Vintage is in vogue today. Anything that’s somewhere between 20 and 80 years old is called vintage. Another older, say, a century, becomes an antique. All your Art-deco and Edwardian jewellery are called period pieces. Now that we know what is what, let’s look at how to buy a vintage ring.
Rings made in the late 1930s and 1940s took the times into consideration. War was hard on all countries and the rings from that time reflected that too. Large stones were hard to find, so many rings from that time have small stones. Also, the metal used was mostly gold, platinum being reserved for the men in uniform. Rings were simple too, perhaps because austerity was in the air and a sense of immediacy was in the air.
Once the war ended, advertising moved into high gear, with De Beers leading the way with its ‘Diamonds are Forever’ campaign. Platinum became available to the common man again and the colorless diamond became highly coveted once more.
When you are looking for a vintage ring for your beloved, it may be wise not to go strictly by the 4 Cs. The idea is to own a piece of gorgeous history, not something that’s technically superior alone. So don’t get too involved in the color, clarity side of things. Carat is important, and you should know what size you’re looking for. A larger stone might be harder to come by so you might need to be patient. Cut is vital because it goes to show the diamond’s brilliance and fire.
If you’re looking for a cut, you’ll find that the round and cushion shapes are most common. But not any cushion shape, an Old Mine. This one is square and has 58 facets! If you’re looking for the modern pointed design, this is not the one for you. You can also think of Old European round diamonds. They have anywhere between 58-57 facets and it isn’t a perfect round shape. That’s right, it’s NOT. Remember that back then stones were hand cut and so each stone is unique and personal. The Asscher cut is more square than rectangular and it’s great to show off the beauty of the stone.
Before you go in for a vintage ring, think about the person you’re buying the ring for- what is their sensibility and would they appreciate something traditional and old-world. Once you’ve decided on this, then you can think about what kind of design you’d like.
Pink gold goes beautifully with the bezel design. Small diamonds can surround a larger stone or an emerald and sapphire. What you want in the center of the ring depends completely on you. While you might not get too much color diamond choices with vintage, you can look for a spinel, a gemstone that’s diamond like in form and gets its color from the presence of iron and chromium. Imagine a pink gold band with a pink stone and diamond surrounding it- delicate and very girly. Keeping with the vintage theme, think of a rose design to set the stone in.
Vintage is always in the vogue, and a great ring is just the way to stop time.