One of the hottest trends of the decade are antique, vintage engagement rings. Whether original antiques or antique replicas, they are accounting for every 1 in 5 engagement rings sold in the United States. Knowing that they are increasing in popularity means there is a greater need on how to buy these unique symbols of love. The team at The Diamond Authority pulled together some of the top experts in the industry to help make it a little easier for you. Enjoy!
Tip #1 Buying Antique Engagement Rings: True or Replica?
Find out if she wants a true antique or an antique replica engagement ring. There are pro’s and con’s of each that should be noted before buying. First, a true antique needs to be old–as in at least 20-30 years old. That can narrow down the playing field a little and men will want to start shopping well in advance of proposing to ensure that you’ve given yourself enough time to visit antique shops in person and online. Some cons for antique rings include smaller stones, potentially fragile prongs, and difficulty finding the “perfect ring”. On the upside, antique engagement rings are unique and evoke feelings of romance and sentiment (especially if it is an heirloom ring passed down from generations). They are the prime example of chic recycling and eco-friendliness, as they aren’t requiring a couple to buy a conflict or blood diamond.
The other option is to buy a completely new antique-style engagement ring. There are an increasing number of rings available that fit this bill and are brand new. It simply depends on what the woman prefers–and you will want to be sure to find out before purchasing to avoid surprises and picking out the wrong style.
Tip #2 Buying Antique Engagement Rings: Style
This brings us to our next point. You need to find out what type of style suits her personality and it very well may include vintage or antique engagement rings. There isn’t really a way of knowing what she likes unless you start paying attention and doing some detective work. One of the newest tricks a man can use is going through her Pinterest boards to see what types of rings she has pinned and saved. It’s a fantastic and covert way to accomplish finding out her style without causing undue suspicion. Another tip? Talk to her close friends or siblings if you feel comfortable doing so–and if talk of wedding bells is fairly common knowledge.
Tip #3 Buying Antique Engagement Rings: Budget
The next thing you will need to do is take a careful look at your finances and see what is realistic for an engagement ring budget. Don’t pressure yourself to go beyond your means and regret it down the road as you two combine household finances. Jobs change, circumstances happen and life can throw a curve ball at you. Have some savings set aside and beware of in-store financing and putting an engagement ring on a credit card. You may always assume you’ll have the money in the future and payments are easy, but it might surprise you to realize that it isn’t that cut and dry for most couples.
Tip #4 Buying Antique Engagement Rings: Find a Trustworthy Jeweler
This is important particularly for antique jewelry. You are going to want to ensure that the store where you purchase an antique engagement ring has a good reputation for professionalism and estate/antique jewelry expertise. Even online stores can be vetted properly by looking at review websites and checking social media. Be sure to look at the fine print and warranty or return policy before purchasing.
Tip #5 Buying Antique Engagement Rings: Find Her Ring Size
Another overlooked, but important, tip is finding out her ring size before purchasing the ring. This is particularly important with antique rings because it is preferable to keep the jewelry unaltered as much as possible. A ring with sidestones that needs to be sized down after the fact may have problems with stones falling out if there is too much metal taken out during the resizing process. Find out if she has any current rings and take a mold with a bar of soap to keep the shape permanently (and mobile).
Tip #6 Buying Antique Engagement Rings: Wear and Tear
A big thing to consider is the type of lifestyle a woman has, and how that will affect the stability and care of the antique engagement ring. While we know that gold or platinum are reliable metals, the prongs or antique details may have problems down the line. Situations like if she works with her hands all day long, if she is subjected to rough or bumping aspects of her work, or if she wears her rings to the gym. All of these factors are important to consider when purchasing a more delicate antique ring.