Best Place to Buy Antique Engagement Rings (2024)

An antique engagement ring is a ring that is at least 50 to 100 years old, often characterized by unique craftsmanship, historical significance, and sometimes a more intricate design compared to modern rings. These rings offer a romantic, timeless appeal that many find enchanting. If you’re interested in purchasing an antique engagement ring, there are several places to consider, including specialized antique jewelers, estate sales, auctions, and even online platforms that have been vetted for credibility. When shopping, it’s essential to look for rings that come with a certificate of authenticity, ensuring that the piece is genuinely antique and of the described quality.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Expert Appraisal: Always insist on an independent appraisal to verify the ring’s value and attributes.
  2. Research Period Styles: Familiarize yourself with different historical eras (Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco, etc.) to identify the style you prefer.
  3. Know the 4Cs: While antique rings may not always fit modern grading scales perfectly, understanding the 4Cs (Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat) can still offer a guideline for quality.
  4. Look for Authenticity: Be wary of ‘vintage-inspired’ rings that mimic old styles but are not genuinely antique.
  5. Ask About Provenance: Whenever possible, inquire about the ring’s history and previous ownership.

Remember that condition is key. Always scrutinize the ring for wear and tear, and ask whether it has undergone any restorations. By taking these precautions, you’ll be better prepared to find a genuine, high-quality antique engagement ring that stands the test of time.

Learn more about the best places to buy vintage engagement rings and what to look for.

To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

Best places to Buy Vintage (Antique) Engagement Rings online

  1. Blue Nile – Along with James Allen, Blue Nile is the best out there for antique engagement rings.
  2. James Allen – Along with Blue Nile, they are the best place to buy vintage engagement rings online.
  3. Abe Mor – Great option for true antique engagement rings.
  4. Leibish & Co. – Best antique engagement rings featuring fancy color diamonds or colored gemstones.
  5. Antique Jewelry Stores, Estate Sales, & Family Heirlooms – Antique shops in your area may present a beautiful array of true antique options (see our tips below for how to shop for an antique engagement ring).

Deal Alert: Get 25% off engagement ring settings at Blue Nile! (valid until April 6th)

Let’s go into more detail, starting from the top:

1. Blue Nile

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Blue Nile carries a large inventory of high-quality diamonds and antique engagement ring settings. Blue Nile is especially known for their strong partnerships with jewelry manufacturers, designers, and diamond suppliers.

With low overhead costs, Blue Nile can keep their prices competitive without sacrificing on the quality of their rings. You can view any ring up-close before purchase, thanks to the high-tech imagery available on their website.

Why Blue Nile

  • Expansive collection of antique engagement rings
  • Well-cut diamonds that offer brilliance and fire
  • Competitive pricing and free shipping
  • Hassle-free returns and 30-day money back guarantee
  • Excellent customer service

Blue Nile’s Best Vintage & Antique Rings Collection

Blue Nile’s best vintage engagement rings are beautifully crafted with hand-engraved details and pavé accent diamond bands. Their collection ranges from simple styles to intricate designs. All rings can be paired with the diamond of your choice for an exquisite finished product.

Samples of Blue Nile’s best vintage engagement rings:

2. James Allen

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Wondering where to buy vintage engagement rings at a competitive price? James Allen carries a large inventory of antique engagement rings and high-quality diamonds. You can choose from yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, and platinum antique style rings. Their diamond imagery is the best in the business and allows you to review each diamond up close to ensure it’s the one you want.

Not only that, James Allen is known for their great customer service. Whether you have questions or need to make a return, James Allen makes it simple and hassle-free.

Why James Allen

  • Selection of 150,000+ natural diamonds
  • Competitive pricing, free shipping, and hassle-free returns
  • Best-in-class videography to review each diamond
  • Beautiful antique settings in a range of precious metals and styles
  • First-rate customer service

James Allen’s Best Vintage & Antique Rings Collection

James Allen’s best vintage engagement rings include halos, filigree details, floral designs and more. Select the ring style you like best, then pair it with the exact diamond of your choice.

Samples of James Allen’s best antique engagement rings:

3. Abe Mor

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Abe Mor specializes in buying and selling diamond rings, making them the premier option for true antique engagement rings. Not only that, they give customers a personalized, high-end experience. Many of our readers have been very pleased with the antique engagement rings they bought from Abe Mor.

