What makes a great engagement ring? Everyone has a different answer, from those who prefer a simple ring for everyday wear to those seeking something more ornate. Whatever your preferences, though, there’s likely a historical precedent for it, which is why it’s worth considering opting for an antique engagement ring. Antique rings open up a world of opportunities and will set your ring apart from the modern styles everyone else is wearing.
Antique engagement rings have grown in popularity recently alongside another trend: sustainability. With buyers more aware of the ethical issues underpinning the diamond industry and mining more generally, couples have become hesitant to purchase new diamonds. In contrast, antique engagement rings are eco-friendly and lack the ethical concerns related to supporting the modern diamond industry. What better way to start your life together as a couple than by giving a piece of jewelry a second life?
A Splash Of Color
Along with concerns about sustainability, a growing number of couples are shifting their engagement ring purchases away from diamonds because they prefer colored stones to clear – and this means they can choose from a vast array of antique engagement rings. Diamond engagement rings didn’t become popular until the 1930s with the rise of De Beers’ diamond marketing efforts.
For those interested in colorful gems, antique engagement rings regularly feature blue and pink sapphires, as well as rubies and emeralds, and colored stones mixed with diamonds. Vintage rings are also more likely to pair these colored stones with unusual stone settings, such as stars, flower-like designs, and large Art Deco settings that are hard to find and extremely costly in modern rings.
Engagement and wedding rings are often passed down through families, whether to be reused for nuptials or simply as family heirlooms, and for couples investing in rings for themselves, it’s worth thinking about these traditions. Do you plan to pass your rings down to the next generation? If so, a new-to-you vintage ring could become a family heirloom down the line. Antique rings already have stories attached to them when they become part of your life, and your relationship will only add new and beautiful layers to their history.
The Craftsmanship Advantage
We say it about all sorts of things – “they don’t make them like they used to” – and this is just as true about engagement rings as it is furniture and appliances. Indeed, there are far fewer skilled jewelers today than their used to be, and the industry continues to decline. By investing in a vintage engagement ring, then, you’re investing in craftsmanship, including hand-cut stones. Today most stones are cut by lasers using a formula, but the stones in antique rings were cut by jewelers who wanted to do what was best for each individual stone, resulting in stunning cuts that shine in the light.
Choosing an engagement ring is a deeply personal process and your choice says a lot about what you value in life. By selecting an antique ring, you send the message that you’re committed for the long-term. Such rings are older than your relationship, older than you, and will carry you into the next phase of your life with beauty and grace.