave individual attention to every piece they created. This gives vintage jewelry a personalized look with each piece distinguishable by its one-of-a-kind workmanship.

 

• Diamond Quality

While modern engagement rings often feature colorless, flawless diamonds, warmer stones with yellow or tan hues were popular decades ago and give more character to vintage pieces. Flaws and inclusions might even be highlighted as unique charm and distinction.

 

The best way to properly identify a vintage engagement ring or other piece of vintage jewelry is to work with a reputable retailer experienced in vintage pieces. They will be able to personally guide each couple through determining the quality and origin of the piece to be assured of making a respectable decision
and a valuable purchase.

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Why Buy a Vintage Engagement Ring?


Once a couple understands what makes a vintage engagement ring different from modern designs, they can begin to consider whether or not the style suits their preferences and their relationship. A bride-to- be who values her individuality and has a flair for fashion, for example, may well appreciate a vintage engagement ring and its uniqueness. If the couple prefers more modern trends, edginess, and sharp glamour, however, a newer ring may be more suitable. Ultimately, it is a matter of personal preference and individual style, and both vintage engagement rings and modern engagement rings can be stunning.

It is also important, however, to look beyond just the appearance of the ring. Vintage engagement rings and vintage jewelry bring far more to fashion than just a nod to decades past. They present a connection to history and a continuity of love and romance that a modern ring may not be able to signify. A vintage ring can represent the hope, elegance, and drama of a particular era, and bring that significance to the very tangible representation of a couple’s relationship and commitment to one another.

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Advantages of Buying a Vintage Engagement Ring

Vintage engagement rings offer couples many distinct advantages other than style, fashion, and flair. The benefits of vintage jewelry include…

• Ethics

Because vintage jewelry pre-dates most modern conflicts in diamond mining nations, the stones in vintage engagement rings are not considered “conflict” or “blood” diamonds, and have not been used to finance wars, terrorism, the drug trade, or other atrocities.

• Sustainability

Choosing vintage engagement rings is the ultimate in recycling, as there is no further damage to the earth or use of non-renewable natural resources to procure the ring or enjoy its everlasting beauty.

• Craftsmanship

Instead of a modern ring produced by programmed machinery, vintage pieces have been crafted by master artisans and have individuality that cannot be replicated by mass- produced jewelry.

• Small Business Support

Most vintage jewelry retailers are small local businesses with a commitment to their local communities. Purchasing a vintage engagement ring helps support the local economy rather than a larger corporation. These practical benefits of vintage jewelry can appeal to many thoughtful couples when they are looking for the one perfect ring to symbolize their relationship.

 

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Tips for Buying Vintage Engagement Rings

Buying any engagement ring requires careful consideration, but buying a vintage ring needs special care. Vintage engagement rings can cost from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the ring’s age, overall quality, gemstone quality, design intricacy, and other factors. To be sure of the quality
and value of the piece, couples considering a vintage engagement ring should…

• Compare Inventory, Styles, and Service at Different Retailers.

Because vintage jewelry is so unique, no two retailers will have the exact same stock. Couples should compare their experiences at different retailers to find one they are most comfortable and confident with to guide their journey to find and purchase the perfect ring.

 

•  Be Aware of Labels That Aren’t Truly Vintage.

Because there is little regulation in the jewelry trade, rings could be marketed as “vintage-inspired” “vintage-style” “vintage-like” or “recreation vintage” without being vintage at all. Instead, these are modern rings that share similarities to vintage pieces, but they lack the benefits of vintage jewelry and the history of a true vintage piece.

•  Gather All the Possible Paperwork on a Favorite Piece.

Once couples find a vintage engagement ring they like, the ring should be carefully authenticated through as much paperwork as possible. This can help properly identify and value the piece, and will help couples better appreciate the unique history of their ring. Furthermore, new inspections and gemstone grading can help couples be certain of the current value of the ring so they can get a good price and insure the ring properly if necessary.

 

•  Work Only with a Reputable Vintage Jewelry Retailer.

An experienced vintage jewelry retailer is a couple’s very best resource for finding the perfect ring. Not only can a reputable retailer help a couple find different ring styles and designs, but the retailer can help authenticate the piece, make any necessary repairs, and help the couple feel confident in their purchase. Vintage Diamond Ring is committed to helping all our customers have a rewarding experience as they discover the joys of vintage jewelry, and we’re always happy to answer questions to ensure every customer’s complete satisfaction.

 

Choosing a Vintage Engagement Ring

A vintage engagement ring can be a beautiful statement piece to represent a couple’s love and their enduring commitment. By understanding what vintage really means and how to feel confident in seeking out just the right vintage ring, couples can enjoy all the benefits and advantages of vintage jewelry that will sparkle through every year of their union.

 

Discover More About Vintage Engagement Rings:

What is a Sustainable Engagement Ring?

Pros and Cons of Buying a Vintage Engagement Ring

How Can I Tell If My Vintage Engagement Ring Is Authentic?

What are the Vintage Jewelry Eras?

The Complete Guide to Diamond Cuts

How to Care For Your Antique Engagement Ring

 

Vintage Rings For Everyone:

No matter which era is your favorite, these time-honored rings have a rich history and individualized character and will continue to have a timeless beauty and elegant appeal that is part of a legacy to pass on to future generations.

Find The Perfect Engagement Ring:

Antique diamond cuts are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and faceting. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of vintage engagement rings today!

 

Suzanne Sachs

Suzanne has always believed vintage rings can change lives. She's been in the jewelry industry for over 35 years, working with vintage jewelers, diamond dealers, diamond cutters, and gemologists. Suzanne started Artdecodiamonds in 2000 and understood the demand for vintage rings throughout the world. She ultimately started VintageDiamondRing.com in 2014, and understands each vintage ring is a reflection of you – your history, your relationships, your style, your elegance and is honored to have the opportunity to help you showcase your flair in a unique and exquisite way.

 

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