Unique engagement rings are what everyone seems to be striving for these days. In a world where individualism and “standing out from the crowd” is valued, a lot of people don’t want a ring that looks typical or similar to what is generally seen among the masses. Although many of those who have just become engaged or are looking to propose may flock to the nearest jewelry store to search for unique engagement rings while others may look into have personalized rings custom made, there is another option— vintage style engagement rings.
Initial reactions to the word “vintage” by those who are not too familiar with vintage style items may be that it implies old, outdated items. However, this is not necessarily the case. Vintage style engagement rings actually encompass a wide variety of rings that, in general, take after styles that were popular in previous decades that can still complement today’s fashions. Vintage is essentially an older fashion that, decades after its initial run (a difference of about 20 to 30 years, give or take), is considered “cool” or reemerging in popularity. However, the majority of vintage style engagement rings are actually brand new rings that simply take after older styles. Besides, “antique” often implies rings that are a lot older (sometimes even a century old) than those that would be considered true vintage, much less those that are vintage in style only.
Vintage style engagement rings have in fact risen to such great popularity that mainstream jewelers like Kay Jewelers and Jared are even starting to carry them. Nevertheless, the selections they have usually are not that varied (although the actual rings they do have may be truly beautiful and unique). In fact, you usually need to go into the actual store to see them, as their limited selection is often hard to find in their online catalogs or absent entirely.
One retailer that does have a broader selection of vintage style engagement rings is Tacori. In operation since 1910, Tacori is a jewelry retailer that specializes in rings, and is known for have all kinds of engagement rings— including the elusive vintage style engagement rings. Unlike many other jewelers, you are able to view their vintage style engagement rings through their online catalog. The Tacori professionals are also able to design vintage style engagement rings for individual clients using their style and design preferences, although this could of course cost more depending on the nature of the design and the materials used.
If you are the type who is a little more down to earth, many vintage clothing shops carry vintage jewelry as well. Some may be legitimate vintage (older) while other are just vintage in style. Regardless, many vintage sops have display cases that feature vintage style engagement rings— or rather, many vintage style rings that can be used as engagement rings.
Then there are those vintage style engagement rings certainly can be classified as antique engagement rings— rings that were manufactured and likely used by people in past eras. The ones that are worth buying are simply exquisite. Vintage style engagement rings today are representations of past eras—milgraine borders and side baguettes in baroque styles, Victorian era elegance, mid-century practical designs, etc. More recently, art deco engagement rings have particularly increased in demand, with jewelers everywhere emulating this style. Some antique rings are more elaborate than modern era designs, while others are special because of their simplicity. Ultimately, it all comes down to the wearer’s personal preferences, and for some, the ring’s backstory is more important than how many diamonds it has.
To get one of these, you may have to go to an actual antique store or a jeweler that specializes in such things. Keep in mind that just because something is old or classified as antique or vintage does not necessarily mean that it is worth buying. Always look at the overall quality of the ring, especially the stone in it (more on this in the following paragraph). Time is not kind to every piece of jewelry, and there may be some wear (rust, loose stones and/or fixtures, greening of the metal, worn engravings, etc.) The type of condition it is in depends on the circumstances it was stored in over the years and whether any maintenance was done. While some older rings can be restored to a perfectly wearable state (remember, engagement rings are meant to be worn daily, through all kinds of conditions), others are just too aged and worn out to last for yet another marriage lifetime.
Now, if you are looking to get one of these rings that is true vintage or antique, the most important thing of all that must be looked at is the stone itself. If the rock is not in good condition, you have to ask yourself whether the ring is really worth buying. After all, you can always replace the stone in antique or vintage style engagement rings, but this will always cost more money on top of the high initial price. That being said, the types of gems in vintage style rings do not always follow the same pricing charts that those in modern style rings do. For example, if diamonds were by far more common in a certain time period, it will be harder to find one that has a different kind of precious stone. For example, a vintage style engagement ring with a sapphire may end up costing more than vintage style diamond rings. Again though, it primarily comes down to quality and the condition they are in.
Quality may be of particular concern if you search vintage style engagement rings on general posting and sales websites like eBay, Craigslist, alibaba, etc. Wholesale vintage style engagement rings may cause particular concern, even though you are usually able to find some of the best prices available for these kinds of rings. So, it isn’t that you shouldn’t every purchase wholesale vintage style engagement rings, but you do need to be careful.