Vintage Engagement Rings

May 27, 2021
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Diamonds are Forever 

It’s not just a slogan from De Beers or the title of a bad James Bond movie. It speaks to one of the core ideas about diamond jewelry and engagement rings – they last. This time on the Stewart Kuper Jewelers blog, we’re taking a look at vintage engagement rings, some of the more common styles of yesteryear and more!

Vintage Engagement Rings – What are They?

What constitutes a ‘vintage’ engagement ring? While anything older than 20 years can be vintage, when it comes to jewelry it takes a bit longer than that, and even then some places might not agree! Most jewelers consider anything older than 50 years to be a vintage piece. Regardless of where that line is drawn, the clear indicator is history and age.

Are Vintage Engagement Rings Cheaper?

There’s no hard and fast rule here for a few reasons. Some vintage rings will be antiques and be worth quite a bit, but generally speaking you can find a vintage engagement ring at just about any price range. 

How Can You Tell If a Ring is Really Vintage?

The easiest way to tell that a vintage engagement ring really is of its age is through the diamond. The styles of diamonds have varied in popularity over the years, and the changes in how diamonds have been valued and cut can all point to their age. The wear and tear that comes with years of use can also help verify the piece’s age. Similarly looking at the metalwork in the ring itself can also point to a ring’s age.

If you have a vintage ring but don’t know the age of it, a qualified expert can easily help you date the ring.

What Are Some Vintage Engagement Ring Styles?

A few vintage or antique engagement ring styles take their names from the era in which they were made. Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Deco are three styles of vintage rings.

Victorian rings were made from the 1830s to 1901. During that time Queen Victoria ruled England, giving her name to the era. The rings are predominantly set in yellow gold, with diamonds from South Africa. Rings of this time often featured rows of diamonds as well as ornate engraving and filigree.

Edwardian rings were made from 1901 to 1920. Again, taking their name from the British ruler of the time, this time King Edward. These rings feature more platinum, because of the invention of the oxyacetylene torch, allowing for more open filigree work in the metal. Most designs featured diamonds on diamonds, or pearls and platinum.

After Edwardian came Art Deco. From 1920 to 1935 engagement rings became a way to express individuality, leaving behind flowers and scrolls, they became geometric, with straight lines and shapes. White gold replaced some of the platinum styles of the Edwardian era.

What About ‘Estate’ Engagement Rings?

You might see the term ‘estate engagement ring’ floating around and get that confused with vintage. Estate engagement rings are just any rings that have been previously owned – that’s all!

There is something incredibly special and unique about engagement rings that have been passed down through the decades. But, just because they are older doesn’t mean that sentimental value is enough. 

If you have a vintage engagement ring that you’re not wearing, or you just don’t love, don’t let that hold you back from selling it and getting something you truly will love and cherish.  If that’s the case for you, make an appointment with Stewart Kuper today and sell your unwanted diamond jewelry.

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