One of the most popular styles for brides-to-be this year are antique diamond rings. With a stunning mix of old and new design, these rings are no longer a thing of the past but a charming and elegant option for the future. Understanding the basics of antique diamond rings can help you sift through your options, find the perfect ring–and save you money along the way.
What are Antique Diamond Rings?
A beautiful and classic option, antique jewelry is a popular choice for many couples. Families with heirloom rings enjoy passing them down through generations for sentimental reasons as well as providing an affordable option. Couples who may not have an heirloom ring available in their family are still often are drawn to antique or vintage style rings to begin their own tradition.
Technically speaking, any diamond ring over 50 years old is generally considered an antique, giving a wide range of styles to fit any bride’s personality. Each era has its unique style: Georgian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Retro, Edwardian, and Victorian. Jewelers today are pulling ideas from these eras into their designs and making some incredibly intricate and stunning pieces, often described as “vintage”, “heirloom” and even “antique”.
Where to Buy Antique Diamond Rings
Boutique or Antique Shops: There are usually a number of antique or boutique stores in most cities (and even many towns) which carry a variety of antique or vintage jewelry. Call the shops before heading out to ensure they carry rings and other jewelry. Many antique shop owners purchase their jewelry from estate sales and can have a wide variety of options available.
Estate Sales: Look in your local newspaper for estate sales (a sale in which the items in a home are sold upon the death of the individual). Estate sales can be an excellent place to get beautiful jewelry. Family members or estate agents may not know or ask for the appraised value, often making antique jewelry very reasonably priced. However, they may also not be able to give further information on the type of stone, gold, carat weight or history of the piece.
Online: As with nearly everything these days, the Internet provides a wealth of convenient options–especially for jewelry. Stick with reputable antique dealers with excellent pictures, certificates and a history of great customer service. Lang Antique, The Three Graces, Fay Cullen, Leigh Jay Nact Inc., Ross Simons, and Dover Jewelry.
Consignment Shops: Somewhat similar to pawn shops, they can offer some excellent jewelry options and may have more detailed information available on the potential ring. An excellent and often more trustworthy option than a pawn shop.
Things to Ask Before Buying an Antique Diamond Ring
- Is this ring appraised? Does it have any certification or written history?
- Is it an original piece or simply a reproduction?
- Can it be re-sized or have other alterations? Can I take the ring to a certified jeweler before buying?
- What is the return policy?
Modern Antique Diamond Rings
If you just haven’t found exactly what you’ve been looking for, there are unlimited options online and at your local jewelry store. Reproduction vintage or antique rings are increasingly popular with many beautiful and unique styles. By opting for a new but still vintage, antique look, you can get what you are envisioning without sacrificing your style or settling for “almost perfect.”