In this month’s post, we’ll take a look at what makes vintage rings special and why they could be the perfect way to symbolize you and your partners love.
What is a vintage ring?
Put simply, vintage rings are rings that have lasted through the years due to their beauty, craftsmanship, and distinct originality. While “antique” rings are generally defined as over 50 years old, the term vintage is thought to have a looser definition, and can include rings from eras made after that threshold.
Common characteristics of vintage engagement rings
While different eras of jewelry will have different characteristics, there are some common traits most vintage rings have, including:
- Craftsmanship: While the ringmakers of any given era were trained on that particular era’s style, today’s crafters will not have that same training (even if their own style is unique as well!). If you are looking for a particular ring style from a specific era, don’t look further than vintage rings
- Unique Settings: Many vintage rings had diamonds placed on elaborately carved settings, making the diamond appear larger than they actually are. This is great if you are on a budget
- Diamond Quality: While diamonds today are cut in a way to maximize the sparkle, the diamonds of yesteryear have a more subtle quality. They also at times utilized nuanced and interesting colors, such as diamonds with slight rose, green, or yellow tints to them
Why buy a vintage ring
They have history beyond your story
When you buy a vintage engagement ring, you are entering into the magical history of the ring and adding your own story to its legacy.
This will add to your love story when you choose an era that fits you and your partners love. As you create new memories and experiences with the ring, it will deepen its story as well, creating a deeper experience with the ring you and your love have chosen.
We recommend trying rings from different eras before choosing your ring. Who knows, maybe you’ll find an era that you’re unfamiliar with that perfectly encapsulates your love!
Some of our favorite time periods include
- Victorian: 1837-1901
- Art Nouveau:1890-1910
- Edwardian: 1901-1920
- Art Deco:1920-1930
- Mid-Century: 1940-1960
At Malka Diamonds, most of our collection is over 75 years old, with the majority being 100 years old.
They are beautiful
When looking for the perfect ring to symbolize your love, one thing should be apparent: the natural beauty of the ring. Vintage rings have been around for generations, meaning that they have a lasting beauty not defined by fads or a particular era of time. They have been worn for years for a reason.
Different eras hold beauty for all different reasons, such as the settings of a row of diamonds in Victorian rings, the geometric look of Art Deco pieces, or the filigree embellishment of the Edwardian era.
They are conflict free
Rings do not need to be unethically sourced to be beautiful. Vintage rings have a history of at least 50 years, so you know they have been ethically sourced. For this reason, we see vintage rings as the most socially-responsible engagement ring option. Plus, since you are buying something that is already in circulation, it is the most environmentally-friendly option as well.
They are original
Most new rings you buy will likely not be one of a kind (even if they are breathtaking and beautiful). Since vintage rings were made long ago, you are not likely to see the same one anywhere, making it an original and unique piece.
The gems or styles used to make the rings may not even be used any more, making your unique vintage ring stand out even more. It simply does not get more original than a vintage ring.
They are made to last
Any ring that has made it through generations of wear and tear is going to last at least a couple more if taken care of properly. A quality vintage ring has been expertly crafted and designed to last a lifetime. This durability is a great feature, particularly if you are planning on wearing your ring for a lifetime.
At Malka Diamonds, we restore all vintage rings we work with so they’ll last another 100 years. Every ring receives a thorough inspection before they reach the case, and will only be available for sale once they fulfill our rigorous standard of excellence.
Tips for buying a vintage engagement ring
As with any previously used item, knowing the process for buying a vintage ring can be challenging if you’ve never gone through it before.
Some tips when purchasing your vintage ring:
- Set a budget: Make sure you have a budget in mind when going into a Portland jewelry store so you can narrow down your search to items you can afford
- Get the details: Any jewelry store you work with should have a GIA certified gemologist on staff to fill you in on all the details of a vintage ring, including the 4Cs
- Explore different styles: Unless you know the exact era you want, make sure to try out a couple different styles to ensure you find one that fits your personal style
- Find a store you can trust: Not all Portland vintage jewelry stores are created equal. Particularly with vintage rings, curation and selection matter. Make sure you work with a store that is knowledgeable and knows quality when they see it.
Work with Malka Diamonds
At Malka Diamonds, we are picky about what rings go into our vintage case. Since we sell so many types of rings (including custom and designer rings), we don’t need to fill our cases with vintage rings that don’t meet our standard of excellence. Every ring in our store has been expertly curated and will last the test of time.
Ready to take the plunge on a vintage ring? Visit Malka Diamond’s historic downtown Portland location on SW 3rd Ave to see our vast collection of different vintage ring eras and styles. We can help you through the purchase and make sure you leave the store an expert.