Many of the shapes and designs we see today are actually from the past. And even though technology and invention has brought us many amazing things, there are some ideas from bygone eras that are still popular. Although an antique ring would be one from over 100 years in the past, an antique or vintage style is what we will be focusing on for the majority of this article. This means that even if it looks old, it is probably brand new. However, it possesses the charm and well known details from years ago.
Main characteristics and styles
Depending on the era of focus, the style of an antique ring can vary. For example, there is jewelry of the Georgian, Victorian, Art Deco, Retro and other eras. Each has its own qualities. The Georgian used many stones other than diamonds, as they were not yet popularized or accessible.
The retro period was influenced by movie stars, and this reflected in the jewelry. The main things that most vintage style rings possess are the charm of another time, and details that include intricate designs or many small diamonds gracing the sides of the band. Beyond this, they are quite different. Let’s go over a few of the most notable types.
The Edwardian Style
Made popular around the time of King Edward, which is where the name comes from, these rings were everything fancy. Extreme details were featured in this jewelry, and diamonds were the theme of choice. And not just one, but as many as possible. Excess and a certain flashiness were expected.
Art Deco Style
The roarin’ twenties and everything that goes with it! Since a distinctly feminine style was no longer appreciated by the public after the war, bold, sharp shapes became fashionable. Diamonds were still very much desired, but many other stones, such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds were well liked for a focal point.
Retro and Modern
The retro period, as discussed, was highly influenced by the Hollywood trends. Different colors of gold were presented, and romantic designs were valued. Moving quickly into the modern period, many different designs have emerged. Each decade has its own unique blend. Solitaires, which began in Queen Elizabeth’s time, are now wildly popular. Diamonds are definitely the stone of choice, and glitz and glamour abound.
Genuine versus Style
Perhaps you just like the look of a bygone era. Or maybe your heart is set on a gorgeous piece of jewelry with a handprint in the past. Each has its merits. A genuine antique ring will be at least a century old. The term vintage is more fluid, and can include anything from the recent past. The thing with genuine rings is that they were worn or owned by someone previously. This can be great if you’re a history buff, or your significant other is. If you can find out the story behind where the ring originated, extra points!
However, with an older ring, greater upkeep will be needed, and it may not be flawless. Also, be prepared to have it resized. With an antique style, you will not have these concerns. It can be made to look as though from a certain time, but will fit perfectly and be brand new. For some, this is the best of both worlds. For others, it lacks the history that makes it so desirable. So, whatever you choose is very subjective.
How do I find one?
Jewelers are one option for finding this style. Due to their expertise in the field, they should know exactly what era the ring is echoing, as well as it’s worth. This is a good route if you want to see the ring in person upon purchase. However, the selection will likely be smaller.
Online can be a great resource for finding an antique engagement ring, so long as you are careful about it. There are many trustworthy sites that take great care in ensuring a stone’s validity. One such site is I Do Now I Don’t. They purchase and sell used rings of high quality. If you are confident in your ability to decipher a stone’s value without outside help, websites such as EBay or Amazon may afford you some excellent deals.
These are your best bets for finding the perfect rock, unless you have a great grandmother who wants to pass on a piece of history to you.
Not sure what style she will love? Here’s some suggestions.
If you know that vintage is her thing but you’re not positive of the right style, there are some classics that pretty much look good on everyone. A halo setting is simple while still incredibly beautiful. The more small diamonds to compliment it, the better. Another great option would be a twenties inspired style. Known for their fashion choices, a ring from this era will be timeless. Yet another tradition from the past is to use gems other than diamonds. Birthstones or rubies, sapphires and emeralds make a great look.
Make sure its legitimate
Nothing like showing off an expensive purchase only to later find out it’s a fake! This is especially important if you are buying online. How do you know if your ring is for real? Ask to see and be given its certifications upon buying the gem. If your ring is not actually vintage this will be easier.
The stone should have been certified and examined by the GIA, which will tell you of it’s worth. If it is a hundred-year-old ring, this may not be so simple. If you are concerned about the worth of the item, take it in and have it appraised by a professional. They can tell you what it should cost and if it is real or fake. Make sure to go over the details with the company you buy from to see if returning is an option if not satisfied. This is an engagement ring and it should be perfect – exactly what you are looking for.
Have a price in mind
Obviously, you weren’t thinking of entering into a ring relationship without considering cost…right? Here’s the good news – if you are wanting a genuine antique ring, beautiful options can be found for merely a few thousand or less. Some things get more expensive with age, but fortunately, rings are not always one of them. If you want the ring to be new, and merely antique inspired, then your prices will be similar to what they would be for any other kind of brand new engagement ring. Prices can range from a couple thousand to 50,000 and up. Be prepared in advance with what you can afford.
How to present it
This is not just an engagement ring. It is a statement of her unique qualities as a person. It is you appreciating her individuality, and caring enough to give her something thoughtful and inspiring. So do it justice when actually giving her the ring! If it is from a different time, know your history. Tell her about the time period, the things that were popular, and have proof of its origins. If it is merely antique inspired, then explain how the style came to be popular. It pays to know a little about your purchase. Your fiancé to be will be impressed!
Getting engaged is an incredible time. Congratulations on finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with! The ring search will not be nearly as difficult as the search for the perfect spouse.
It is important to add that finding the right antique style ring will take some time. Be prepared to spend several weeks looking for the right one. Ask a lot of questions, make sure you are aware of the ring’s credentials and you trust the seller. The goal is to acquire something of high quality that will take you through many happy years of marriage together. It will tell a story or echo the past. It will be unique just like her.
Work hard on finding that perfect engagement ring, that way when you present her with it, you will have total confidence in this symbol of your love. Don’t forget to tell her the story of how you found it, and what inspired you to pick the exact ring you did. Inspiring the future with the past is what purchasing an antique engagement ring is all about.