Most brides-to-be have their hearts set on a ready-made, luxury engagement ring sold in a high-end store. While there is nothing wrong with that, a vintage engagement ring is an affordable alternative worth considering. Unlike brand new engagement rings, antique rings possess a romantic aura because they have a past. However, shopping for an antique engagement ring can be hectic, especially if it is your first time. This article highlights expert tips to help you buy a ring your bride-to-be will cherish.
Inspect the Sheen
Antique engagement rings are commonly found with dealers who own pawn shops. As the years pass, antique rings lose their sheen (patina), and dealers must polish them to restore the lustre. However, regular polishing can damage a ring's original coating and reduce its value. The most valuable antique rings are sold in their original condition and feature tarnish, dents and a dull sheen. Avoid any antique ring that looks brand new since the chances are high that it has been restored on more than one occasion. Overall, an antique ring should look old.
Check for Assay Marks
Antique jewellery was made during different periods. For instance, art nouveau jewellery was designed and produced between 1890 and 1910, while retro era jewellery was made between 1939 and 1950. While an experienced jeweller can tell the period a certain antique ring was commonly worn by examining the craft, a layperson might struggle to do the same. However, designers of antique jewellery stamped assay markings on their pieces for easy identification. For instance, some antique rings feature the designer's initials, and you can prove their authenticity with a quick online search. That said, you should employ the services of a collector or experienced jeweller to authenticate the information. Go for rings that claim to be antique as long as they have hallmarks.
Contrary to popular belief, genuine antique jewellery does not come cheap. Just because an antique engagement ring looks old and has scratches does not mean its value has dropped. The reason is that fine and costume jewellery fall under one category, antique jewellery. Costume jewellery is relatively cheap because they are coated with metal or feature semi-precious stones. On the other hand, fine jewellery is made of solid metal and precious stone; hence, it is more valuable. Therefore, ask a dealer to sell you fine antique jewellery because it is the real deal.
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