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If you’re looking for a stunning and unique engagement ring, a vintage or antique style might be a perfect choice. With options ranging from floral designs to cathedral settings, vintage engagement rings can be designed to fit the exact style of the one you love. Review our full guide below to learn more about vintage settings and what to know before you buy.
Our most important recommendation for purchasing vintage engagement rings is to buy one from a highly reputable vendor. Recieve the quality and value you deserve by choosing Blue Nile, James Allen or Brian Gavin Diamonds
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A vintage engagement ring is a ring with an antique style, such as one that’s designed with inspiration from the Victorian, Edwardian, or Art Deco time periods. Vintage settings often feature beautiful intricacies. Milgrain and filigree are two popular techniques used to create additional detail in the settings.
Milgrain engraving is an embellishment that gives the ring an “antique” look—with tiny metal balls decorating the sides of the band and the crown of the ring. This infinity halo ring, for example, features milgrain around the edges of the halo.
Filigree is another kind of delicate metalwork that features metal beads or twisted metal threads throughout the setting. The antique engagement ring below showcases an example of yellow gold filigree embellishments on the shank and around the bezel set diamond.
Check out recently purchased diamond engagement rings from our top rated retailers to see more examples of vintage style settings.
Antique style engagement rings are eye-catching because of their non-traditional design, intricate details and classic look. As a timeless piece of jewelry, a vintage engagement ring is well-cherished and often passed down for generations.
You can even personalize vintage engagement rings to fit the exact style and desires of the wearer. Simply put, they stand out from the crowd.
Vintage engagement rings cost anywhere from $900 to $20,000 and more, depending on your setting, your diamond and its 4Cs. Prices for vintage engagement rings are similar to other engagement rings but can cost more if there’s more intricacy in the design.
As another example, this vintage cathedral milgrain diamond engagement ring setting costs $1,150. When paired with a 0.61 carat round diamond with I color and VS2 clarity, the ring’s total cost is $2,470.
Antique engagement rings are not cheaper than other rings, and in general, you can find vintage styles in every price range. That’s because many factors impact an engagement ring’s price, including the setting, center diamond and side stones.
On average, couples spend between $5,000 and $7,500 for engagement rings. Choosing a vintage engagement ring is more about style preference than paying more or less.
You may be interested in purchasing an actual vintage ring—one that’s several decades old. While these can be unique and stunning rings with a special history, buying an older ring is a risky approach—and here’s why.
First, actual antique rings rarely come with a legitimate certificate from the GIA or AGS, giving you no real validation as to the quality of the diamond. The seller may promise that it’s an Excellent Cut with G Color and VS2 Clarity, but they often have no way of proving it.
Second, it’s challenging to understand the actual condition of the setting. Is it securely holding the diamond? Will it deteriorate over time? Again, without proof of the materials used and who made the ring, it’s nearly impossible to understand the quality you’re receiving.
Third, when it comes to cost, an actual vintage ring may not give you the best value. Are you paying solely for the fact that it’s 40 years old? Are you paying for 18K gold when the setting is actually made of 14K gold? The uncertainties with an actual vintage ring are certainly real.
That’s why we highly recommend purchasing a new vintage or antique style from a vendor you can trust. Many high-quality vendors offer stunning rings in these motifs, like this hexagon engagement ring and this white gold filigree ring. You can achieve the same beautiful, vintage look without the concerns of going with an actual antique.
You can buy an old engagement ring, though, from an estate sale, auction, friend or family member. If possible, we recommend getting a certificate to go along with your engagement ring. That way you can verify what it is you’re buying. You can also shop with Abe Mor to find a beautiful recycled diamond engagement ring. Abe Mor is a trustworthy vendor that many of our readers have worked with.
Vintage diamonds are generally not worth more than newly cut diamonds and tend to be equal in value or slightly less. While antique diamonds are increasingly rare and environmentally-friendly, they are often warmer in color. This could reduce their value up to 20% compared to a similar modern cut diamond.
A diamond’s value is based on the combination of its color, cut quality, clarity and carat weight. Getting a diamond appraisal on a vintage diamond can help you determine its value and worth. The appraiser should consider aspects such as the craftsmanship, rarity and condition.
Because you’ll want to buy your antique or vintage style ring from a highly reputable vendor, choosing a jewelry company is of the utmost importance. Throughout our years in the diamond industry, we’ve closely vetted sellers to determine the best and most reliable in the business.
The diamond dealers below are highly reputable. They offer extensive collections of beautiful diamonds and vintage style settings. All diamonds come with an AGS or GIA certificate—giving you confidence in what they’re selling you.
If you have questions about these vendors, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
A vintage style ring provides immense beauty and unique details. Before making your purchase, review the pros and cons to see if it’s the right option for you.
Vintage style settings can be crafted for any Diamond Shape because of their classic design and ability to customize the setting. Popular diamond shapes for vintage rings include Round Brilliant, Princess Cut, Cushion Cut and Oval.
Antique and vintage engagement ring examples:
Be sure to choose the most beautiful engagement ring for your budget.
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