10 Things to Notice When Examining a Vintage Ring
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10 Things to Notice When Examining a Vintage Ring
Are you planning on buying a vintage ring? Learn all you need to know in our guide before making your purchase.

Vintage rings are becoming more popular due to their unique style and affordability. Whether inspired by floral details or art nouveau lines, they all come with a story to tell.

To find the best vintage engagement ring, you have to look more closely at the piece you like.

If you follow our ten guidelines, you'll undoubtedly find the perfect ring for yourself or your significant other.

1. Antique vs. Vintage
When we say that a ring is antique, it refers to a ring over 99 years old. Jewelers see rings made more than 20 years ago and less than 99 years, as vintage rings suitable to be used for an engagement. When a ring gets a vintage or antique label, it doesn't necessarily change its price. It only gives future customers a timeframe that explains the ring's style, stone choice, and overall look.

2. Styles
Art nouveau engagement rings are usually among the oldest, and you'll recognize them by the floral details with a decorative finish.

On the other hand, Edwardian rings have a recognizable platinum ring base and several large stones as jewelers were aiming to display one's wealth without reservations.

If you're looking for bold statement rings, retro-style rings with a dash of old Hollywood grandeur might be just the thing for you. Finally, when you're looking at vintage rings, think about the styles you prefer or ask an expert to help you find the best piece.

3. Center Stone
Today, no stone is more suitable for an engagement ring than a diamond. Antique rings have opal, emerald, and pearl that symbolize something of value. However, softer stones are prone to scratches, and sometimes they look a bit worn out. Since pearls and opals are significantly less durable than diamonds, they can have blemishes and even serious cracks after years of heavy-duty wear.

4. Craftsmanship and Details
Some of the key features of any antique or vintage-inspired ring are the intricate details. Edwardian rings often feature intricate filigree that creates a perfect setting for one or several large diamonds. With industrialization, Art Deco became known for its elegance and infatuation with gothic architecture.

Rings that included such details were more expensive due to their craftsmanship. If you have the chance to buy an original Art Deco engagement ring, it's worth more than any other vintage-inspired ring. And you get a piece of history with it.

5. Materials
Materials used to make antique rings are of yellow and white gold or platinum. But keep in mind that any metal inevitably ages and changes color. After a while, alloyed metals turn towards yellow, while others might resemble pink gold.

After a few decades, parts of any ring can become brittle and prone to breaking. Before buying a vintage ring, have it adequately inspected, especially if it endured hard daily wear. If you have diamonds on the ring, check the prongs to ensure that the stone is secure.

6. Diamond Certificate
If you've decided to go for a vintage diamond ring with many stones, it must come with a certificate that proves it's size, value, origin, and cut. Only then will you know that you've bought a beautiful stone that sparkles more than others.

The best two certifications for any diamond should have a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and AGS (American Gem Society). These two certificates will guarantee any diamond's properties. That way, you'll know exactly what you're buying.

7. Diamond Quality
When you're looking for any diamond, be sure to familiarize yourself with the Four C's. Since every diamond has its color, cut quality, clarity, and carat, you have to consider them carefully when choosing your new ring.

Antique and vintage rings often have a diamond with a cut that isn't regular. What's more, even their color is warmer compared to modern stones. That's why you can buy them for far less compared to a modern-cut diamond. It's also worth mentioning that they are environmentally friendly and of high quality.

8. Diamond Setting
Should you want to get a vintage diamond ring and you're on a tight budget, consider buying a ring from the 1930s. Rings from that era had a detailed setting that made them look slightly more prominent. That way, you'll have a diamond ring for significantly less money.

9. Reputable Vendors
Nowadays, fine jewelers usually offer both vintage and modern rings. When you decide to purchase a new vintage ring, read all the information carefully and get all the paperwork and certificates from the vendor selling you the stone.

When looking for something special like the shape of the stone or the color, it's essential to ask an antique specialist to check the stone's quality. But be careful about online shopping and trade only with reliable stores like Estate Diamond Jewelry.

10. Overall Value
When buying a vintage ring, keep in mind that they don't hold their value over time. Since the diamond cutting technique has changed, it's impossible to compare them with new rings. Fortunately, this gives you a chance to buy a diamond ring even when your budget is limited.

Examine with Care
If you're an inexperienced buyer, use only reputable stores and talk to jewelry specialists. For additional peace of mind, be sure to spend your money in an establishment that has a return policy. And don’t forget to make sure that you have everything ready for the big day.

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