Expert Tips for Buying Vintage Engagement Rings
Confused by the complicated jargon about jewellery? Let us simplify things for you with our essential top tips about vintage engagement rings.
Engagement ring shopping is a daunting prospect for most people, let alone shopping for a specialised type, such as vintage. Here are some easy-to-follow tips using the knowledge of jewellery experts, so the hard work is done for you.
There are a great many benefits to buying vintage engagement rings. Antique rings have proved their durability by standing the test of time. Their beauty is often unparalleled, using unique art deco designs and rare gems. Each ring is a true representation of the time it was created in, making them a great conversation starter and statement piece. For those who worry about the environmental effects of modern rings, choosing vintage is a big plus as it is much more eco-friendly. So what should you be looking for when shopping for your perfect ring?
Make sure to ask the seller about the colour and clarity of the stone. Keep an eye out for chips and internal marks, which will affect the asking price. It’s also important to ask if vintage engagement rings have been restored in any way, as this may mean they have been resized - which is fine, but still good to know! For a close-up look, request to view the stone with a loupe (a magnifying device) so you can double-check the quality. It’s important to remember that vintage diamonds will often be a bit less sparkly than modern ones, as they would have been cut less efficiently than they are today. The focus on antique rings is often more on the design of the piece as whole, as opposed to just the stone alone.
Vintage engagement rings have usually had a few years of use, so you should double check that the stone setting is still completely secure. You can test this by giving the ring a gentle shake. If any of the stones are loose it’ll make a rattling noise, which means you should avoid the ring unless you’re planning on restoring it. Give each stone a gentle nudge with your finger until you’re satisfied the ring is in solid condition.
Ideally you want the reassurance of purchasing a ring that has been professionally appraised. An appraiser does independent assessments of vintage engagement rings, looking for an approximate time period of creation, any weight measurements or grade indications, and other general manufacturing information. They will make sure the gem is real and will value the ring for you. It’s worth getting your ring appraised (if it hasn’t been already) for insurance reasons, but also so you know you’re paying the correct price and aren’t being charged unfairly if the seller has misjudged its value.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frederick Holm is staff writer for the F&L Designer Guides, compiled and written to help consumers choose a unique engagement ring design. From learning about vintage engagement rings to the use of precious metals and coloured stones, we have ideas and opinions covering all the options. Offering advice, tips and suggestions on how to choose that perfect ring, F&L will accompany you on every stage of your search to find the right designer.