Vintage Diamond Wedding Band Buying Guide

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Vintage Diamond Wedding Band Buying Guide

Vintage is a term used rather loosely to describe items from some era of the past. It has no definitive meaning, but most people agree that vintage items must be older than 20 years. Vintage items are considered classic pieces that have enduring appeal. Thus, vintage diamond wedding bands are both timeless and unique. A buyer of a vintage diamond wedding band not only gives an important gift to the recipient, but also invests the time to find an authentic piece of jewellery that is treasured for years.

When searching for a vintage diamond wedding band, buyers should consider several factors to make sure their purchase is perfect for their partners. Such considerations include investigating the type of wedding band the partner might like, confirming the quality of diamond(s) on the ring, and having the ring appraised.

Types of Vintage Diamond Wedding Bands

Buyers have many choices as they consider vintage diamond wedding bands. One of the most important choices is the historical era from which the ring comes. Rings from different eras have different designs and histories. Several eras popular with jewellery buyers are discussed in the following sections.

Edwardian Era Diamond Wedding Bands

During the Edwardian era, which dates from 1900 to 1920, Britain was at its imperial height, and jewellery for the wealthy was very popular. Diamonds and platinum were sought after as materials for wedding bands. Rings from this time period look very delicate and feminine. One popular jewellery design was to bend the metals to mimic lace embroidery. Also unique to the Edwardian era was a decorative technique jewellers used called "milgraining", a decoration of tiny beads placed along the edges of the jewellery. Milgraining was often found surrounding stones in engagement and wedding rings. Although diamonds were the most coveted jewel at this time, amethysts, garnets, peridots, sapphires, black opals, and aquamarines were also used, many times in conjunction with a diamond as the centrepiece.

Art Deco Diamond Wedding Bands

The Roaring Twenties brought about such famous jewellers such as Harry Winston and Tiffany & Co., both of whom gained tremendous popularity during the design period known as Art Deco. During this era, more effective machinery manufacturing was developed, which allowed for the production of high quality jewellery. Platinum became the preferred metal for wedding rings. Rings from this era boasted geometric shapes. For example, square cut diamonds (called "French cut," because of their development in Paris) were very popular during this time. Trillions, or triangle shaped diamonds, also became prevalent. Although diamonds remained the top choice for engagement rings, faux rubies, sapphires, and emeralds were often placed in linear patterns around the centre gem. This combination of bold colours and light colours was a hallmark of the Art Deco era.

Retro Diamond Wedding Bands

Following the end of the Art Deco era in the late 1930s came the rise of Hollywood starlets in the 1940s. During this time, retro jewellery was big and bold, modelled after the glitz and glow of America's glamourous Hollywood. Diamond wedding bands remained popular, but they were accessorised with other semi-precious stones, such as aquamarine, citrine, and topaz. Rings featured curved designs and feminine, yet flamboyant, touches such as bows and ribbons. Platinum was scarce during the 1940s and 1950s, so jewellery manufacturers commonly used yellow gold to create sturdy, affordable wedding bands.

The Four C's of Diamonds

Knowing about the four C's of diamonds when shopping for a wedding band is helpful. One of the best sources for information on gems comes from the nonprofit Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the group that developed the International Diamond Grading System. This is the benchmark used by all diamond merchants across the world.

Colour

A pure, perfect diamond is is colourless and reflects light like a prism. Diamonds vary in colour, ranging from colourless to light yellow.

The GIA created a rating system to determine the colour of a diamond. The scale begins with the letter D, representing colourless diamonds, and ends with the letter Z, representing coloured diamonds.

Rating

Meaning

DEF

Colourless

GHIJ

Near colourless

KLM

Faint yellow

NOPQR

Very light yellow

STUVWXYZ

Light yellow

Although many of the colour variations are not easily noticeable, these subtle differences make a world of difference in the diamond's quality.

Cut

The diamond's cut refers to its proportions, symmetry, and polish, rather than its shape. A well-cut and polished diamond has precise angles that allow the most amount of light reflection. Because the diamond's cut is so complex, it is often difficult to analyse, especially to the untrained eye.

The GIA uses a system to rate the diamond's cut. The grading scale is split into five categories: excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor. The diamond's cut is based on how well it interacts with light to create brightness, fire, and sparkle. The most popular cuts include: emerald, heart, princess, marquise, pear, oval, radiant, and round.

