If you’re looking for a stunning and unique engagement ring, a vintage or antique style might be a perfect choice. With options ranging from floral designs to cathedral settings, vintage engagement rings can be designed to fit the exact style of the one you love. Review our full guide below to learn more about vintage settings and what to know before you buy.
What is a Vintage or Antique Engagement Ring Setting?
A vintage engagement ring is a ring with an antique style, such as one that’s designed with inspiration from the Victorian, Edwardian, or Art Deco time periods. Vintage settings often feature beautiful intricacies. Milgrain and filigree are two popular techniques used to create additional detail in the settings.
Milgrain engraving is an embellishment that gives the ring an “antique” look—with tiny metal balls decorating the sides of the band and the crown of the ring. This infinity halo ring, for example, features milgrain around the edges of the halo.
Filigree is another kind of delicate metalwork that features metal beads or twisted metal threads throughout the setting.
Why Choose a Vintage Style Engagement Ring?
Antique style engagement rings are eye-catching because of their non-traditional design, intricate details and classic look. As a timeless piece of jewelry, a vintage engagement ring is well-cherished and often passed down for generations.
You can even personalize vintage engagement rings to fit the exact style and desires of the wearer. Simply put, they stand out from the crowd.
From a gorgeous floral starburst to a fancy milgrain design, the options are truly endless. Antique rings can also be made with any precious metal: yellow gold, white gold, platinum or rose gold.
Antique engagement rings are not cheaper than other rings, and in general, you can find vintage styles in every price range. That’s because many factors impact an engagement ring’s price, including the setting, center diamond and side stones.
Choosing a vintage engagement ring is more about style preference than paying more or less.
How to Buy Actual Vintage and Antique Settings — What to Know
You may be interested in purchasing an actual vintage ring—one that’s several decades old. While these can be unique and stunning rings with a special history, buying an older ring is a risky approach—and here’s why.
First, actual antique rings rarely come with a legitimate certificate from the GIA or AGS, giving you no real validation as to the quality of the diamond. The seller may promise that it’s an Excellent Cut with G Color and VS2 Clarity, but they often have no way of proving it.
Second, it’s challenging to understand the actual condition of the setting. Is it securely holding the diamond? Will it deteriorate over time? Again, without proof of the materials used and who made the ring, it’s nearly impossible to understand the quality you’re receiving.
Third, when it comes to cost, an actual vintage ring may not give you the best value. Are you paying solely for the fact that it’s 40 years old? Are you paying for 18K gold when the setting is actually made of 14K gold? The uncertainties with an actual vintage ring are certainly real.
That’s why we highly recommend purchasing a new vintage or antique style from a vendor you can trust. Many high-quality vendors offer stunning rings in these motifs, like this white gold filigree ring. You can achieve the same beautiful, vintage look without the concerns of going with an actual antique.
Pros and Cons of a Vintage Setting
A vintage style ring provides immense beauty and unique details. Before making your purchase, review the pros and cons to see if it’s the right option for you.
- Provides remarkable beauty and character
- Enhances the prominence of the center stone when well-designed
- Matches a time period or personal style preference
- Unique and intricately built
- Can require more cleaning and maintenance due to intricate details and crevices
- The setting can distract from the beauty and sparkle of the stone (if poorly designed)
With an actual vintage setting (different than a new vintage style ring), additional time and expertise is necessary to ensure it’s well-maintained and securely holds the diamond
Best Antique and Vintage Settings for the Most Popular Shapes
Vintage style settings can be crafted for any Diamond Shape because of their classic design and ability to customize the setting. Popular diamond shapes for vintage rings include Round Brilliant, Princess Cut, Cushion Cut and Oval.
Review MW Antique Collection to help select the perfect ring for the one you love.