Are you searching for the best online store to purchase vintage engagement rings?
You have come to the correct place. In this guide we shall look at:
- What to look for when purchasing vintage rings from online shops?
- Is vintage a good style for an engagement band?
- How to know if the deal you are getting is good?
- Red flags that serve as a warning when purchasing antique rings
Where to Buy Vintage Engagement Rings Online
Here is a quick list of the best online jewelry stores to find high-quality loose gems. Continue reading to know more about the stores.
1. Vintage Rings from James Allen
James Allen tops our list as the best online store to purchase vintage rings. They have numerous vintage ring styles and periods. This store has about 48 varying vintage styles to select from. The collection comprises of Edwardian and Art Deco styles, there are countable Victorian sets too.
The number of ring settings varies depending on the kind of diamond shape you choose.
You can pick lab-created diamonds, colored diamonds, a diamond, emeralds, colored sapphires, or ruby for a center stone. In case you already have an antique diamond, you can buy a setting only.
James Allen has vintage settings in platinum, 14K and 18K yellow gold, 14K rose gold, 14K and 18K white gold. Each of these metal types has about 40 settings, so there is something for everyone.
Vintage styles are so complicated that not even the James Allen Ring Studio feature can be used to edit them. Their prices are on the high end because of the details. More than 25 out of the 40 settings are above $1000 currently (the prices can change).
The 40 ring settings do, however, not feature their designer ring settings. The designer rings have a higher price tag because of their brands. Verragio has the highest number of vintage jewelry with Victorian and Edwardian rings forming a huge part of the collection.
All their ring settings have a free lifetime warranty that takes care of any routine maintenance required. The jeweler covers rhodium plating, diamond or gemstone tightening, prong re-tipping, cleaning, and polishing at no cost.
When you buy a vintage ring at James Allen, you get a free resizing before the year ends if the design allows. They also offer a 30-day return policy to return the ring, maybe for a another size or if you just don’t like it.
2. Vintage Rings at Ritani
Ritani is a fairly new ring seller but has been in the market longer as ring designer. They are known more for their ring settings and are affiliated with classic jewelry shops like Harry Winston, Cartier, or Tiffany.
Previously, Ritani used to sell high-quality designer ring styles on their website and to their partner jewelers. You can find Ritani ring styles at specific retailers like Whiteflash.
Today, they sell both mined and synthetic loose diamonds. You can also find fancy yellow diamonds. Ritani allows you to Build Your Own Ring or buy an already designed ring setting.
This store has more than 144 ring settings, 32 of which are vintage that you can sort by selecting the Vintage category. Most of the settings are art deco rings. There are a few options from the Victorian period and the less common Edwardian style.
Most of the settings are big and more regular. Check out the deco style halo setting ring below:
The ring settings in Ritani are pricier than ones you would find in other retail stores because designer rings or brand jewelry come with a high price tag.
You will be paying for the brand name.
I would not suggest you buy a solitaire ring setting when buying from Ritani because it is more costly than a similar ring from another retailer. They take the opportunity to select one of the unique ring styles.
One unique thing about Ritani is the free in-store preview that they give to customers. They have standing partnerships with some jewelry sellers to allow you to create a vintage ring and view it without commitment to purchase. No initial deposit either. If you feel like you no longer want the ring, it will be scrapped off.
Like many online jewelry stores, you get a 30 day return period and a lifetime warranty. The details of the warranty are not clear. Ritani says in the warranty that they don’t cover routine wear and tear but cover prong tightening, rhodium plating, and stone tightening. Isn’t this wear and tear? You may have to cover the costs for such routine works.
3. Vintage Rings from Clean Origin
Clean Origin is a famous online jewelry store known for selling loose lab-created diamonds. They also sell fine jewelry made of synthetic diamonds. Lab diamonds have gained more popularity thanks to stores like James Allen and Brilliant Earth.
At Clean Origin, you cannot buy a ring setting only, you must also buy a diamond.
Luckily, an ideal cut diamond engagement ring sold at Clean Origin is not as expensive as it is in other online stores that sell mined diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are usually about 20% cheaper than mined diamonds of similar grades.
I love that their wedding rings and other rings are also lab diamonds. Many places sell lab diamonds but not exclusively.
I will have you know that Clean Origin has the highest number of ring settings compared to other online stores. Their collection features 900 ring settings that can be narrowed down to 174 vintage options using their Vintage filter. This list of vintage rings is wider than that of any other online store.
This store has unique options that cover a variety of styles even the ones from the rarely known Georgian era. Their art deco pieces look nothing like I have seen before, like the emerald cut engagement ring shown below:
Clean Origin’s lifetime warranty does not cover the ring settings. They have a manufacturer’s warranty that covers design flaws. They offer a free ring resizing and their designs look like they can be resized.
What sets Clean origin apart from the rest of the stores is the 100-day free return policy. Customers who buy engagement rings online are normally interested in a generous return policy.
4. Vintage Rings from Blue Nile
Blue Nile is the biggest competitor of James Allen when it comes to diamond retailing because both stores have a variety of options and prices. Today, Blue Nile boasts of being among the beginner online diamond retailers.
Blue Nile has a wide collection of ring styles with more than 150 pieces. You can filter this collection down to 93 vintage ring settings. The store counts different karat golds and colored metals as styles of their own.
The antique ring settings are a mixture of different styles. The majority of the settings are Victorian, but most look similar. There are countable Art Deco styles and a few pieces of Edwardian designs.
