Your Guide to Buying an Antique Diamond Bangle on eBay

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Your Guide to Buying an Antique Diamond Bangle on eBay

Whether you are looking for an Edwardian or Art Deco antique diamond bangle, eBay sellers have them all. From bold, colourful designs to delicate, intricate pieces, the antique diamond bangle that you want is easy to find and buy. The size of the eBay marketplace makes it possible to find high quality antique jewellery and, due to the number of items available, prices tend to be competitive.

Buying on eBay is a straightforward process. In order to know what to look for when buying an antique diamond bangle, take the time to learn about precious metals and diamonds. If you are looking for items from specific eras, understand how to identify the jewellery of the time. Learn how to search using eBay's integrated search function, and how to refine your search. Once you have found the antique diamond bangle that you want, learn how to evaluate both the item and the seller using eBay features so you can shop with confidence.

Precious Metals for Antique Diamond Bangles

Gold and platinum are the most popular metals used to make antique bangles. Gold comes in three varieties: yellow, rose, and white. Yellow gold is the most common type and this is the colour of pure gold. White gold is pure gold mixed with a white metal and rose gold is pure gold blended with copper. Platinum is a white metal that is often used in a nearly pure form. It is extremely durable, wears well, and is more expensive than gold.

Gold is available in varying levels of purity measured in carats (ct) or fineness. The table below gives a summary of purity and fineness levels, and the percentage of gold present in the alloy for each.

Purity (ct)

Percentage of Gold

Fineness

24

99+

990

22

91.6

916

18

75

750

14

58.5

585

9

37.5

375

As white and rose gold are alloys they can never be completely pure. These metals are not available in 24 carat purity, but can be found in 22 carat variants.

Hallmarking Precious Metals

Hallmarking refers to the centuries old practice of stamping the fineness grade and Assay Office marks onto precious metals. This shows that the item has been assessed by an independent third party. Today, three marks are required by law: the manufacturer's initials, the purity rating, and the Assay Office mark. Antique jewellery may not have all three of these marks, or the marks may look slightly different, but there should be some kind of hallmark on the bangle. Information about hallmarking in different eras is obtained easily online.

Four Cs of Diamonds

When buying an antique diamond bangle it is important to understand how diamonds are graded. While size does matter, cut, clarity, and colour are sometimes even more important. These features are known as the Four Cs.

Diamond Cut

Although a diamond's cut also refers to its shape, the diamond's proportions and how it reflects and refracts light are the most important aspects of the cut. A diamond should allow as much light as possible to pass through the body of the stone as this is what makes it sparkle. In a poorly cut diamond, the light travels through the stone from top to bottom, making it lose some of its beauty. A well cut smaller diamond is often worth more than a badly cut larger one.

Diamond Clarity

Diamond clarity refers to the number of flaws or inclusions in the body of the diamond and the number of blemishes on its surface. These factors all influence the way that light passes through the stone. Assessors check for inclusions and blemishes under 10 times magnification and grade diamonds according to how easy or difficult it is to see the flaws. The table below provides a short explanation of diamond clarity grades.

Clarity Grade

Description

FI

Flawless

IF

Internally flawless with minor surface blemishes

VVS1 and VVS2

Extremely small inclusions

VS1 and VS2

Very small inclusions

SI1 and SI2

Small inclusions

I1, I2, and I3

Imperfect

Inclusions visible to the naked eye

The clearer the diamond, the higher the quality and the price. Diamonds used in bangles do not have to be flawless as the type of setting influences the amount of light that passes through the stone. If very little light passes through, inclusions are less obvious.

Diamond Colour

Colourless diamonds allow the most light to travel through them. As a result, white or colourless stones are the most sought after. However, the difference between grades is often undetectable to the untrained eye. Colourless diamonds are graded as D, while light yellow diamonds are graded as Z. Diamonds graded from D to F are considered colourless, from G to J near colourless, from K to M faintly yellow, from N to R very light yellow, and from S to Z light yellow. Most jewellers sell diamonds from D to J grade. Blue and pink diamonds are extremely rare and are known as fancy colours. They are more expensive than white diamonds.