Why Abe Mor

  • True vintage engagement rings of the highest quality
  • Exceptional, custom shopping experience
  • Selection of unique antique rings you won’t find anywhere else

Abe Mor’s Best Vintage & Antique Rings Collection

Because Abe Mor is a boutique, one-on-one experience, it’s best to contact them directly or reach out to us to see Abe Mor’s best options for vintage engagement rings.

4.

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If you’re looking for the best place to buy vintage engagement rings with colored gemstones or fancy color diamonds, Leibish is the number one choice. They offer a stunning array of gemstones and fancy color diamonds, including pink and green stones. With a fancy diamond from Leibish, you’re getting something few places in the world can offer.

Besides the beautifully colored stones, Leibish offers state-of-the-art antique settings that highlight the colored stone. Their antique engagement rings range from halos to floral designs.

Why Leibish & Co.

  • Best selection of colored gemstones and rare fancy color diamonds
  • Stunning antique jewelry designs to accentuate the colored stone
  • Manufacturer warranty and 30-day money back guarantee

Leibish & Co.’s Best Vintage & Antique Rings Collection

5. Antique Jewelry Stores, Estate Sales, & Family Heirlooms

Wondering where to buy vintage engagement rings that are at least a few decades old? Consider antique stores, vintage jewelry shops, and estate sales. These vendors often buy and resell engagement rings, and have a limited selection available for shoppers.

Because it’s difficult to assess a vintage ring, we suggest these options with some caution. You want to ensure that what you’re paying for is worth the price and has the quality you want. We recommend readers reach out to us for a second opinion prior to purchasing anything from a local antique store.

Why Antique Jewelry Stores, Estate Sales, & Family Heirlooms

  • Rings may come with a meaningful story, such as a grandmother’s engagement ring or one passed down from a special community member
  • Ability to shop in-person for antique rings
  • Selection of true vintage rings
  • Gives you the chance to support a local jewelry shop or family member

Antique Jewelry Stores, Estate Sales, & Family Heirlooms Best Vintage & Antique Rings Collection

Because each store, estate sale, and family differs in their collection, it’s best to visit in-person to see what is available. We suggest getting a second opinion from a jewelry expert and getting a diamond appraisal on a vintage diamond to help you determine its value, worth, rarity, and condition.

Expert Tips for Buying Vintage Diamonds

When you buy antique engagement rings, keep these points in mind to ensure you choose a high-quality diamond and ring setting.

1. Get an idea of your unique style

Check out some antique engagement ring styles to see what appeals to you or your partner the most. Do you like round cut diamonds or oval cuts? Do you like white gold or yellow gold? Do you want an intricate ring or one that’s more simple?

Deciding your style early will help you stay focused during your search, and ensure you’re spending your budget on what matters the most.

2. Find the right vendor

When it comes to buying antique engagement rings, it’s incredibly important to choose a vendor you can trust. You want to ensure that the diamond is well-cut and that setting is well-crafted.

Through years of vetting, we’ve learned which diamond dealers are reliable, well-priced, and offer excellent quality. Above all, we’ve found Blue Nile and James Allen to be the best sites for buying vintage engagement rings online. From oval halo rings to white gold filigree rings, you can find gorgeous designs that are also durable and long-lasting.

3. Look for brilliance

A diamond’s level of brilliance impacts its beauty and appeal more than any other feature. That’s why you should only consider diamonds with an Excellent or Ideal cut grade. Even with these grades, you’ll want to look at the diamond yourself to see how much brilliance — or white light reflection — it gives off.

If you’re opting for a true antique without a certificate to verify the diamond’s cut grade, it’s best to review the diamond in-person to see how well it reflects light under normal lighting.

Keep in mind that true antique diamonds (not the settings) will be cut into shapes that are not as brilliant as modern cuts. The old miner cut (referring to a style of cut popularized from ‘old-mines’ in India and Brazil prior to the rise of African mines as per the GIA) will not refract light as well as round modified brilliant cut from the last 50 years.

No matter where you purchase your ring, we recommend getting an expert’s opinion before you buy — not just accepting what the salesman or shop owner tells you.

5. Watch for clarity

When you purchase a diamond, it should be eye-clean — meaning there aren’t any noticeable blemishes and inclusions when you look at the stone.

