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Whether you love geometric Art Deco designs or floral halos, vintage engagement rings offer a stunning sense of style.
Actual antique diamond rings — those 50 years or older — are increasingly rare, especially high-quality ones. Still, there are beautiful antique rings that are sold through vintage jewelry shops and estate sales, and ones handed down as family heirlooms.
Some choose to buy antique engagement rings because they like the style, the story, or because it’s environmentally-friendly. But in general, we recommend a vintage engagement ring from a trustworthy dealer instead of a true antique. It’s often difficult to verify the quality of an antique, and there are trustworthy vendors who carry vintage rings that are made to last.
The good news: you can achieve the same vintage look without the concerns of an actual antique. Vintage engagement rings range in style, shape, and precious metal. Many antique engagement rings feature beautiful, ornate details such as filigree and milgrain. From regal rose gold halos to two-tone scalloped rings, there’s a wide selection of timeless styles to choose from.
The best retailers for vintage engagement rings are James Allen and Blue Nile. They are the top two vendors with a track record of high-quality vintage rings. For actual antiques, we recommend Abe Mor because they have a high standard for recycled jewelry, and offer a personalized experience.
Learn more about the best places to buy vintage engagement rings and what to look for.
Let’s go into more detail, starting from the top:
Blue Nile carries a large inventory of high-quality diamonds and antique engagement ring settings. Blue Nile is especially known for their strong partnerships with jewelry manufacturers, designers, and diamond suppliers.
With low overhead costs, Blue Nile can keep their prices competitive without sacrificing on the quality of their rings. You can view any ring up-close before purchase, thanks to the high-tech imagery available on their website.
Blue Nile’s best vintage engagement rings are beautifully crafted with hand-engraved details and pavé accent diamond bands. Their collection ranges from simple styles to intricate designs. All rings can be paired with the diamond of your choice for an exquisite finished product.
Samples of Blue Nile’s best vintage engagement rings:
Wondering where to buy vintage engagement rings at a competitive price? James Allen carries a large inventory of antique engagement rings and high-quality diamonds. You can choose from yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, and platinum antique style rings. Their diamond imagery is the best in the business and allows you to review each diamond up close to ensure it’s the one you want.
Not only that, James Allen is known for their great customer service. Whether you have questions or need to make a return, James Allen makes it simple and hassle-free.
James Allen’s best vintage engagement rings include halos, filigree details, floral designs and more. Select the ring style you like best, then pair it with the exact diamond of your choice.
Samples of James Allen’s best antique engagement rings:
Abe Mor specializes in buying and selling diamond rings, making them the premier option for true antique engagement rings. Not only that, they give customers a personalized, high-end experience. Many of our readers have been very pleased with the antique engagement rings they bought from Abe Mor.
If you’re looking for the best place to buy vintage engagement rings with colored gemstones or fancy color diamonds, Leibish is the number one choice. They offer a stunning array of gemstones and fancy color diamonds, including pink and green stones. With a fancy diamond from Leibish, you’re getting something few places in the world can offer.
Besides the beautifully colored stones, Leibish offers state-of-the-art antique settings that highlight the colored stone. Their antique engagement rings range from halos to floral designs.
Wondering where to buy vintage engagement rings that are at least a few decades old? Consider antique stores, vintage jewelry shops, and estate sales. These vendors often buy and resell engagement rings, and have a limited selection available for shoppers.
Because it’s difficult to assess a vintage ring, we suggest these options with some caution. You want to ensure that what you’re paying for is worth the price and has the quality you want. We recommend readers reach out to us for a second opinion prior to purchasing anything from a local antique store.
Because each store, estate sale, and family differs in their collection, it’s best to visit in-person to see what is available. We suggest getting a second opinion from a jewelry expert and getting a diamond appraisal on a vintage diamond to help you determine its value, worth, rarity, and condition.
When you buy antique engagement rings, keep these points in mind to ensure you choose a high-quality diamond and ring setting.
Check out some antique engagement ring styles to see what appeals to you or your partner the most. Do you like round cut diamonds or oval cuts? Do you like white gold or yellow gold? Do you want an intricate ring or one that’s more simple?
