Pros and Cons of Vintage Engagement Rings

Feb. 19 2014
A vintage engagement ring can be a beautiful treasure. However, think about the pros and cons before you launch into choosing one.

I was chatting to a couple of the guys at work about the advantages of buying a vintage engagement ring, and there was a clear division of opinion.

I know that choosing this kind of ring is limiting because you can’t design your own ring, but the fact that it is a vintage engagement ring makes it one-off in its own right.

The romantic side of me, which truthfully is most of me, loves the idea of a vintage ring and the idea that it is a ring like no other would really appeal to L, I am sure, but I wanted to bottom this out with some of the guys so I could get a more balanced view.

Not So Practical

One of the guys laughed at me and joked that even though he knew I loved the thought of Mr Darcy, his gallant entrances and his cropped curls and long sideburns, L was somewhat more practical in her stylistic choices.

Oh! Mr DARCY! by Pete Birkinshaw, used under a Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

Vintage engagement rings tend to awaken the Mr Darcy inside a man

It was also pointed out that L was an active lady and a vintage engagement ring might not be the best choice for someone so busy. Unless the ring is the exact fit, and this can be tough to find in a ring that is already made and is unique in its design, the ring could be prone to falling off.

Exclusive and Delicate

The third member of our party, however, was a big advocator of vintage engagement rings and made a case for their exclusivity. I thought about this and imagined the goldsmiths of the past gently hand forging rings and designing them carefully without the help of the technology and machinery that we have today. Even the most luxury designers of today would surely not be able to craft a ring with the same delicate care as back in the day (or, maybe just our Favourite Designers, who can virtually do anything!).

Vintage engagement rings are also often more valuable than modern rings because they are so rare. Many vintage engagement rings are passed down through families as heirlooms, which gives the rings immeasurable sentimental value.

Family heirlooms are always cherished treasures, and cannot fail to disappoint.

Mr Skeptical then piped up again with some sensible words of warning. As beautiful as these rings are, because of their age, they are often very delicate, and not made for everyday wearers. If the future bride has a job that forces her to use her hands a lot, or is a particularly sporty person or someone who loves the garden, this might not be the ring of choice.

Vintage Cocktail ring by Melanie Eddy

Vintage Cocktail ring by Melanie Eddy

A Loss of Sparkle

He had also heard that if you buy a vintage engagement ring, there is risk that the setting will become loose and the stone will fall out. The stones and settings can lose their brilliance and shine after many years and there is no bride who would want a ring that doesn’t sparkle as bright as she does.

Stones can be replaced, but then that detracts from the vintage appeal of the ring.

The expense is also an issue, although if you look carefully and trawl the antique shops you may be able to find a bargain. Even if it looks dusty and dirty hidden away at the back of a shelf, a jeweler may be able to help clean it up and get it ready for the perfect proposal.

Do your Homework!

After our chat I decided that, if I were to buy a vintage engagement ring, I would want to do my homework. They are beautiful, have a history and a story to tell but I would have to be sure of what I was buying before I did. I would want to know the value, the delicacy and the risk of losing the stone, so I would make double sure to get in touch with one of our designer contacts before making the purchase.

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