Blue Nile is the last on this list because there is a huge inconvenience when searching for vintage rings. The store does not sell ring settings only or semi-mountings, you must buy a loose diamond too.
Often the diamonds at Blue Nile are pricier than diamonds in other stores.
Blue Nile has a warranty similar to Clean Origin, a manufacturer’s warranty. This warranty does not take care of any routine works on the diamond, let alone rhodium plating for white gold. There is also a free resizing. Also, there is a 30-day return policy.
Vintage Rings FAQs
Below are a few of the commonly asked questions about vintage rings.
Are vintage rings bought online cheaper?
It is difficult to estimate the final price of a vintage ring, whether buying from a physical store or online. The price varies depending on the brand type of stone, the number of stones, quality of the stone, kind of metal, and the details in the ring. If the ring has a GIA or AGS certificate, it will be pricier.
If it is an antique diamond ring, the price tag will be high depending on the clarity, cut, color, and cut quality of the diamond.
If you go shopping at Kay for a vintage style engagement ring, you will be shown to the direction of Vera Wang or Neil Lane’s collection. In the store I was working, it was Neil Lane.
Neil Lane may sound familiar because he is the chosen designer for the rings used in the famous TV program The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. However, the quality that the participants of the program get is not the same as the one you will purchase from the line.
You will be buying the brand name Neil Lane and not the quality. Check the Neil Lane engagement ring below, it is 1 ½ carat.
Look at the head of the ring, it features filigree details as well as surprise diamonds. The price of the ring should revolve around these details and not just the brand that makes the ring.
The ¾ carat, SI2 clarity and I color diamond is preset in this Neil Lane ring and costs $6,800. You don’t even have the opportunity to choose the center stone.
I could not get a ring with similar settings at James Allen. This is common with antique rings because of their intricate details.
The priciest vintage ring setting you can find is $2,350 minus the center stone. The setting is .58 carats in the ring and has an SI1-VS2 clarity.
The diamond stones in the setting are I color and I clarity grades. Neil Lane does not give complete details about the diamonds, but Kay’s rings have I clarity center diamonds and I2-I3 melee diamonds.
Although these rings are not identical, the pricing is ridiculous given the quality of the diamonds alone without the center.
The best you should do is compare the diamond specs and prices and decide which characteristics are best for you at the given price.
Are Vintage Rings Pricier?
Antique and vintage engagement rings have different prices that keep changing. Some factors explain why the price of vintage rings goes high.
A vintage design that is art nouveau or art deco has a price that is determined by how detailed the ring is. Some trademark details you will find in most stores include filigree, milgrain, and scrolls and leaves. The more detailed the design, the pricier the ring gets.
The number and quality of gemstones used also determines the price. Vintage designs do not only have center stones but pave stones or bigger ones like marquise or baguettes. The more the stones, the higher the price.
If you choose a vintage ring that has a diamond, the stone’s clarity, cut, color and carat weight contribute to the final price.
If you have an heirloom vintage ring, its value and the resell price change. The value increases if it has an antique diamond shape like old mine cut or rose cut.
Red Flags When Buying Vintage Rings
Many vintage ring designs have many delicate details, it may not be the best jewelry for an active environment. Several vintage rings are known for high profiles putting them at risk when bumped on several surfaces throughout the day.
An engraved solitaire ring can be damaged if exposed to a bumpy environment. The rings have more than enough metal designs like leaves or scrolls. When the metal is scratched, it cannot be repaired minus damaging the design.
Also, go for a 14K gold vintage ring in place of 18K gold. 14K gold is a bit tougher than 18K since it has less gold content. Gold is a soft metal, so the less content the harder the metal. Platinum is the best metal since it is strong and durable. The problem is that platinum is heavier and costlier than rings made of gold.
Apart from the details on the metal, think of antique pave settings. Pave diamonds usually have very small prongs that may fall out. Pave settings are the most common and are known to lose stones. If you live an active lifestyle, you increase the chances of the stones falling off. It does not, however, mean that the stones will fall, but chances are high.
Among the most important things about vintage rings that many people forget is that these rings cannot be resized.
Most reputable jewelry stores provide a free resizing even where the warranty does not cover routine maintenance. If you do not know so much about jewelry, you most probably don’t know that all metal cannot be cut.
Many men’s wedding rings cannot be cut and resized since they are made using alternative metals.
When it comes to vintage rings, the problem is not with the metal not being resizable, but that the design will be damaged in the process of resizing. If your ring has leaves and scrolls coiling around the shank, resizing may not be possible.
Likewise, if the diamonds go further down the shank, resizing will compromise the prongs of the stones at the lowest point. Another kind of band that cannot be resized is Eternity.
If you purchased a ring that cannot be resized or cut, a return policy should be your savior. If the ring does not fit, you can return and exchange it immediately. When the return period expires resizing, returning, or exchanging becomes impossible. In this case, it would be better if the ring is loose and not tight.
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Get the Best Deal on Vintage Rings
You already know the ways and places to buy vintage rings as well as the benefits you get when buying these pieces online. Here is a quick reminder.
- Save money when you buy vintage engagement rings that are non-branded
- Don’t expose your vintage ring to an active lifestyle
- Don’t go more than one size either down or up
- Check the ring for loose stones
- Pick vintage ring settings that don’t have diamonds far down the shank
- Check out the return period in case the ring does not fit
- Pick a jewelry store that has a free warranty that takes care of routine repairs like rhodium plating and prong re-tipping
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