Best Engagement Rings: Antique Rings for Your Wedding

Antique Engagement Rings: A Unique Choice

Why not propose or ‘pop the question’ with a one-of-a-kind, super rare, beautiful antique engagement ring? Whether you’re looking for a gold, silver, or platinum ring in any diamond setting for your marriage proposal, definitely consider a vintage antique engagement ring. There are many reasons why antique or estate rings are worthwhile but there are some things you should know before you shop for jewelry like this. An antique engagement ring could be the talk of your wedding, and the touching symbol that you’re looking for that starts your marriage off on on a great path. 

You can find GIA-certified antique engagement rings in number of elegant styles including art deco, art nouveau, Edwardian, Victorian, old European cuts, and others. Why take a chance that your proposal is diminished by the sight of a plain engagement ring from one of the mall stores? If she wears something antique and completely one-of-a-kind, you’ll never have to worry about the comparisons with other rings. It also has many other benefits.


There are two main categories of antique engagement rings that you should know about. The first is obviously the authentic period rings themselves - from decades past -- preserved through inheritance, estate sales, and more, that are still beautiful and stunning and have provided years of service to a loving couple. Often times these are past down through the generations and eventually arrive at auction or a private sale. These rings are being sold again to put them back into circulation, and to allow another couple to enjoy their beauty and the love that they helped “bind together” when they were first given in a marriage proposal. It’s really a romantic concept, if you think about it.

The second main type is a replica antique engagement ring. These are newly made engagement rings modeled after original vintage rings. The designs of decades past were so unique and stylized that modern-day ring makers really appreciate the work, the delicate accuracy, designsm and craftsmanship of these antique rings, and hope to bring back their nostalgic beauty. Essentially these rings are brand new, never worn, but modeled on classic antique ring styles. Very often the diamonds can be selected by the purchaser because the complete settings have not been finished. Other times finished, complete rings with appropriate sized stones have been chosen to emulate the original item -- sometimes damaged beyond repair and not available for sale, or still in a family collection. Some couples prefer these because they are very unique in design, but new.

ENGAGEMENT RING DEALERSAntique Art Deco Engagment Ring

How do find a dealer for this type of jewelry? Obviously, make sure that you find the most reputable antique engagement ring dealer you can before you spend any hard-earned money. The best dealers can often provide a COA - certificate of authenticity with your purchase. Ask for referrals from friends, relatives, or business associates to find someone you can trust for this major item. You can also look online, check with your local Better Business Bureau, or call your regional Chamber of Commerce - they might be able to help you. It’s also possible that other established professional jewelers who sell only new rings would know trustworthy businesses who sell antique engagement rings. These jewelers may also have a single antique piece for sale, or a few, so you can start there. But if it is not their specialty then your choice will be very limited.

Other have had success finding the antique proposal, engagement, and wedding ring of their dreams at estate sales, auction houses, some second-hand stores, antique shops, area pawn shops, or even payday loan establishments. Although it is possible to find quality individual rings anywhere -- use extreme caution. Many of these businesses are not qualified to assess the true value of the item you are buying, so you may end up paying too much. And the same idea about lack of choice in your selection is a concern.


Although you can definitely find great deals and save a great deal of money - very often the cost of an antique engagement ring can be about the same as a new ring. This is based on the underlying value of the gold, silver, or platinum, and the cut, color, clarity, setting, and carat weight of the diamond. (Actually some of these antique rings have quite large original diamonds!) Add the unique factor, and the need for some of these rings to be professionally cleaned and/or restored before they are put up for sale, and you see why the prices are comparable to new rings.


So what you may have not thought of is the fact that these rings are eco-friendly in a way. They are being reused, repurposed, and can become a cherished object for a new young couple in love. Rather than create demand for a new ring to be made, and a new diamond to be mined or purchased - you and your future spouse are choosing to use a ring that has helped another couple bind their love. It’s good for the environment to not fabricate another piece of jewelery,  and it’s actually pretty romantic. If those lovers were from the 1920s or 1940s, it’s great to think about their happiness and love continuing into the new century with your happiness and love. 

Another factor is the desire to purchase conflict-free diamonds and other precious stones. Many of these antique rings pre-date much of the turmoil which will continue as long as the demand for fresh diamonds is there. By selecting diamonds and antique engagement rings already in circulation, you help alleviate some of the need for more conflict.  


There are many reasons to consider an antique engagement ring for your proposal, your wedding, and the beginning of your happy marriage together. Now you’re wondering if you should get antique wedding rings or marriage bands as well -- and it really depends on how many of the antique engagement ring ideas make sense to you and your new spouse, mate, partner, or fiance. Happy engagement... and happy wedding and marriage!