Top Tips for Buying a Vintage Engagement Ring from Trumpet & Horn
I have always loved vintage jewellery and am more than a little envious of those lucky enough to have beautiful heirloom pieces passed down through generations of their family. It’s not just the style I adore, it is the history that draws me to vintage jewellery – the stories behind them, the love locked in them, there is nothing more beautiful.
But for those of us not lucky enough to have an heirloom already in our family, all is not lost for there is an alternative. Whether you’re a vintage loving bride or not, a vintage engagement ring makes a timeless and beautiful choice. So, I couldn’t be more excited to be sharing a Wedding Wisdom post from Chic Vintage Brides favourite Trumpet & Horn today, with some top tips for buying a vintage engagement ring…..
“Buying your engagement ring is one of the most exciting purchases that many couples will make in their lifetimes. Deciding what kind of engagement ring you want can be a daunting and time consuming process, considering ALL the different kinds of rings, jewelers, and options there are out there!
Buying a vintage engagement ring is NOT the same thing as buying a newly made ring from a national jeweler. Vintage and antique engagement rings that are truly one-of-a-kind are also previously owned and loved, and therefore have a much different process to becoming yours than purchasing or designing a new ring. So to help you successfully buy vintage, we’ve put together a list of key steps to find the perfect vintage engagement ring…..
1. Do Your Research
There is SO MUCH research to be done when you’re looking for the perfect vintage ring, and the first thing to do is get yourself educated! Learn about: The diamond 4C’s, different metal options (Gold? Platinum? Palladium? White gold? There are so many choices!), historical diamond cuts and how they have changed over time, and the different jewelry eras to determine which your favorite is, and narrow down your search.
Photography by via CK Metro Photos via Chic Vintage Brides
2. Know What “Vintage” Actually Means
The “vintage” trend has really built up steam recent years, but there is still some confusion over what the term “vintage” actually means. There are 3 main categories of rings that appear to be from a past era: Antique, Vintage, and Vintage Inspired. The difference between these three is VERY important to understand while shopping vintage so you know exactly what you are purchasing!
Photography by Cassie Rosch via Green Wedding Shoes
When a ring has been previously owned and was made over 100 years ago (so this year that would be before 1916, the end of the Edwardian era), we call it “antique”. When a ring has been previously owned but it was made any time in the last 100 years (after 1916), we call it “vintage”. The rules get a little fuzzy in this category, but vintage typically refers to rings that are at least 20-30 years old, but less than 100 years old (1917-the 1980′s), and have been previously owned.
Photography by Michelle Boyd Photography
Finally, any ring that is new but made to look like a vintage or antique ring is considered “vintage inspired”. Most rings from national companies that are labelled “vintage” are actually “vintage-inspired” because they are brand new. Knowing what “vintage” actually means will help you purchase a ring – maybe a vintage-inspired ring is what you’re after, or maybe you’re looking for a ring already rich with history that was made in another era. The choice is yours!
Photography by Sawyer Baird via Chic Vintage Brides
3. Understand The Return Policy
Make sure you read through and understand the return policy for any company you’re considering purchasing a ring from. Whether it’s shipping costs, ring damage during shipping, or a warranty, you want to know exactly what your options are and how to return the ring in case it’s not the one. At Trumpet & Horn, we offer free overnight shipping & returns, and a 10-day period to decide whether it’s your perfect ring or not.
Photography by Jen Huang
Also make sure you understand what’s included with the price of your ring. Since vintage & antique rings are all previously owned and one-of-a-kind, chances are your ring isn’t already the right size. Will the company you’re purchasing from size the ring for you for free, and do they have experience in sizing vintage jewelry? (At T&H, the answer is YES, and YES.)
Photography by Winsome & Wright
4. Check For a Diamond Certification
Don’t buy a vintage ring without an independent diamond certification (such as EGL or GIA) if the main diamond is over 0.50ct. You want to make sure you have all of the information about the diamond you’re buying (the exact weight, cut, clarity, and color), and a certification is also VERY important for insurance purposes, in case anything should ever happen to your ring.
Photography by Sally Pinera
5. Make Sure The Ring Is In Good Condition
Vintage rings have been loved throughout generations, and sometimes show a few signs of wear. Make sure the company you’re purchasing from knows how to care for and prepare a vintage ring before it finds a new home!
Photography by Sawyer Baird
Most importantly… be sure to choose a ring you LOVE and ALWAYS ask questions if you have them! We’re available by phone or e-mail if you ever have any questions about buying vintage, and we’re more than happy to help. Click here for our contact information… and happy shopping!”
Photography by Jen Huang
A big thankyou to the lovely people over at Trumpet & Horn for these pearls of ring shopping wisdom, I hope you find them helpful. Sadly they came too late for me…..although of course there is still an eternity ring to wish for, so maybe one day I will get that vintage Emerald ring I keep lusting after! And when the time comes I will most definitely be pointing Mr E in the direction of these top tips!