Retro-Style Engagement Rings: Tips for Getting That Vintage Look
Vintage diamond engagement rings have become increasingly popular in recent years for their gorgeous design and simplicity. But what sets vintage engagement rings apart, and what should you keep an eye out for when buying one? Is this one of those engagement ring trends worth following? Whether you're planning to propose in the coming year or in the near future, here's everything you need to know about buying the perfect vintage-style diamond engagement ring, from vintage engagement ring trends and different engagement ring styles—and how to make them work for you.
What are vintage diamond engagement rings?
Although the term is used often, the definition of a vintage engagement ring varies. In most cases, the term is used to describe a new engagement ring that mimics an engagement ring style from another era, such as the Art Deco, Victorian, Old Euro, or Georgian era.
The term “vintage” might seem vague, but there are a few popular engagement ring trends that have structured definitions, including:
Antique ring: A ring that has existed for more than 50 years.
Heirloom ring: A ring that belonged to relatives and is passed down through generations.
Estate ring: A ring that was once owned by someone else.
A vintage-style diamond engagement ring can be a reproduction of any of the engagement ring styles above.
Choosing the Perfect Vintage Diamond-Style Engagement Ring
The process of shopping for a vintage diamond engagement ring is unique for every couple. Whether you're interested in shopping for a unique look or you are following the biggest engagement ring trends, this guide can help you find the perfect ring.
Step 1: Set your budget.
Before you start shopping for your dream ring, set a budget. If this is your first time shopping for a diamond engagement ring or wedding ring, a diamond ring might seem like a significant investment. Having an honest conversation with your future spouse can not only help you decide how much you want to spend, but how much you're actually able to spend.
Step 2: Research different styles.
As one of the top engagement ring trends and diamond ring trends, Art Deco-style engagement rings are known for their delicate, romantic designs and offer a unique look compared to their Industrial Revolution-inspired counterparts. Other popular engagement ring trends include rings from the Edwardian era, when parting diamonds and platinum settings began to grow in popularity, and Old Euro-style rings, which offer a sophisticated and classic style.
Choosing the right era requires a bit of research to determine your personal preferences. While one of the diamond experts at Agape Diamonds can help you explore different time periods and find inspiration, only you can decide the perfect ring style for you.
Step 3: Consider the 4Cs.
If you’re following diamond ring trendsIf you're diamond ring shopping for the first time, make sure to research the 4Cs. Cut, color, clarity, and carat weight are the four main factors you'll need to consider before purchasing your antique ring, so it's important to do your homework before you start shopping. If you haven't started researching yet, here's a quick review:
Cut: The cut refers to the fluorescence, fire, and sparkle that refracts from within the gemstone, which can only be achieved by faceting and polishing the stone.
Color: Colorless diamonds, also known as white diamonds, lack any hue. Because of its high value, the less color a diamond has, the more valuable it is.
Clarity: Clarity refers to how clean or clear the gemstone is. The clarity of the stone can significantly influence its value.
Carat: Carat is the measure of how much a diamond weighs. Carat is also related to the size of the diamond. However, depending on the shape and cut of the stone, two diamonds with the same carat weight can be different sizes.
When you start shopping for your dream antique engagement ring or vintage diamond engagement ring, let your diamond expert know how much money you're willing to spend. Whether you're shopping through an online retailer or local jewelry store, your diamond expert will ask if you have any personal preferences, such as specific ring styles, a yellow gold setting, or a Victorian era ring, to help you find a better deal for your budget.
Step 4: Decide on the diamond type.
With all the engagement ring trends, 2020 is shaping up as an interesting year. Purchasing an engagement ring is a unique process for every couple. Whether you're thinking about purchasing an earth-mined diamond or a lab-grown diamond, be sure to research different types of diamonds before making a final decision.
A simulated diamond is a man-made single crystal, which can be manufactured with different materials and designed to imitate the appearance, but not the chemical properties, of a natural gemstone. Lab-created diamonds, on the other hand, can duplicate the chemical properties of a natural gemstone. This makes them one of the more exciting diamond ring trends.
As an increasingly popular choice among younger couples, lab-created diamonds provide numerous advantages over earth-mined diamonds, including peace of mind, sustainability, durability, and a lower price. However, it's important to remember that your engagement ring should represent your unconditional love and commitment to your future spouse. Before you start shopping for a diamond ring, decide whether earth-mined diamonds or lab-created diamonds are right for you.
