The vintage engagement ring is a highly demanded item, for a number of reasons.
First, imagine owning a piece of history as the center of your own love story! A customer can see a ring and fall in love, imagining the love it once represented for someone else and imagining the story of their journey. Some rings really have a traceable past which is even more fascinating and special.
Then there is the craft industry. Whether it’s the sharp angles of a stunning Art Deco or the delicate filigree of an Edwardian-era piece, appreciate the handwork of a craftsman who has lived for decades (and in some cases now, a century!) There is an experience worth it.
Conversely, there are reasons why some might like the look of a vintage ring but opt for a new ring that matches its aesthetic.
Believe it or not, some customers may find a bit of history too shocking for their liking. Some are superstitious, some may believe that a ring is haunted or cursed and meant to bring bad luck to their marriage. And if you think it’s a rarity, I’ll tell you this: When I worked in a jewelry store specializing in vintage pieces, I heard these complaints enough times to count on at least two hands.
In terms of craftsmanship, buying new has its advantages. It takes an incredibly skilled jeweler to maintain the integrity of an antique or vintage piece, whether it needs to be sized or repaired. Some just don’t have access to this kind of jewelry care or don’t feel ready to find someone who is.
Custom designs also have their benefits, some of which can mix old and new elements. A modern vintage style can be set with an old mine cut diamond, for example, blending two periods – or more, depending on the design elements – into one.
There are valid reasons for clients to choose any route in their vintage (or vintage-style) engagement ring, although there are those who would argue fiercely for one or the other. Luckily for retailers, a huge assortment of options exists to appeal to the palate of anything a customer may be looking for.
Top: 1920s engagement ring in platinum with old European cut diamond, price on request; Fred leighton
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