Antique Engagement Ring

An antique engagement ring, however, is usually cheaper than its carat per carat contemporary counterpart.


Antique engagement ring

by Kristin McDonald

Antique engagement ring: Find the One that Says “I Love You”

“Wow, what a gorgeous ring, where did you get it?”  “That’s an amazing setting…is that new?”


These are just some of the things I hear when I wear my antique engagement ring. Well, it’s not actually my engagement ring, but it is an heirloom antique, and it was an engagement ring.


The ring belonged to my mother, who was presented with this ultimate antique engagement ring when my father gave it to her some years ago. Originally, it belonged to my great-grandmother. I guess my dad was taken by the heirloom quality and the flashy glitz of the 1.5 total carats of the ring; my mom, in turn, was smitten by it, and wore the ring for years until she decided to pass it on to me as a gift.


An Antique Engagement Ring Can be a Bargain!


There are many reasons for choosing an antique engagement ring. One of the first is economy. One person’s “second-hand” is a “precious antique” to the wise. There is no question that a fabulous diamond ring, from a fine jeweler, depreciates in street value the minute it leaves the showroom floor. So, it’s generally not a wise investment.


An antique engagement ring, however, is usually cheaper than its carat per carat contemporary counterpart. On top of that, the craftsmanship is frequently superior to what you see in newer pieces. And you pay for what you get…not for overhead, but simply for a gorgeous antique ring.


An Antique Engagement Ring Has Unique Style


Another reason to consider an antique engagement ring is the look, feel and materials involved. There are many rings for the romantic at heart available from the 1920’s, which reflect the “Art Deco” styling from that time period.  These rings have a sleek look with geometric ornamentation, lots of accent stones, and impressive filigree work that continues to be popular to this day. Another great antique style is the Tiffany eternity setting, which features the total simplicity of diamonds going all the way around the band, usually with a white gold or platinum setting.


You can find “real” antique rings from the Victorian era (1837 - 1901), and even from the older Georgian era (1800- 1837).  But the styles of this period make them more appropriate for special occasion wear rather than making them the perfect antique engagement ring. The stones actually have a more rough-hewn, primitive look to them, because stone faceting technology was not perfected at that time.


If you see a ring you like with the look and feel of an antique engagement ring, it was probably made between  the years 1900–1940.  My diamond ring from this period is set in a platinum band. Platinum (twice as expensive as gold) is quite popular today and many antique bands are made of this metal or white gold, and are marked as such.


How to Buy the Perfect Antique Engagement Ring


Which brings me to an important topic: How to shop for quality in your antique engagement ring. No one wants to present their beloved with a second-rate ring during that magic moment when they ask, “Will you marry me?” So, it pays to exercise caution.


If you buy from an antique dealer with an established reputation, you are probably not taking much of a risk. But on Ebay or other online sources, you need to know the facts. Luckily, Ebay now has many dealers who have had their jewels verified by outside agencies, and online vendors often have certificates of authenticity to accompany the antique engagement rings. Look for a seller with over 200 positive feedbacks.  If you get a certificate and a money back guarantee, you should not have any problems.


Follow these tips to make online buying of your antique engagement ring fun and safe. You may end up with an incredible deal, because buyers are often reluctant to bid on fine jewelry “sight – unseen”…so there are still bargains to be found out there for luscious ruby rings, enchanting emeralds, and diamonds that are forever! With enough tenacity, you will find the perfect treasure and make the love of your life wildly happy, and wild about you!


Kristin McDonald is a writer, graphic designer and eBay expert.

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