How Can I Tell If My Vintage Engagement Ring Is Authentic (2020)

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by Suzanne Sachs  5 min read

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A vintage engagement ring can be a gorgeous testament to generations of love, romance, and commitment, but how can you tell if your vintage engagement ring is authentic? There are several ways you can be sure your engagement ring truly is a vintage piece.


In this guide we will explain the following:

  • Authenticating a Vintage Engagement Ring
  • Examine The Ring's Gemstones
  • Examine The Metalwork
  • Consider Other Pieces
  • Check The Chain Of Possession
  • Why Authenticity Matters
  • If Your Ring Isn't Authentic

Authenticating a Vintage Engagement Ring

The easiest way to be sure a vintage engagement ring is authentic is to purchase the ring from a reputable dealer with extensive experience in vintage and antique jewelry. A conscientious and creditable dealer will have already thoroughly researched each piece of jewelry they sell, ensuring its quality and legitimacy.

It may not always be possible to purchase a ring from a reputable dealer, however. Perhaps your vintage engagement ring is a family heirloom inherited from a distant relative, or it may be a piece that caught your eye at an estate sale, pawn shop, or other used retailer. Fortunately, it is still possible to verify the ring’s authenticity.


•  Examine The Ring's Gemstones

The gemstones of a ring can be a great indication of its vintage authenticity. The quality, cut, shape, and wear of the stones can all help verify its age. Because of changes in how diamonds have been valued, older stones may have warmer color tones than modern gems. Similarly, the cut of an older stone will typically be less precise, and cuts like the mine, rose, old European, and table cut are much more common in vintage rings. The stones may also show some wear, including debris buildup, nicks, or other damage that helps verify their age.


  Examine The Metalwork

Just as diamond and gemstone cutting has evolved over the decades, the metalwork of ring settings and bands has also changed. Careful investigation of an antique ring’s metalwork can be a great way to verify its vintage authenticity. Check for a maker’s mark or artisan signature that could then be researched to determine the ring’s age. Older rings will also show less precision work because of their handcrafted, one-of-a-kind nature, and may show some damage and wear that wouldn’t be apparent on newer rings.


  Consider Other Pieces

If you purchased a vintage engagement ring from a retailer, ask about the authenticity of their entire collection. While it may be difficult to thoroughly authenticate a single piece, if the retailer has documentation for other, similar pieces in their collection, that can provide a good starting point for verifying an unknown ring. A verifiable collection is also a good indication that the retailer is reputable and offers authentic jewelry for sale. At the same time, check the retailer’s industry standing and other qualifications to be sure they are a respectable jeweler.

  Check The Chain Of Possession

If possible, trace the ring’s chain of possession back to its origin. This may include determining who has owned the ring for which years, and how the ring may have been inherited several times via wills, trusts, or other estate documentation. Take note of any paperwork documenting repairs, insurance claims, resizing, or other steps along the ring’s journey so you can be aware of its origin and how it has come into your possession. Ultimately, you want to try and determine where and when the ring was originally purchased in order to authenticate its overall lifespan.



Why Authenticity Matters

It may seem like a lot of trouble to verify the authenticity of a vintage engagement ring, but the effort is well worthwhile. Not only do you want the reassurance that your ring is, in fact, a true vintage piece, but by ensuring its authenticity you can be sure you are paying a fair price for a lovely piece of jewelry. This can also be critical for insurance purposes, to be sure your ring is properly protected in case of loss, theft, or damage. Authenticating your ring can also help you plan for its future if it will be passed along as an heirloom to add more chapters to its romantic story.



If Your Ring Isn't Authentic

It can be disappointing if you discover that your vintage engagement ring may not be truly authentic, but that doesn’t necessarily make the ring any less valuable with regards to its sentiment and the relationship it represents. Being honest about your ring and learning all you can about its age and care needs will help you keep the ring looking its best for many happy anniversaries. You might even consider resetting the ring’s stones into a verified vintage ring, or if it is the stones that aren’t authentic in your ring, you could find loose antique gems to replace those in your ring.

Once you know the truth about your engagement ring, you can better appreciate the story it tells, no matter when that story began or how it came to be part of your romance.



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.



Vintage rings are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and design. 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 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 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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If you love vintage or eco-friendly jewelry please feel free to contact Suzanne or browse our collection of eco-friendly vintage engagement rings.

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