How To Buy an Antique Engagement Ring in 5 Easy Steps (2024)

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by Suzanne Sachs  5 min read



Choosing the ideal antique engagement ring is a momentous decision that extends beyond mere sparkle and glamour; it can feel daunting. It represents the love, commitment, and promise of a lifetime together. These five simple steps can help navigate the process, guiding you toward selecting the ideal ring to symbolize the commitments you're ready to make and the love you share with each other.


In this guide, we will explain the following:

  • Step 1: Are You Prepared to Propose?
  • Step 2: Choose Your Ring Era
  • Victorian Era
  • Edwardian Era
  • Art Deco Era
  • Retro Era
  • Step 3: Budget
  • Step 4: Study Up on Diamonds, Gemstones and Metals
  • Step 5: Making the Purchase
  • Choosing the Right Engagement Ring

Step 1: Are You Prepared To Propose?

Before embarking on the journey of shopping for an antique engagement ring, pause to reflect on whether you're truly prepared to ask this pivotal, life-altering question.

Proposing marriage is a profound declaration of love and commitment, one that sets the course for a shared future with your partner. As partners, it's crucial that both of you feel secure and at ease in your relationship. You should have reached a stage where you've openly discussed essential aspects of your shared future, such as finances, religion, family planning, career aspirations, and other significant topics that will shape your journey together. If you're not feeling prepared to make this level of commitment, it may not be the appropriate moment to purchase an engagement ring.


Step 2: Choose Your Ring Era

When you're feeling prepared to take the next step, explore your significant other's preferences for engagement rings. This could entail engaging in open discussions as you visit jewelry stores together, trying on various styles, and delving into the world of diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry erasIf you prefer the element of surprise for the engagement ring, you can still gather insights into your partner's jewelry fashion by paying close attention to the pieces they wear most frequently and observing which rings or other jewelry and fashion items they favor the most.




The Victorian Era spans the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901, characterized by an emphasis on grace, sophistication, and modesty. Victorian rings often feature intricate designs, such as filigree work, floral motifs, and symbolic meanings, making them distinct and unique compared to contemporary styles.



The Edwardian era spans from 1901 to 1910, marking the reign of King Edward VII after Queen Victoria's death. This period serves as a transitional phase between the conservative Victorian era and the emergence of the more modern Art Deco era. Edwardian rings are renowned for their elegant and intricate designs, often featuring delicate filigree work, lace-like patterns, and intricate metalwork, reflecting the opulence and refinement of the era.




The Art Deco era typically spans from the 1920s to the early 1940s. It emerged in the aftermath of World War I and flourished during the Roaring Twenties. Art Deco rings are renowned for their bold, geometric shapes, intricate patterns, and vibrant colors, reflecting the exuberance and optimism of the Roaring Twenties.





The Retro era occurred primarily during the 1940s and early 1950s. It emerged during and after World War II, characterized by bold designs often featuring large colored gemstones with smaller diamond accents. Retro rings come in a variety of styles, from cocktail rings adorned with large gemstones to intricate cluster rings and bold geometric designs, offering a wide range of options to suit individual tastes and preferences.



Step 3: Budget

Antique engagement rings can range in price from under $1,000 to over $20,000, depending on various factors such as the ring's style, choice of precious metal, size and quality of gemstones, retailer reputation, and other considerations. It's crucial to establish a reasonable budget that both partners agree on for this significant purchase. Some jewelers and retailers may provide financing options or layaway  plans if you prefer to make payments over time. 



Step 4: Study Up On Diamonds, Gemstones And Metals

As you embark on your journey to explore various engagement rings, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the intricacies of diamond and jewelry quality. This includes understanding the four C's of diamonds: carat, cut, color, and clarity, as well as the attributes and origins of precious and semi-precious gemstones. This knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions about the stones you're investing in, ensuring that the ring you choose retains its value over time, much like your enduring relationship through countless joyous anniversaries. Moreover, gaining insight into the distinctive properties and characteristics of each metal enables you to select an option that harmonizes seamlessly with your personal style, preferences, and everyday lifestyle. 

Given the challenges of verifying the conflict-free status of modern diamonds and gemstones, an increasing number of discerning buyers are opting for antique rings and vintage gemstones. This choice guarantees that your ring originates from ethical and conflict-free sources, aligning with conscientious consumer values.



Step 5: Making The Purchase

You've completed your research, established a budget, selected the perfect style, and identified your preferred retailer... Now, it's time to acquire the antique engagement ring! Determine whether you'll pay in full or opt for a payment plan. Before finalizing the purchase, meticulously inspect your chosen ring to ensure its quality and authenticity. Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of the sale, including any requirements for maintaining the ring's warranty through regular inspections or understanding which repairs may or may not be covered. 

Lastly, ensure to retain all receipts for the ring and any associated warranty documentation, storing them securely in a designated place. This paperwork will be essential for future reference, particularly in the event of repairs or when adding the engagement ring to your home or personal property insurance policy to safeguard against theft or damage. 




Choosing The Right Engagement Ring 

Selecting the ideal engagement ring for any woman hinges on her individual tastes and style preferences. With a diverse range of diamond ring designs and antique options on offer, a carefully chosen diamond ring is bound to become a treasured and frequently worn piece in her jewelry repertoire. By taking the time to buy an antique ring with thoughtful consideration, you can feel comfortable with the purchase and the step it represents in your life together as you ask that very special question the ring will symbolize.




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.


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 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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Contact Suzanne

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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