Antique Diamond Engagement Ring Buying Guide

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Antique Diamond Engagement Ring Buying Guide

An antique diamond engagement ring can be a wonderful start to a couple’s life together. They are considered artistic pieces, due to the way they are developed and the style that it represents. They are generally more intricately designed than modern day bands and rings, which is also why they often carry a higher value.

When most people hear the term "antique", they tend to think of items from the Victorian era, and this is also the perspective on antique rings. Most of the antique rings that are listed in stores may be derived from the Victorian era, which was during the mid-1800s through the turn of the 20th century. However, buyers should know that different eras, have different tastes and styles, so they should always find out the particular designs and materials that were popular during the time of interest. Buyers should also factor budget, ring size, and personal taste in before attempting to source an antique diamond engagement ring.

Different Types of Traditional Rings

During different ages, rings were made with different styles as well as materials. For instance, during the early parts of the Victorian era, rings were often made from platinum or white gold, and their designs often included filigree patterns on the upper sections. In the 1930s and upward, both white and yellow gold materials were popularly being used to make engagement rings, and some were even made with a combination of both materials.

Rings that were made before 1940s generally had a smaller diamond with elaborate and complex designs, which often included hearts, flowers, leaves, and various geometric shapes. Most times the jewellers set the diamonds in square boxes made of white gold so that the size and colour of the diamond was enhanced.

Vintage and Antique Engagement Rings

Traditional rings are generally called vintage or antique, but they are actually two slightly different classifications. Vintage engagement rings actually refer to rings that were made during particular eras, which may range from Victorian to art deco or retro. In essence, vintage simply refers to items that were made a long time ago, but an item would have to be specifically over 100 years old to be considered as antique.

There are many vintage reproductions that cost less and offer very attractive and authentic looks, but real vintage rings increase in value over time. The problem with "real" antiques is that they can be fragile and are not always suitable for everyday wear. Some persons may even argue that the diamonds in the rings from yesteryear do not hold up to the same high standards as contemporary diamond cuts.

Buying Antique and Vintage Rings

When buyers opt to purchase an antique or vintage engagement ring, they should always have the number of a good appraiser on hand to check the authenticity of the ring. Some rings may look very real but are actually be a reproduction. This can sometimes be determined by the listed price of the item because reproductions cost a lot less than a true antique. Buying a reproduction is fine, as long as buyers are aware of what they are getting. Buyers should find out from the sellers if there are any certificates to accompany the ring, and they should also question the ring's integrity to find out if it can be resized if necessary.

The Budget Factor

Not everyone has the same amount to spend, so for the majority, a budget is always in place. Some persons’ budget only consists of a ceiling, while others also incorporate a minimum value amount, which leads to a budget range. Once buyers are already sure that they want an antique or vintage ring, they should focus next on the amount of money that they have and are willing to spend.

Oftentimes, the size of the diamond dictates the price of a diamond engagement ring. The band material plays a part, but the emphasis is placed on the stone. Therefore, if buyers are working with a tight budget, they can opt for a smaller diamond.

Diamond Choices

Even though the budget can restrict the choice of diamond, there are certain criteria that buyers should enforce in their search. For instance, they should not select a diamond with a colour grade that is less than K as that would mean the diamond a bit too yellow unless that is the look they are going for. In addition, the cut grade of the diamond should not be below "very good" as this means a lower level of sparkle.

Buyers now have to consider if they are willing to go smaller for a clearer, shinier diamond or go bigger and minimise the colour and sparkle. The third option would be to throw out the budget and go for the big, clear, shiny diamond that probably costs a pretty penny.

Buying the Right Ring Size

If buyers are uncertain of the correct ring size to buy, it can become a little tricky if a man is buying an engagement ring and he is unsure of his partner’s ring size. However, he can check her jewellery box for another ring that she owns and check the inside engraving for the ring size. If it is not listed and he does not want to have to resize the ring after it is bought, he can measure the circumference of that ring and use a chart to determine her size.

Ring Size Chart

Before using the ring chart, buyers need to determine the circumference of the finger. This can be done with a string or piece of paper wrapped around the finger. The meeting point of the two ends should be marked, so that it can be measured with a ruler. The measurement of another ring can also be used by wrapping the string or paper around it, but buyer needs to consider stones and patterns in the current ring that may make the circumference bigger than it should be. The circumference determined by the ruler can be matched with the chart below to find the right size. Measurements are in millimetres.

Ring Size



H 1/2






I 1/2






J 1\2






K 1/2






In order to get the diameter, divide the circumference by 3.14. The ring sizes are alphabetized and actually start before the what is indicated in the chart, but most women’s ring size falls in the range listed above.

Personal Taste

Most women have a personal style and taste in jewellery. While guys may be sure that she wants an antique ring, they should also pay close attention to the specific designs, cuts, colours that are most seen in her jewellery box. Most women like their engagement rings to have a noticeable diamond stone in the centre with smaller stones surrounding it, but figuring out the right shape and colour may be the biggest challenge.

How to Buy Antique Diamond Engagement Rings on eBay

Whether this is your first time on eBay or you are a longstanding member, buying a diamond engagement ring online may prove to be a challenge unless you are sure of what you are looking for. To begin, simply type "antique diamond engagement rings" or "vintage diamond engagement rings" to jump-start the selection process. The search generates numerous results that can then be further filtered to bring you closer to the perfect engagement ring. The filters can include ring size, metal type, metal quality, vintage era, and the main gemstone type.

If you are certain of specific criteria that you want the ring to have, you can incorporate them into your initial search so that your options are narrowed and you spend less time filtering. For example, you can do a search for "Edwardian J diamond ring" if you are sure of the specific era and ring size. There is no need to type antique or vintage because Edwardian is a vintage era, but the addition of the ring size J also narrows down the results to Edwardian rings that are available in the size you selected. Finally, go through all the options and select at least two rings that are of interest. Contact both sellers to get all the necessary background details about the rings and then make a final selection.


Many buyers become nervous when they need to buy an antique engagement ring, especially if it is meant as a surprise. In essence, they are not able to seek council from the intended recipient, so they have to make the decision on their own. The task can often be simplified with a little bit of knowledge and the right store. Buyers need to first understand the concept of antique and vintage, but they should also know that there are many reproductions that are of the same style. Additionally, different eras produce different designs and learning about the various design changes can help with the selection process.

Once style is no longer a factor, buyers have to consider their budget and decide which characteristic of the ring is the most importance when making a selection. Indeed, the size of the ring is very important because not many women like to have their ring cut for the purpose of resizing, so using a size chart can help in this regard. With all things considered, the overall choice factor is to simply find something that the wearer is going to adore. Therefore, a store like eBay with a wide selection, price filters, and in-depth search options can prove to be a big help.

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