Your Guide to Buying an Antique Diamond Ring

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Your Guide to Buying an Antique Diamond Ring

Buying a diamond ring for any occasion is an important purchase. Whether the ring commemorates an anniversary, signifies an engagement, or is simply a gift, diamond rings are a serious investment. Since those searching for a diamond ring usually seek a certain amount of flair and style, it is no wonder that antique diamond ring options are gaining popularity. Rings that date to the Edwardian period, the Victorian period, and even older periods are all options for those considering purchasing an antique diamond ring.

Searching for a high quality antique diamond ring is sometimes a difficult task. Filtering through options, finding enough finely crafted choices, and selecting the perfect match are all challenges one faces when purchasing an antique diamond ring. With online marketplaces such as eBay, however, individuals are able to filter search results in order to find the ideal antique diamond ring. When shopping for an antique diamond ring, remember to consider the clarity and colour of the diamond, how secure the setting is, and whether or not the ring is certified.

Diamond Clarity and Colour

Searching for an antique diamond ring is about finding the right style to match the wearer. One essential element in discovering the right style is to consider the diamond's clarity. With different colour options, clarity designs, and cuts, there is a style available for everyone. Weigh the options for various levels of diamond clarity and colour before committing to a purchase.

Diamond Clarity Scale

The GIA grading scale is designed to provide individuals with a way to judge the clarity of the diamond. A higher clarity means that there are fewer 'inclusions', or blemishes to the novice gem shopper, than other levels. The highest possible clarity is FL, or flawless. To the naked eye, however, even lower clarity scales such as IF, or internally flawless, VVS1, and even VVS2 are not visible. Diamonds with a clarity of Sl2 and lower could have visible inclusions that somewhat subtract from the clearness of the diamond.

When shopping for an antique diamond ring, understanding the different levels of clarity is almost impossible for an amatuer shopper. Most antique options do not come with any certificates, so having a professional appraise it is necessary. If a seller offers a certification by a professional jeweller, it is likely that the ring is of a higher value.

When shopping for a ring, consult a scale such as the one below and ask what clarity the diamond is on the GIA scale.




Flawless with no inclusions whatsoever; highest clarity diamond possible


Internally flawless, no internal blemishes whatsoever, may be sevperiodl blemishes on certain surface areas

VVS1 and VVS2

Inclusions within the diamond do exist, but are very, very small; no inclusions visible to the naked eye

VS1 and VS2

Similar to VVS1 and VVS2, but with somewhat larger inclusions; inclusions not visible to the naked eye

Sl1 and Sl2

Small inclusions that are larger than VS1 and VS2; inclusions may be somewhat visible to the naked eye

l1, l2, and l3

Fairly large inclusions that are visible to the naked eye, lowest clarity diamond possible

When shopping for an antique diamond ring, remember that the higher the clarity diamond, the rarer the diamond. For best results, shop for a diamond ring with a clarity of Sl1 or higher.

Diamond Colour

Choosing a diamond with an appealing colour is not necessarily as cut and dry as choosing a higher clarity. The GIA scale does offer details on colour options, but one colour does not rule the rest. Certain colour options are more attractive within specific settings and ring colours. As a general rule, buy a ring that offers the best overall aesthetic. Colourless diamonds, with a grade of D, E, and F on the colour scale are often rather expensive options that match well with white gold ring settings.

Some of the colours on the scale that were once considered to be undesirable are now quite fashionable. A completely yellow diamond is quite attractive in some settings, but is on a completely different end of the scale as colourless diamonds. Yellow tinge diamonds, rated as K, L, and M on the GIA grading scale are also aesthetically pleasing within certain settings. Do not restrict purchases to a specific number on the grade scale. Instead, buy an antique diamond ring that meets the needs of the occasion.

Selecting a Setting

After selecting a diamond clarity and colour, make sure to find a ring that is designed with a quality setting in an antique diamond ring. When shopping through online marketplaces such as eBay, consumers have the advantage of being able to communicate with sellers. Make sure to discuss with the seller whether or not the diamond has been replaced. Antique rings with an original diamond are often hard to find, but do offer a certain amount of style.

Consumers who are not shopping through an online marketplace should look for certain signs of wear. If the ring in question has several diamond settings and one is missing, it is likely that other diamonds will follow. Inspect the setting of the diamond for any obvious cracks, fractures, or repairs. The ease in which a diamond can fall out of a setting is astonishing.

Antique Diamond Ring Age Options

The standard definition of antique rings is an age of approximately 100 years. Both Victorian and Edwardian periods are ripe with available antique rings. Newer rings, such as those made in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, are also quite common. These are aesthetically pleasing vintage options, though they are not necessarily old enough to be considered antique.

Edwardian period

The Edwardian style period dates from 1900 to approximately 1920. Diamond rings in this period were predominantly purchased and worn for engagements, and commonly showcase larger gemstones. With larger diamonds and settings, such rings tend to be quite expensive. Look for an Edwardian period ring that features a stone with both a quality colour and clarity.

Victorian period

Some of the most sought after antique diamond rings date back to the Victorian period. The Victorian style period began around 1835 and lasted until about 1900. Rings within this period showcase a variety of styles, including the common use of rose gold that is great for informal occasions. Victorian period rings are elegantly detailed and offer a style that is unique as compared to more modern options. These rings are usually not designed for daily use, but rather as a ring to be worn for specific occasions. Victorian period diamond rings coupled with yellow diamonds are often an attractive option.

Ring Certification

An antique diamond ring is an elegant option for various purposes and events. When shopping for an authentic antique ring from a certain period, however, it is important to find a ring with a certification. Determining whether or not a ring contains a valuable diamond is more easily accomplished with certification. During the buying process, ask whether or not the diamond is of a specific clarity and if it has ever been inspected by a jeweller. Once purchased, make sure to take the antique ring to a quality jeweller for an inspection as well.

How to Purchase an Antique Diamond Ring on eBay

Having a large selection to choose from is a necessity when it comes to shopping for an antique ring. Choosing between Edwardian and Victorian, different clarity and colour levels, and condition makes selecting a ring a big decision. With online marketplaces such as eBay, however, consumers are able to shop through thousands of listings. In order to begin shopping for an antique ring on eBay, simply visit the eBay home page and enter a term into the search bar.

Enter in a specific search term such as 'yellow gold antique diamond ring&' and press on the search button. With thousands of sellers and millions of items, individuals are able to find almost any type of antique diamond ring desired. If the selection offered is overwhelming, consider using eBay's advanced search function. Advanced search allows individuals to narrow down search results before ever even bringing up lists of items. Consider using eBay to take advantage of advanced search tools as well as a wide range of items.


Searching for the perfect antique diamond ring can be a challenging shopping experience. Understanding the various clarity and colour options available makes the shopping experience much more manageable. A consumer should also consider the different age options and style periods available, allowing him or her to find a ring the fits stylistic needs and desires. Remember, however, to make sure that the ring, setting, and diamond are all of good quality. A damaged setting equates to a lost diamond more often than not.

When browsing through various markets for an antique diamond ring, having a large selection to choose from is ideal. Consider using eBay as a shopping option in order to expand your choice options. With hundreds of sellers to choose from, individuals are able to find both a quality ring and a seller that meets individual needs. Before venturing out to make a purchase, however, individuals should make sure to gain a certain amount of product knowledge. Shop for an antique diamond ring that meets aesthetic tastes and a high standard of quality.

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