Deciding your style early will help you stay focused during your search, and ensure you’re spending your budget on what matters the most.
When it comes to buying antique engagement rings, it’s incredibly important to choose a vendor you can trust. You want to ensure that the diamond is well-cut and that setting is well-crafted.
Through years of vetting, we’ve learned which diamond dealers are reliable, well-priced, and offer excellent quality. Above all, we’ve found Blue Nile and James Allen to be the best sites for buying vintage engagement rings online. From oval halo rings to white gold filigree rings, you can find gorgeous designs that are also durable and long-lasting.
A diamond’s level of brilliance impacts its beauty and appeal more than any other feature. That’s why you should only consider diamonds with an Excellent or Ideal cut grade. Even with these grades, you’ll want to look at the diamond yourself to see how much brilliance — or white light reflection — it gives off.
If you’re opting for a true antique without a certificate to verify the diamond’s cut grade, it’s best to review the diamond in-person to see how well it reflects light under normal lighting.
No matter where you purchase your ring, we recommend getting an expert’s opinion before you buy — not just accepting what the salesman or shop owner tells you.
When you purchase a diamond, it should be eye-clean — meaning there aren’t any noticeable blemishes and inclusions when you look at the stone.
For online purchases, view the diamond’s images from all angles. Look for imperfections like black spots and feather marks. Depending on the carat weight and diamond shape, most diamonds are eye-clean in the range of VS1-VS2. Opting for these clarity grades will still get you an eye-clean diamond, but you’ll pay far less than diamonds with higher clarity grades.
For true antique diamonds, you’ll want to closely review the diamond to ensure there aren’t any glaring imperfections. A black spot in the middle of the diamond’s table can detract from its beauty, no matter how stunning the antique ring is.
Your diamond should look white in relation to its setting. In most cases, we recommend a diamond in the G-I range. These diamonds appear colorless without having to pay for a higher color grade like D or E. If your metal color is rose gold or yellow gold, you can go with a lower color grade such as a K or J color diamond. The diamond will look white against the darker metal.
Your ring setting should offer the style you want. But it should also securely hold your diamond. With true antique settings, you’ll want to investigate it fully to ensure that the diamond is secure and that the metal has maintained its durability and function. Without proof of the materials used and who made the ring, it’s difficult to know the setting quality.
For a new ring that is fashioned in an antique style, you won’t have to worry about durability or security.
Actual antique rings rarely come with a certificate from the GIA or AGS, making it hard to get real validation about the diamond’s quality. The seller might promise that it’s an Ideal Cut with an H Color and VS1 Clarity, but they don’t have a sure way to prove it. If you’re on the lookout for an antique ring, be sure to get a second opinion before buying a diamond you have little verification on.
For new diamonds in vintage rings, look for a diamond with a certificate from the GIA or AGS. These are the two most reliable lab entities and help verify your diamond’s value and quality.
Here are jewelry expert answers to the most common questions about buying vintage and antique engagement rings.
Yes, buying a used engagement ring is a unique and environmentally-friendly choice, but there are some things to be aware of. You want to be sure you’re getting a high-quality diamond and a setting that will hold up to everyday wear. Because used engagement rings rarely come with a certificate, it’s hard to verify the diamond’s quality. It can also be hard to determine how stable the ring setting is. That’s why we recommend getting a second opinion from an expert before purchasing a used ring, or going with a newly crafted vintage style ring from a reliable vendor like James Allen or Blue Nile.
Vintage rings aren’t more or less expensive than other engagement rings, and can range from $900 to $20,000. If the ring features intricate details or is crafted by a particular designer, it may be more expensive than other vintage rings that are simpler. Your diamond’s quality and carat weight also plays a role in the price of the ring.
You should buy a true vintage engagement ring if you appreciate the style, want an environmentally-friendly choice, and are up for maintaining an older ring. Antique rings require regular cleaning and maintenance checks to ensure the diamond stays secure. If you want a vintage engagement ring that’s not a true antique, there are plenty of options at online vendors like Blue Nile and James Allen.
Ultimately, the style of the ring is up to you and what you want, whether it’s vintage or modern. Above all, your ring should symbolize your love and be something you’ll enjoy wearing for years to come.
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