In most diamond experts' opinions, lab-created diamonds are superior alternatives to earth-mined diamonds. For the same clarity, cut, color, and carat size, you can purchase an Agape Diamond for the fraction of the price of an earth-mined diamond. As a wholesale online retailer, Agape Diamonds makes it possible for you to buy a stunning diamond ring at lower prices than other major jewelry stores, such as James Allen and Blue Nile.
Step 5: Determine your partner's ring size.
Before you make a final purchase, you'll want to determine what ring size your future spouse wears. To figure out your significant other's ring size, try measuring a ring he or she already owns that he or she wears on the left-hand ring finger. Next, use the Agape Diamonds Ring Sizing Guide or bring the ring to a jeweler for help. If you choose the wrong ring size, don't worry—Agape Diamonds offers free ring resizing on every engagement ring purchase.
If you're shopping for an antique ring, remember that ring sizes have changed over time. A century ago, people were generally smaller in stature, with smaller hands and slimmer fingers. Depending on the ring setting used for the jewels, it may not be practical—or possible—to resize a diamond engagement ring more than one or two sizes up or down.
Step 6: Pick an engagement ring setting.
There are multiple factors to consider when purchasing a ring setting, including the type of diamond, color, precious metal, and number of prongs. If you're not sure where to start, try starting with color.
While the inclusion of diamonds is common in antique rings, they will often be matched with rubies, emeralds, sapphires, or other stones. These vivid stones create a bold contrast to the purity and clarity of the diamond. Many antique rings have colored center-stage jewels and use smaller diamonds to compliment the center stone.
The most popular metal choices—white gold, rose gold, platinum, and yellow gold are the easiest to pair with other jewelry and skin tone. As seen on Blake Lively, one the newest engagement ring trends, rose gold engagement rings, is the perfect choice for the future spouse looking for a soft, unique look. For a true vintage look, opt for a white gold diamond ring.
If you're thinking about purchasing a gold ring—including white gold, rose gold, and yellow gold—you'll also need to choose between 14 and 18k gold. While 14k gold contains less pure gold, is harder, and costs loss, 18k gold contains more pure gold, is softer, and is more highly valued. When choosing between different settings, consider how much activity you plan to do with the ring on and how much pure gold you prefer in your ring setting.
The four main engagement ring styles are classic, solitaire, halo, and vintage. If you're going for a vintage look, opt for a vintage-style diamond ring. Elegant in their simplicity, vintage-style rings tell a story of the past, making them the ideal engagement ring style for a family heirloom. If your heart is set on more intricate shapes, such as ovals or pear shapes, classic style or halo setting rings might be the best choice for you. Ultimately, your choice of ring style should depend on personal preference and your future spouse's style.
Step 7: Choose the perfect diamond.
If you're shopping for a loose gemstone for a previously owned setting, remember that the shape of the diamond will be more limited, as some settings can only fit specific diamond shapes. As the most popular choice, round diamonds can fit most ring settings.
In addition to round diamonds, Agape Diamonds also offers princess, cushion, radiant, asscher, emerald, pear, marquise, heart, trillion, and oval diamonds. Geometric shapes like emerald-cut, oval shape, and marquise diamonds are popular new trends for vintage engagement rings.
Whether you're shopping for loose diamonds for a three-stone ring or searching for the perfect center stone, the diamond experts at Agape Diamonds can help you choose a stunning gemstone within your budget.
Vintage Diamond Engagement Rings at Agape Diamonds
If you're shopping for a diamond ring that tells a story of the past, a vintage diamond engagement ring-style or antique-style engagement ring might be the right choice for you. After all, it’s one of the most popular engagement ring trends in 2020. With numerous ring settings and diamond shapes available, the diamond experts at Agape Diamonds can help you find an antique-style or vintage diamond engagement ring that not only represents an historic era, but also captures your personal style.
If you're struggling to choose your perfect engagement ring style, consider trying out a few different ring styles, ordering a custom design, or turning to celebrity engagement rings for inspiration. Trying different ring styles can help you narrow down your choice based on how the rings look on your finger and the sense of romance you feel when you wear the ring.
Ultimately, remember that shopping for a vintage diamond engagement ring or antique engagement ring shouldn't be stressful. Whether you're preparing for engagement season or planning to pop the question in the near future, take the time to find the perfect ring, follow our guide, and have fun shopping. If all else fails, Agape Diamonds offers a generous No Questions Asked 30-day free return policy.