Infuse your proposal with the elegance and grace of the more romantic times of long ago when you choose a vintage style engagement ring. Or, go the whole nine yards and choose an authentic antique engagement ring to show her that your love is everlasting and to represent love that can stand the test of time.
Whether you want to propose with a ring that is unlike the majority on the market today or if you have a personal connection to a certain era, choosing a vintage style engagement ring is a unique and modern way to incorporate the old world aesthetic into your lives.
The first point of confusion for many who are choosing a vintage style engagement ring is figuring out the difference between vintage and antique. Also to remember is that vintage and antique are different from vintage or antique style rings. Antique is a specific measurement of age of an item in that a ring cannot be considered antique unless it is at least 100 years old. Vintage, meanwhile, refers to any older ring including less than 100 years old but also including antique rings. Vintage or antique style rings are simply rings that are designed and produced today in the style or with elements of styles that were popular in other eras. Iconic eras to choose from when looking at vintage style rings include Victorian, Art Deco, and Retro.
The influence of the different eras in both genuine and contemporary vintage rings can be seen in all aspects of the design, from the metal used to the setting. Each era has its own trademarks that make it special. If you decide to choose an authentic vintage engagement ring, then the purity of the design aesthetic will give you an array of choices among unique engagement rings that you can’t find in today’s modern store. Alternatively, choosing a modern interpretation of a vintage style means that you aren’t bound to the realities and the specificities of an era. In the second case, the jeweler is likely to infuse modern styles into the design of the ring. Modern jewelry designers such as Tacori, Jared, and Kay Jewelers carry lines of vintage style engagement rings by today’s designers.
The popularity of diamonds as an engagement stone is a relatively new trend. Introduced in the 19th century by the De Beers company, it has of course become the iconic statement of intention to marry. However, this means that some of the most beautiful and interesting antique or vintage style engagement rings feature stones other than a diamond. Choosing a vintage style engagement ring is a great way to add another layer of individuality if you have already decided not to propose with a traditional diamond.
If you do want an actual vintage diamond ring, then the issue of the stone itself takes on an added layer of complexity. Should you purchase an antique ring or authentic vintage ring then there are a few things to look out for. First of all, check the integrity of the metal and the setting. If the setting is not completely secure then the diamond is at risk of falling out or being jostled out of place.
A professional jeweler can usually fix any issues with the setting easily. Have a jeweler take a look to be absolutely sure that the diamond is safe and sound. Take a look at the diamond itself too. Something important to know is that because of old diamond cutting techniques versus modern ones, modern diamonds are usually worth quite a good deal more because they are cut more precisely and to certain standards. If having the highest quality diamond is your priority, consider purchasing a new diamond to have placed in your antique ring. Although modern cuts are considered more valuable monetarily, you can’t place a number value on the beauty and the history of an old-world cut that was done by hand by a skilled craftsman.
One idea that is popular today is to use an heirloom diamond in a ring that may not be your girlfriend’s style and have it set in a more appropriate yet still vintage style ring. This adds the flair of individuality to a meaningful item that has been passed down to you.
The question of craft is another one when deciding between an authentic vintage ring and a vintage style engagement ring. Though the designers of today are of course incredibly skilled and have all sorts of tools at their disposure to ensure that each ring is of the finest quality in every aspect, there is something to be said for the character of the craftsmanship of an antique ring.
Whether it’s the ornate filigree of an Edwardian ring, the elaborate engravings of Victorian rings or the strong shapes of an Art Deco engagement ring. Of course these methods all still exist, but they do not carry the genuine character and personality of the time in which they were made. When you choose an authentic vintage ring, you don’t necessarily just buy a beautiful ring, you buy a craftsmanship that is one of a kind and cannot be replicated. One thing to note when purchasing a ring from an estate sale or other individual vendor is the risk of authenticity.
Be sure to ask for certification that the ring is what they claim and have the ring assessed by an independent party. It’s also worth your time to learn a few basic facts about ring styles through the years. For example, during World War II platinum was scarce so most rings were made of gold or silver. This will help you figure out if a ring is really authentic before having it assessed.
If you decide that you want to purchase a vintage style ring made by today’s major jewelers or an artist that you have found, it’s important to decide which, if any particular, era you wish to emulate. Perhaps your significant other has a favorite time period. Does she love the swinging twenties? Or the high cultured feel of nineteenth century England? This can help you decide which style to choose.