Clarity

The diamond's clarity is determined by the number and location of flaws that become evident when viewed under ten times magnification. Diamonds that display one or more birthmarks (also known as inclusions) are flawed internally. Some internal flaws may appear as cloudiness, cavities, or laser lines within the diamond. On the other hand, if the diamond has blemishes, the surface is flawed. Some superficial flaws include scratches, nicks, and chips. Perfect diamonds are rare, and most diamonds exhibit inclusions and blemishes. These characteristics interfere with light reflection within the gem, reducing its brilliance.

The GIA's grading system to determine the clarity of a diamond is used to rate a diamond's brilliance. The grading scale has six categories, some of which are divided, for a total of eleven grades.

Rating Abbreviation

Meaning

Explanation

FL

Flawless

No inclusions or blemishes visible using 10x magnification; extremely rare

IF

Internally Flawless

No inclusions; blemishes only visible under 10x magnification; less than three per cent of diamonds are internally flawless

VVSI

VVS2

Very, Very Slightly Included

Inclusions are hard for a skilled grader to see even under 10x magnification; invisible to the eye when viewed without magnification

VS1

VS2

Very Slightly Included

Inclusions are easily visible under 10x magnification but can be considered minor; not visible to the naked eye

SI1

SI2

Slightly Included

Inclusions are viewable to a skilled grader using 10x magnification; SI1 flaws cannot be seen by the naked eye; SI2 flaws are visible to the naked eye if closely inspected

I1

I2

I3

Included

Inclusions are clearly seen under 10x magnification and often to the naked eye; affects brilliance

When a diamond is rated for its clarity, a gemologist studies the size, number, nature, and position of the inclusions and blemishes in order to rate it. The fewer flaws a diamond has, the rarer and more precious it is.

Carat

A carat is a measurement of a diamond's weight. One carat weighs 0.2 grams, or approximately the same as a paperclip. Each carat is divided into one hundred points. Therefore, a 0.5 carat diamond has 50 points.

The size of a diamond is not the only determinant of value, and large diamonds are not always the most expensive. The other "Cs" are also very important.

Appraisal

Often, vintage ring buyers must seek professional appraisal for their jewellery. By having their jewellery appraised, buyers get a written assurance of the authentic quality of the piece, the age of the ring, and how much it is worth. This is useful for insurance purposes. When an appraiser studies the antique engagement ring, he or she looks for certain characteristics, which include the following:

  • Specific time period designs
  • Weights, grades, and measurements
  • Faux or real gems
  • Manufacturer information
  • Value

Buying Vintage Diamond Wedding Bands on eBay

Once you have determined what ring you want, check out eBay for a large selection. There are many choices available, including diamond wedding bands with different colours, cuts, carats, and clarities from sellers all over the world on eBay. Using eBay to purchase vintage diamond wedding bands can save you time and money.

Searching for Vintage Diamond Wedding Bands on eBay

One of the easiest ways to begin a search on eBay is to type in exactly what you are looking for in the search box on eBay's home page. For example, enter the phrase "vintage diamond wedding bands". Once you have done this, eBay presents you with several additional categories from which to choose. For a more refined search, you can use the Advanced Search feature.

Buy Diamond Rings on eBay with Confidence

Buyers reap many benefits when shopping online with eBay. First, signing up for an account is easy, and it provides limitless shopping opportunities under one safe and secure username. In addition, the eBay partnership with PayPal protects users' personal financial information, and saves them time when completing transactions. This, coupled with over 100 million users on eBay, lets buyers conveniently shop at any time of day or night, from the comfort of home.

Conclusion

Diamonds have long been a treasured gem that represents both strength and purity. It is symbolic of the strong bond between the couple, and picking a vintage ring from a particular time period can have special significance for the bride and groom. When searching for the perfect diamond wedding band, buyers should know the four C's of diamonds: colour, cut, clarity, and carat weight. Also, being familiar with the appraisal process can help secure a quality piece of jewellery. When ready to purchase a diamond wedding band, shoppers should check out eBay. eBay offers a vast selection of all kinds of diamond rings. Buying from one of the many sellers on eBay affords shoppers with a convenient and enjoyable experience.

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