For an item to be considered antique, it should have been around for at least 100 years. However, items become vintage after they have been around for at least 20 years. Therefore, when you think of a vintage engagement ring, you consider rings that were made at least two decades ago.
Understanding the different eras of vintage jewellery
The price and value of a ring changes with the era of its creation. Most of the vintage rings differ with the craftsmanship that went into building the ring. Usually, the longer that a ring has been in existence, the higher the price. Here are the jewellery eras:
- Victorian: 1837 to 1901
- Art Nouveau: 1890 to 1910
- Edwardian: 1901 to 1920
- Art Deco: 1920 to 1930
- Mid Century: 1940 to 1960
Be sure to ask the year that a ring was manufactured. Be wary of dealers that cannot provide proof for the date of manufacture that they set on the ring.
Art Deco was the largest engagement session in history. Therefore, a good number of rings were created at this time. However, if you are looking for delicate designs with floral inclinations, Art Nouveau rings are the way to go. However, if you want solid platinum-diamond combination rings, look for rings created in the Edwardian period. These periods are not cast in stone. You will find styles and designs transcending for more than one period.
Benefits of choosing a vintage engagement ring
Unique and Luxurious
Most likely, the craft used in designing the ring is different from what is available today. Therefore, you are likely to come across a more unique and rare ring. Most of the rings come with extra and unexpected details that make them worthy gifts for a loved one.
When you are buying a pre-owned ring, you are taking care of the environment rather than contributing to the depletion of available minerals.
Value for Money
You can come across a really valuable ring at a reasonable price. This is because many pieces sell below the market value of new jewellery. Your loved one can sell it later for an equally good price when you get married.
Even if you get value for money, a vintage engagement ring is quite an investment. Therefore, you would want to ensure that you buy the best that you can at the set budget. Here are some budgeting and ring selection tips.
Set a Budget
If you are not sure how much you should be spending, you will likely be enticed into buying a ring that is way more expensive than you intended. It is important that you set a budget and stick to it so that you are able to weed out rings that are too low in value or too highly-priced. Do some online window-shopping and check out various offers from multiple shops. This will give you a rough estimate of what you could spend. Do not settle on an exact price. Instead, determine how much higher you can go if you get a good piece.
Ask the Finer Details
Attention is in the details, so do not just pick a vintage ring just because it looks exciting. Determine its qualities such as the cut of the stone, size and shapes. For example, if you are looking at a diamond ring, consider the carat weight, clarity and colour of the stone. These aspects are key to the pricing of a stone. A reputable dealer can give you a grading report or an appraisal for the ring. You can use the report to compare with other rings that are available in the market with similar characteristics.
Thing to consider when selecting a vintage ring
What is the Material Used to Make the Band?
A gemstone engagement ring can have a wide choice of band materials. The most popular among them are silver, gold and platinum. Among the three, platinum has been the choice material for aesthetics and practical reasons.
First, platinum is less likely to be bent and, therefore, survives for longer in good condition. Second, Platinum produces patina with time, which prevents further deterioration of the material with regular use.
You may also come across rings with bands made of white gold. This material is usually made from a mix of nickel, silver and gold and is also durable.
However, some people get skin irritation when they wear such rings for extended periods. Find a way to determine if your partner is likely to have a problem with the material or just stick to platinum.
Look At The Ring Colours
Diamonds are the most popular and desired precious stones used in making engagement rings. However, they only came into fashion in the early 1930’s.
Before then, various precious stones were used on engagement rings. Therefore, you are most likely to find a diamond ring with the inclusion of other stones such as rubies, sapphire and emeralds. These stones provide an awesome contrast to the clarity of the diamond ring.
Be open-minded. It does not have to be a pure diamond for the ring to look great. Coloured gems add some beautiful twist to the ring and make it unique.
Make it Personal
Unlike other rings that are worn as a symbol of prestige, wealth and status, engagement rings are a personal gift to someone that you love.
Therefore, do not be too focused on the characteristics such as the carats and an expensive cut. Rather, determine the taste of the partner so that you deliver a real surprise to them. They are more likely to like a vintage engagement ring that is personal, unique and backed by a loving soul than so many carats.
Consider if You Need to Resize Your Ring
People were generally smaller 100 years ago than they are today. It is possible to size some of the rings, either up or down, to some extent. However, there are cases where this is not practical or possible. Talk to your dealer about that possibility and the cost estimate. A few would do it free. However, if the dealer advises against resizing the ring, you better not do it. It is likely that the delicate nature of the ring may lead to lost stones or some irreversible damage. You do not want to spend a premium only for the ring to fall apart after a short time.
If you are thinking about an engagement ring for your partner, consider vintage rings. There are various styles and cuts that you are less likely to find with new rings. However, ensure that you check all the factors that are discussed above when making a purchase. You may also prefer to use professional dealers so that they help you find the best ring.
Read more tips on buying the perfect jewellery https://www.jewellerymonthly.com/category/jewellery-diamonds-and-gemstones/