3 Reasons to Buy the Vintage Engagement Ring of Your Dreams
Just open your Pinterest feed and it's obvious that vintage ring styles are having a moment. We spoke with vintage expert and Lang Antique and Estate Jewelry store owner Suzanne Martinez about every aspect of purchasing a vintage ring. She told us everything from why you should buy vintage to how to take care of your antique ring. Check out how to take care of your jewels as well as why you should purchase vintage when you plan on tying the knot.
— Additional reporting by Tara Block
1. The quality of the craftsmanship is much, much higher.
Martinez told us that "there are jewelers today that can sit down and hand fabricate a ring to the same standards of an old ring, but it takes so long and it has become so expensive that it's not necessarily marketable. The metal from vintage rings was hand fabricated so that the material is much denser than a cast piece would be. That's why these rings have survived so long. Just the quality of the metal, it's denser. It doesn't look dense because it's very delicate, and platinum will hold those really delicate styles."
2. There are a variety of styles that are no longer made today.
The Lang store owner explained why vintage rings are so unique. She said, "I personally love the old European cut diamonds, they have a very different look. They're more dispersive so that they kind of blend the white color with dispersion of the spectra colors, you probably notice that when you're driving and looking at your ring. It's a very different aesthetic, not only that, it's historic, so you have some history associated with it. You have that historic art deco time period when so many innovations were going on, not just in jewelry, but it represents a special time in art history."
3. Buying a vintage ring is socially conscious.
Believe it or not, buying vintage helps the environment. "There are a lot of socially conscious buyers in San Francisco," Martinez said. "They want something that's responsibly sourced, and all of our jewelry is recycled so we're not mining something new. There's a Kimberley Process in place for assuring people that diamonds are not conflict diamonds. These are not conflict diamonds; the political issues of today did not exist when these diamonds were mined. They're all hand cut and hand fabricated."
Now that you know why you should buy a vintage engagement ring, here's what to look for when purchasing and caring for your special piece.
How to select a vintage ring.
When selecting a vintage ring, Martinez explains that it's important to make sure it's restored and in very good to excellent condition. "I've seen a lot of rings over the years and a lot of things that superficially look OK, then once you put them under the microscope you see little tiny cracks or broken diamonds, and that's not acceptable in our store," she said. That's something that Martinez believes is really important; you want something that's going to give you a lifetime of use.
It's also important to buy your ring from a trustworthy source. Lang has a website where people can go and find out about the staff and all of their qualifications. It's also vital to be sure that the store has a variety of designs. Every ring is different, so you can get something for yourself that really suits you.
How to care for a vintage ring.
To keep your ring preserved, you should have it checked once every six months. "I always tell people, when you change the oil on your car, go get your ring checked," Martinez said. Have it cleaned professionally, because if it's not really clean, you can't always tell if a stone is loose. You want all the stones to be checked to see if they're loose or if you've made any small damage to the ring that you want to make sure it's restored all the way along.
Enticed by vintage engagement rings? Keep reading to check out some of Lang's glistening choices.