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Buying an Antique Engagement Ring

When buying an antique engagement ring, there are some important things to consider. In this blog, AC Silver provides some top tips to get you from start to finish with ease.

If You’re Buying for Someone Else

If you’re looking to propose but you don’t know the first thing about engagement rings, don’t panic. Picking the right ring is important, and we’re here to help. Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice.

Her Jewellery

What type of jewellery does she wear? Is it gold or silver? If there’s one metal colour you notice she always wears, make sure the engagement ring you get is also this colour. If she doesn’t wear jewellery at all, this is also a helpful hint. Make sure the ring you get is small and sits low. A ring that won’t get in the way is best for someone who doesn’t wear jewellery very often.

Her Style

Think about the way she presents herself. Does she have a classic style? Is she alternative? Does she like traditional romance or is she more interested in practicality? These clues into what she likes will help you choose the right ring for her. Maybe she’s even dropped some hints about what kind of jewellery she likes and what she wants in an engagement ring.

Ask for Allies

One of the best things to do when you’re finding the right ring is to reach out to her closest friends and family. They can find out what she wants in a ring without raising suspicion. You can keep your proposal a total surprise whilst also getting her exactly what she wants by utilising her friends.

Diamond Engagement Ring
Tips for Antique Rings
Diamond Solitaire Ring

Shopping for Yourself

Be Informed

Antique jewellery has a very distinctive look that’s often replicated. Pay close attention to the actual age of an item to tell if it’s really antique or just antique-inspired. Key periods for the most popular antique jewellery are the Victorian and Edwardian eras. There are also significant aesthetic styles like Art Deco and Art Nouveau jewellery that were mainly crafted 100+ years ago. Most engagement rings that are only influenced by antique periods will have the word ‘style’ in the title – beware of this word if you want a genuine antique engagement ring.

Consider the Gemstones

As with any engagement ring, it is a good idea to think about the kind of gemstone you want. Diamonds are - of course - a great choice. Their strength makes them well-suited to everyday wear. Other gemstones like emeralds and sapphires are incredibly popular choices as well. You have to think about how these gemstones might perform as engagement rings, however.

Both emeralds and sapphires are durable antique gemstone engagement rings, as is the ruby. They are just below diamonds on the Moh’s hardness scale, meaning they are durable gemstones that can withstand regular wear. For a more colourful antique engagement ring, these are the ideal stones.

Diamond Engagement Ring
Emerald Engagement Ring
Sapphire Engagement Ring

The Setting

It’s important to have a close look at the setting of any antique stone. Antique gemstones in particular need to be strong and secure. Learning what type of metal is used in the setting can also give a good insight into the strength of the ring. The most expensive and most durable option is platinum. This immensely strong metal is sure to keep gemstones securely held for centuries. A lot of antique rings have silver settings. While these are strong, they may require a degree of cleaning to avoid tarnishing. The trade-off with antique jewellery if often that they need some special attention to guarantee their beauty lasts.

Plan Ahead

If you’re browsing engagement rings, you presumably want to get married. Deciding on the style you like and how you want to wear your jewellery ahead of time is important. If you want to wear your engagement ring and your wedding ring alongside one another, the size and shape of your engagement ring is crucial. Choosing a cluster style antique engagement ring makes it more difficult for a wedding band to sit flush on your finger. For most people wanting to wear these types of engagement rings with their wedding rings, custom bands are required.

There are antique engagement rings in every shape and size. Finding something that sits exactly how you would like shouldn’t be too hard. If you fall for a statement antique ring, it’s always an option to wear your wedding ring on the other hand.


As is the case with most antiques, quality is key. The history of an antique engagement ring is part of its appeal. Ask your jeweller if they know about any repairs or restoration work that the ring has had. Work that has been done well doesn’t affect the quality of a ring. Sometimes, however, a ring has been worked on too much or too poorly. Naturally, you want your engagement ring to last a lifetime. Make sure you find a ring that has a long life ahead of it when you’re looking at antique engagement rings.

Amethyst Enagement Ring
Antique Pearl Engagement Ring
Antique Peridot Engagement Ring


Everybody wants value for their money, especially when buying an engagement ring. Be cautious, however, of antique rings being sold for surprisingly cheap. It’s possible that the piece isn’t in the best condition – or even that the stones aren’t authentic. Always be willing to pay more for a ring that is independently certified so you can be sure of its legitimacy. Most antique and vintage jewellery will retain its value and even appreciate in value if it’s properly looked after. Your antique engagement ring can be an investment.

Antique jewellery is ideal for those wanting to get beautiful and unique pieces for their engagement ring. Make sure your budget is put towards getting the ring that’s perfect for you rather than looking for a specific colour or clarity grading.


Often, engagement rings need to be resized. For some antique ring designs, this isn’t a possibility. When you find the ring you love, make sure you check with the jeweller that it can be resized – even if it fits well. Some antique designs can’t be resized, and some lose significant details of their design if they are resized. It’s important to know if this is an option for your ring, especially if you want to pass it down to future generations.

Ongoing Care

Before buying your antique engagement ring, ask for it to be checked over, and for any loose claws to be tightened. Also ask if there is any ongoing care provided with your purchase. If there is, then you should be able to go back to the jeweller for any cleaning or maintenance needs. When it comes to your looking after your ring, make sure you take it off when doing any rigorous housework, and make sure you clean it so that you can stop any hand moisturiser or soap from building up. Taking care of your antique engagement ring ensures you can enjoy it for the rest of your life.

Antique jewellery is beloved for its uniqueness and charm. If you choose an antique engagement ring, you’re choosing an investment that has lasted more than a century.

Proud Members of

International Federation of Art and Antique Dealer Associations CINOA
National Association of Jewellery UK's trade association NAJ