One of my dear friends is engaged (can you tell I’m excited) and I have been helping her find an engagement ring as, like me and I’m sure many of you she wanted to choose her own. After a spot of shopping it became apparent that her preferred rings were all Art Deco styles and buying Vintage is proving an increasingly popular choice for brides to be looking for something unique.
As with all Vintage wonders you have to sift through a lot of junk to find the real gems and I happened across a wonderful market in London, Gray’s Antiques, which just so happens to be home to one of the largest collections of antique jewellery in the world. I got to chatting with the staff, picking their brains about Vintage jewellery and had to share their pearls of wisdom with my Bijou readers. Hopefully their advice will help dispel some of the myths surrounding Vintage jewellery and make your vintage engagement rings search a little easier.
MYTH: VINTAGE IS MORE EXPENSIVE
“Antique & vintage rings offer better value for money. Antique dealers sell on the margin scheme, meaning they only pay VAT on the profit, rather than the whole amount. Prices are therefore generally cheaper than modern counterparts. The quality of craftsmanship of antique rings is second to none. The fact they have stood the test of time thus far speaks volumes.”
WHAT TO ASK WHEN BUYING VINTAGE ENGAGEMENT RINGS
“Ask about the quality and if any stones have been replaced. The best period of quality is Edwardian. The stones from that period are usually perfect and the design is timeless.’’ Olly Gerrish from the Antique Jewellery Company, stand 158.
“Trying on an engagement ring is extremely important. You might like something which doesn’t look right on your hand and always choose quality over quantity.” Diem, stands 156-166.
WHAT STYLES ARE POPULAR?
“Triple cluster rings are very popular but also sapphire and diamond rings.” Olly Gerrish from the Antique Jewellery Company, stand 158.
“People often ask for Art Deco and Edwardian rings for their classic designs.” Diem, stands 156-166. And I suspect the influence of Downton Abbey.
ANY OTHER ADVICE FOR BUYING VINTAGE ENGAGEMENT RINGS?
“Get an insurance valuation. Prices are going up all the time and it is important to be covered in event of loss.” The Gilded Lily, stands 145-146.
“The choices are endless, so try the narrow it done and stick to your decision and keep an eye on the budget.’’ Diem, stands 156-166.
Gray’s Antiques is located at:
58 Davies Street, Mayfair, London, W1Y 2LP
Visit their site for opening hours and current dealers:
You can even have a Vintage Wedding Gift List, read more here: