4 Things to Factor Into Purchasing Vintage Engagement Rings

Like all jewellery pieces, vintage engagement rings should be carefully deliberated upon before they are purchased. Here are four different things you should mull over prior to purchasing any antique piece.

Stone Size and Quality

The diamonds in most vintage engagement rings were cut during a time when the jewel trade was significantly less efficient, and the technology was not nearly as precise or advanced. Thus, lots of the research that people do about the ‘4Cs’ (cut, colour, clarity, carat weight) is not as useful in selecting an old-fashioned ring as it is in selecting a stone for a ring today. Antique jewellery should be assessed on the whole and not just based on any qualities of the gem itself. You’ll generally find that vintage diamonds have a more subdued sparkle than modern-cut diamonds. Some tend to look larger than you’d expect based on their carat weight, but this is because the proportions of the stone emphasize diameter over depth. Also, unless the stone is of considerable value (more than £3,000), many jewellers won’t disassemble an intact ring to appraise the stone. The cut, clarity and colour are all estimated, so a laboratory certificate won’t be available for it. For confidence regarding the value of the vintage engagement rings you’re considering, you can rely on an independent appraisal.


An appraisal is an independent evaluation of the worth of a piece of jewellery. An appraisal deciphers the materials a ring consists of, the weight and features of the gems, and the approximate date of the ring’s creation. An appraiser uses advanced magnification and gemmological tools to assess and approximate stone weights and quality. Of course, it is most sought-after to buy vintage engagement rings at or below their appraised value. You can expect to pay 30 to 100 pounds sterling to have an independent appraisal.

The Gaze of Others

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and all vintage engagement rings should be purchased with this adage firmly in mind. Many people are concerned that the antique styles of large gemstone settings, despite being in vogue in an earlier era, are not contemporarily acceptable, even though the designs may be stunning. If it brings you joy, that’s what matters most. If you know that, in some environments, a piece is going to attract awkward and unwanted attention, then be smart about that too. The beauty of this style of old-fashioned jewellery is its uniqueness, so if you go ahead and purchase a ring you truly desire, take comfort in the fact that it has a story of its own, and that no other of its kind is likely to exist elsewhere.

Albert D. Sant