For online purchases, view the diamond’s images from all angles. Look for imperfections like black spots and feather marks. Depending on the carat weight and diamond shape, most diamonds are eye-clean in the range of VS1-VS2. Opting for this diamond clarity will still get you an eye-clean diamond, but you’ll pay far less than diamonds with higher clarity grades.

For true antique diamonds, you’ll want to closely review the diamond to ensure there aren’t any glaring imperfections. A black spot in the middle of the diamond’s table can detract from its beauty, no matter how stunning the antique ring is.

6. Evaluate color

Your diamond should look white in relation to its setting. In most cases, we recommend a diamond in the G-I range. These diamonds appear colorless without having to pay for a higher color grade like D or E. If your metal color is rose gold or yellow gold, you can go with a lower color grade such as a K or J color diamond. The diamond will look white against the darker metal.

7. Ensure the setting’s durability and structure

Your ring setting should offer the style you want. But it should also securely hold your diamond. With true antique settings, you’ll want to investigate it fully to ensure that the diamond is secure and that the metal has maintained its durability and function. Without proof of the materials used and who made the ring, it’s difficult to know the setting quality.

For a new ring that is fashioned in an antique style, you won’t have to worry about durability or security.

8. Consider certificate

Actual antique rings rarely come with a certificate from the GIA, making it hard to get real validation about the diamond’s quality. The seller might promise that it’s an ideal cut with an H color and VS1 clarity, but they don’t have a sure way to prove it. If you’re on the lookout for an antique ring, be sure to get a second opinion before buying a diamond you have little verification on.

For new diamonds in vintage rings, look for a diamond with a certificate from the GIA. This is the most reliable lab entity and helps verify your diamond’s value and quality.

10 Best Vintage & Antique Engagement Rings (Our Picks)

Milgrain Navette Halo Engagement Ring from James Allen

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Six-Prong Hand-Engraved Cathedral Ring from Blue Nile

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Victorian Halo Diamond Engagement Ring from Blue Nile

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Petite Floral Halo Diamond Engagement Ring from Blue Nile

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Soft Floral Diamond Engagement Ring from James Allen

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Pavé Step Diamond Engagement Ring from James Allen

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Round Fancy Deep Yellow Orange Diamond Halo Ring from Leibish & Co.

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Octagon Halo Diamond Engagement Ring from James Allen

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Infinity Milgrain Halo Engagement Ring from James Allen

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Fancy Intense Yellow Round Brilliant Diamond Engagement Ring from Leibish & Co.

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Vintage and Antique Engagement Ring FAQs

Here are jewelry expert answers to the most common questions about buying vintage and antique engagement rings.

1. Is it OK to buy a used engagement ring?

Yes, buying a used engagement ring is a unique and environmentally-friendly choice, but there are some things to be aware of. You want to be sure you’re getting a high-quality diamond and a setting that will hold up to everyday wear. Because used engagement rings rarely come with a certificate, it’s hard to verify the diamond’s quality. It can also be hard to determine how stable the ring setting is. That’s why we recommend getting a second opinion from an expert before purchasing a used ring, or going with a newly crafted vintage style ring from a reliable vendor like James Allen or Blue Nile.

2. Are vintage rings more expensive?

Vintage rings aren’t more or less expensive than other engagement rings, and can range from $900 to $20,000. If the ring features intricate details or is crafted by a particular designer, it may be more expensive than other vintage rings that are simpler. Your diamond’s quality and carat weight also plays a role in the price of the ring.

3. Should I buy a vintage engagement ring?

You should buy a true vintage engagement ring if you appreciate the style, want an environmentally-friendly choice, and are up for maintaining an older ring. Antique rings require regular cleaning and maintenance checks to ensure the diamond stays secure. If you want a vintage engagement ring that’s not a true antique, there are plenty of options at online vendors like Blue Nile and James Allen.

Ultimately, the style of the ring is up to you and what you want, whether it’s vintage or modern. Above all, your ring should symbolize your love and be something you’ll enjoy wearing for years to come.

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James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online.

What we love about them:

  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging

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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing.Save 25% on settings at Blue Nile!

What we love about them:

  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment

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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

Best Place to Buy Antique Engagement Rings (2024)

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