Looking to purchase an antique ring? Whether intended as a diamond ring with which to pop the question or simply an addition to your own collection, here is a quick guide for how to find the perfect ring, and get it at the perfect price.
Set a Budget
One of the first things to do when looking to buying an antique ring or any antique jewellery item is to set a budget as your budget should be determined by what you can afford and not what is out there or what you would like to afford.
Hence, before looking at all or even beginning a search, get your finances in order and be aware of what you have to spend: reiterated, set a budget and stick to it.
Having to shop for an antique ring according to a budget does not have to mean narrowing your choices or opting for something less spectacular than you had hoped, fortunately; in fact, opting to buy an antique ring over a newly made offering almost always guarantees getting the most for your money as antique diamonds, in particular, cost a fraction of newly cut ones.
To make a further saving, it is also worth considering buying online as a posed to hitting the high street. Unburdened by the overheads high street jewellers have to stump up for, online antique jewellery retailers are able to sell genuine antique rings at far lower prices.
Just be sure when buying online to ask questions and request additional photos before buying. Doing so will almost always reveal the fakes as they will struggle to provide confident or believable answers in many cases.
Know What to Watch For
Buying antique jewellery is often more complicated than buying new. Antique jewellery is almost always handmade. Consequently, each piece is unique, making it impossible to compare to another example.
An antique ring may also lack a stamp or hallmark, as hallmarking did not become standard practise until late in the Victorian Era / early in the Edwardian Period. Cuts used on stones also differed with the now well recognised brilliant cut not being invented either until technological advances achieved during the Industrial Revolution made it possible.
Therefore many antique diamonds are bought and sold even today without the addition of a GIA issued certificate of authenticity and inlaid into metals which do not feature stamps to attest to their authentication or provide information as to when and where or by whom they were made.
For this reason, when buying antique jewellery it is important to know what you are buying.
Go to Auction
Reputable antique jewellery auction houses operating within the UK and even worldwide can prove fantastic places to pick up a real bargain. Because well established and reputable auction houses employ antique experts and professional auctioneers you can be sure what you are buying is the real deal and so sit back and enjoy the theatrics of an auction as well as getting a great deal in some cases without fear.
If you are unfamiliar with auction houses and do not know where to start or which house to turn to, either to bid online or visit in person, three great options are Fellows & Sons, Tooveys and as well Barnebys.
More Information about Styles and Periods
To learn more about the different era and periods in ring design ahead of buying an antique ring, there is no better place to begin or carry out your research and exploration than the Victoria & Albert Museum website.
Better yet, for those who can, head over to the V & A Museum in person where you can see for yourself an astonishing array of antique jewellery and speak with expert staff and curators about all things antique rings and more.