Purchasing an antique engagement ring can be pretty daunting. Whether you are buying one for the love of your life, or you are one of those brides involved in the purchase, the ring is an abiding symbol of the most precious relationship you have, so it’s important to get it right. However, there are a few things you need to know before shopping for an antique piece of jewelry.
How to Ensure You Buy a Real Antique Engagement Ring
- Know the Seller
If you begin your search online, the first thing you should do is investigate the seller and take a look at what else he or she may be selling. If a seller has, say, 5 of the same antique ring, it’s not the real deal. Most antique pieces are completely unique, so there is no way an authenticate piece would be available in bulk. Also, take a look through the seller’s feedback and see what other buyers have said about items and whether or not they were satisfied.
- Know What to Ask
The next step is to get in touch with the seller is to ask a few questions about the piece you are interested in and to help you figure out whether or not it’s real. One of the main questions to ask is how the seller found the piece. The story should be viable and explain exactly how the item came to be in his or her possession – such as through antique rummaging, an estate sale, or a family heirloom.
- Look for Markings
Antique Jewelers used to always leave a marker somewhere on their items. If the piece has been made prior to 1950, it will have some sort of mark, like the initials of the maker. You can then feast your eyes on antique engagement rings and look online for well-known antique jeweler’s marks that explain the craftsmanship and origin of the piece.
Patina is a word dealer use to describe the sheen on a piece after years of use. Dealers can certainly have pieces restored, but most antique rings are sold in as-is condition so as not to damage the metal. An authentic piece will show signs of wear, such as dents, tarnish, or a lack of luster.
- The Price
If the price is too good to be true, tread carefully. Genuine antique pieces are made to last so they won’t come cheap. Compare the price of your desired piece of metal, stones, and quality.
Whether you plan on buying an antique engagement to pass down through the generations of your new family, to show your beloved just how much you love her, or you yourself have always wanted antique ring for sentiment and uniqueness, be wary that estate sales, garage sales, craft fairs, and online dealers all showcase old-looking jewelry. The trick is to check the pieces thoroughly and deal with a reputable jeweler so that you know you are getting a genuine antique.