A Guide to Buying an Antique or Vintage Engagement Ring

More and more couples today are starting to veer from the usual solitaire diamond engagement rings in favor of more classical styles reminiscent of bygone eras.

If you want to stand out and set yourself apart from other couples, here is a short guide to buying an antique or vintage engagement ring:

Be Familiar with the Different Styles

While the 4Cs or Color, Carat, Clarity, and Cut are still critical when shopping for antique rings, the main difference here is the distinctive style. More than the 4Cs, what truly matters here is to find a design you love.

Vintage and antique rings are categorized into different periods, including the following:

Art Deco Era

The Art Deco Era from 1920 to 1935 saw a significant change in design due to the pop and jazz culture influences. Maximum impact, sharp lines, bright colors, and big designs were the trend then.

Art Nouveau Era

This short period that lasted from 1890 to 1919 saw more modern design concepts, quality craftmanship, asymmetrical lines, and a greater variety of metals and gemstones.

Edwardian Era

The Edwardian Period from 1895 to 1914 was characterized by elegance and was all about expert finishes, fine filigree work, and different Art Nouveau design aspects because these two styles were contemporaneous.

Georgian Era

Georgian Era rings date from 1714 to 1837, predating mass production with every piece being manually crafted. Rings of the period took inspiration from inspiration and often featured lots of animals, leaves, and flowers.

Retro Era

Bold and big were the go-to styles from 1935 to 1950 although synthetic stones rose to popularity during the period of war. Chunky square designs became the emerging norm that featured illusion settings that make the stone seem bigger.

Victorian Era

Queen Victoria ruled all of the British Empire’s political life and aesthetic life from 1837 to 1901. The era’s rings were characterized by romanticism and the use of diamond and opal because this was when large mines of these stones were discovered.

Consider Durability

Now that you know the different styles, durability is the next important factor to consider when shopping for vintage or antique rings. Can the ring last for the next 40 years or more?

The manufacturing techniques, technology, and craftsmanship during the 50s and 60s weren’t as advanced as today so you need to consider the daily wear and tear that the ring will be exposed to. Once the metal suffers from damage or a stone is lost, returning it to its original appearance may already be impossible.

Some rings shouldn’t get wet, and the general rule is to avoid wearing these rings during activities that require heavy use of your hands like washing dishes or gardening.

Where to Buy

Finally, make sure that you thoroughly and carefully examine vintage or antique rings in person before you buy one, preferably with the use of specialized equipment. Always do your research first and shop only from a reputable dealer.

Use this guide and find the perfect vintage or antique engagement ring to symbolize your love!

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