What's The Difference Between Antique and Vintage Rings (2023)



With its unique look, and timeless appeal, an antique engagement ring is a fantastic choice for an engagement ring. Once you understand what an antique and vintage rings actually are, how incredibly special it is, the care it needs and how sustainability factors in you can decide if it is the best choice for you to wear to represent you and your eternal romance.


In this guide, we will explain the following:

  • What is an Antique Ring?
  • What is a Vintage Ring?
  • Top Practical Engagement Ring Tips
  • Ring Examination
  • Gemstone Examination
  • Prong Examination
  • Gemstone Authenticity
  • Caring For Your Engagement Ring
  • Soak and Clean
  • Polishing
  • Sustainability and Eco-Friendly
  • Celebrity
  • Choosing an Engagement Ring

What is an Antique Ring?

To be considered an authentic antique ring, should be at least 100 years, yet in many cases antique jewelers will include jewelry from the 1930's and 1940s as antique. The eras which are included include Georgian, Victorian Belle Epoch, Art Deco Edwardian and Retro.


What is a Vintage Ring?

Vintage rings usually are at least 20 to 50 years old not as old as antique rings. Antique jewelers consider these eras to include retro and late Art Deco era, and the mid centuries, the Fabulous 50s, the 1960s , 1970s and 1980s.


Top Practical Engagement Ring Tips

Finding the perfect antique or vintage ring can be quite challenging. A couple must decide what exactly is their style and decide which era and antique diamond cut will showcase that. After that decision is made then the next step will be to check the overall condition of the ring. When choosing an antique  or vintage ring you should...


Ring Examination

Always carefully examine the overall condition of the ring.  An antique or vintage engagement ring will usually have some wear and tear but check for extensive wear and tear.  Any shank or sizing problems can properly be repaired by a master antique jeweler. 


Gemstone Examination

Examine the overall condition of the center stone. Whether it is a old European or mine cut diamond or even if the center is a gemstone, always check the condition of the table and girdle.


 Prong Examination

Prongs are one of the most important parts of an antique ring as they hold, and protect, the center gemstone. It is imperative to have a good jeweler who can ascertain if the prongs are too thin or if the diamond may be loose.


• Gemstone Authenticity

Check to see if the center gemstone has been removed and replaced with a modern cut diamond or gemstone. If the center gemstone has been removed then ask the jeweler if the ring is actually an original or if it is a reproduction.


Caring For Your Engagement Ring

 Soak and Clean

You can soak your ring and use a soft, clean brush – an old, worn toothbrush is ideal – to gently scrub the ring. Scrub from different angles in order to reach every crevice of the setting, but do not force the brush's bristles into tight spaces where they may get stuck or snagged.  


• Polishing

While any of these cleaning methods can help keep your ring looking lovely and fresh, one cleaning option should always be avoided with antique or vintage engagement rings or any type of antique jewelry. Never deeply polish the whole ring, (you can polish the shank).  It has taken decades, and in some instance centuries, to have that unique look and you may remove the delicate antique patina that has developed over time.


• Sustainability and Eco-Friendly

Many couples are seeking antique or vintage rings as their popularity has grown due to the social awareness of the mounted stones. Old European and mine cut diamonds are non-conflict stones having originated long before modern conflicts and blood diamonds originated, so there is no further damage to the environment.


 Celebrity Symbolism

For those who love the glamour of Hollywood, you can enjoy an antique engagement ring knowing it is a favorite of many celebrities.  This style has adorned the fingers of top names including Natalie Portman and Ashley Simpson.


Choosing an Engagement Ring

An antique or vintage ring is a stunning choice for any couple, with distinctive styles and traits and also a rich, conflict-free history. Yet there are many challenges in finding the ring that is best suited for you. There are a variety of reasons for choosing an antique ring, whether its the allure of pure symbolism representing your individuality,  or maybe it is a budget friendly option, or simply your love for the beauty of it.  No matter the reason, we are confident you will find the perfect ring that will last you a lifetime.



No matter which gemstone is your favorite, these time-honored gemstones 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 antique 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 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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