Diamond Carat

The weight of a diamond is measured in carats. This is not the same as the carat used to measure the purity of metal. Diamonds that are larger than one carat are fairly rare and are significantly more expensive than smaller ones. It is more important to focus on the quality of the diamond rather than on its size, so the cut, clarity, and colour of a diamond should always be considered.

Antique Jewellery Eras

Specific jewellery styles dominated different historical eras. A basic understanding of the characteristics of jewellery created in each era helps you to understand what to look for and which antique bangles are typical of each era. 

Victorian Era (1837 to 1901)

The Victorian era describes the period in which Queen Victoria ruled England. She greatly influenced fashion. In the early parts of this period, floral motifs and symbolic themes were common and gold was the most popular metal. Preferred gemstones include pearls, citrines, garnets, and amethyst. Upon the death of Prince Albert, the Queen went into mourning and from the middle of the nineteenth century black jewellery became popular. Revival styles became fashionable once more, with a focus on the Gothic and Renaissance periods. Towards the end of the era, silver jewellery became popular, often featuring diamond and pearl settings.

Art Nouveau Era (1895 to 1910)

Art Nouveau is used to describe a number of different styles that evolved between 1895 and 1910. Handmade jewellery became popular and pieces were created with uniqueness in mind. This period saw the rise of the use of non-traditional materials in the creation of jewellery, such as enamel, moonstone, and horn. Insects, women's heads, plants, and vegetation dominated these designs.

Edwardian Era (1901 to 1910)

The Edwardian era, named after King Edward VII, is characterised by the use of platinum, pearls, and diamonds. The focus was on craftsmanship and rich, feminine designs. This is also the first era where platinum was used widely in the creation of jewellery and the colour scheme most often found is white gems with white metal. Platinum allowed the use of more delicate settings, which meant that gems were the focus of these pieces.

Art Deco Era (1915 to 1935)

Jewellery designed and made in the Art Deco era is characterised by bold colours and geometric designs. Inspiration sprang from the sultry and frenetic music of the age, jazz, art, and contemporary events. White gold and platinum were popular and diamonds were often used as focal points for jewellery. Rubies, sapphires, and emeralds were used to add colour to ornate designs.

How to Buy an Antique Bangle on eBay

To search for an antique bangle on eBay, type a phrase, for example "Victorian antique diamond bangle&", into the search field, which can be found on every page. This displays all of the listings marked with these keywords. Alternatively, click on the suggested keywords to autocomplete your search terms. Choose the most appropriate category to refine your search. You can also search using the item features that you want to further narrow your selection. If you would like more control over your search results, use the advanced search function.

How to Evaluate an Item on eBay

Once you have found the perfect antique diamond bangle, learn all that you can about the item before buying. Click on an individual listing to view the item listing page..Here you can find information such as the full item description, buying options, the seller's accepted payment methods, the terms of the seller's returns policy, postage and packaging costs, and the seller's feedback information. If you would like to learn more about the item, click on the "Ask a question&" link to contact the seller. 

How to Evaluate a Seller on eBay

Get to know your seller by viewing his or her seller feedback information. Click on the number next to the seller's username to view this section. At the conclusion of each transaction, buyers leave feedback for sellers about their products and customer service. Detailed seller ratings provide additional information about aspects such as the accuracy of the item description and the reasonableness of postage and packaging costs. When viewing this information look at the list of items sold to other buyers and individual comments left for the seller.

Conclusion

Finding the perfect antique diamond bangle is easy on eBay: simply search by a key phrase and narrow your selection by choosing the right category or item features that you desire. Yellow, rose, and white gold were used throughout all eras, but platinum became popular only in the early part of the twentieth century. The hallmark stamped on the bangle gives you an indication of the purity of the metal used to make it. Knowing how diamonds are graded and assessed allows you to understand what is meant by sellers when they describe the diamonds used in the bangles. Each historical era is characterised by particular design characteristics. Understanding these characteristics makes it easier to identify an item from a specific period.

Once you have found the antique diamond bangle that you would like to buy, take a moment to evaluate the item and the seller by learning all that you can about each of them. This is a simple process and all the information that you need to do this can be found on the item listing page. eBay is the ideal place to buy an antique diamond bangle due to the large number of sellers offering items for sale at competitive prices.

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