Vintage Engagement Rings: How to Choose, Where to Buy and What You Need to Know

Find everything you need to know about buying a vintage engagement ring in our definitive guide.

Vintage engagement rings

Choosing a vintage engagement ring means that you will have an engagement ring with classic style that will look incredible for years to come.

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Where do you start? Do you want to propose with an authentic vintage engagement ring with years of history behind it? Or do you know that your partner loves that 1920s or art deco style and you want to buy a new engagement ring just for them that has been inspired by designs from history?

READ MORE: How to Buy an Engagement Ring – The Ultimate Guide

Our ultimate guide to vintage engagement rings holds everything that you need to know.

All products were chosen independently by the Hitched editorial team. We may earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

What is a Vintage Engagement Ring?

Vintage engagement rings

If your partner has given you some not-so-subtle hints that they would like a vintage engagement ring, firstly think about what this means.

Do you want to buy a genuine vintage engagement ring? This is a ring that you would find in an antique jewellers that has lots of history behind it.

Are you planning on giving your partner a vintage ring that is a family heirloom? You may well have a vintage engagement ring within your family, we love the idea of proposing with a family heirloom as it has so much special meaning behind it.

Or do you want to buy a new engagement ring that is inspired by vintage design? Many people opt to buy a brand new engagement ring from a jewellers that has been inspired by past eras. This may mean choosing an antique setting or an antique-inspired diamond cut.

Tips for Buying a Genuine Vintage Engagement Ring

Antique engagement ring

Image: Diamond Engagement Ring – Etsy

If you are buying a genuine vintage engagement ring then it’s worth keeping our top tips in mind.

1. Do Your Research

Research the style of ring you want to buy and have a basic understanding of what you would get for your money. If you are feeling unsure then our guide to buying an engagement ring will help.

2. Ask for Verification

Ask your jeweller if they offer diamond verification and verification on which metal the ring is made from, any trusted antiques jewellers should be happy to help you with this.

3. Have the Stone and Setting Checked Over

Most vintage rings will have a good quality setting – after all the ring has remained intact for years! However, it’s worth arranging for the ring to have an extra check from a skilled jeweller. The claws should be stable and strong so they hold that precious centre stone securely. You also want to ensure your centre stone isn’t damaged or cracked – something that can happen with antique emeralds, opals, sapphires or rubies.

4. Ask About Re-Sizing

It’s likely you will need your antique engagement ring to be resized, so ask your jeweller if re-sizing could weaken or damage the setting and if they offer a free initial resizing when purchasing a ring from them.

Tips for Proposing with a Family Heirloom

Engagement ring box

Image: Engagement Ring Box – Etsy

Proposing with a family heirloom is a lovely and romantic way to welcome your partner into the family. If you plan on proposing with a family heirloom then here is what you need to know:

1. Have the Ring Cleaned

Although you are proposing with a ring that has lots of history and sentiment behind it, you still want it to be sparkling and looking its best. A professional clean and potentially also a re-dip of the metal will mean your extra special ring will be looking its absolute best.

2. Have the Ring Checked By a Jeweller

Ensure the stone and claws of the ring are intact and secure – a professional jeweller will be able to do this for you and perform any repairs that are needed.

3. Buy a Box

If you don’t have the original ring box then don’t panic, this means you can choose a beautiful ring presentation box to put it in.

Tips for Buying a Vintage-Inspired Engagement Ring

Vintage ring shopping

If you want to buy a brand new engagement ring that is inspired by vintage styles then take a look at some of our favourites.

1920s Engagement Rings

1920s-inspired engagement rings are all about intricate settings and glitzy designs – think of adding some Gatsby-inspired glamour and smaller cut diamonds surrounding a larger centre stone.

Three Stone Diamond Ring – Goldsmiths

1920s style engagement ring

This gorgeous three-stone diamond engagement ring is from the Jenny Packham collection at Goldsmiths. Each larger diamond is surrounded by a halo of smaller brilliant cut diamonds to add plenty of glamorous 1920s style.

SEE MORE: Halo Engagement Rings

Vintage Engagement Ring – Love and Lovely Co

Buying a vintage engagement ring

A brilliant cut diamond is beautifully framed with an array of smaller stones on this engagement ring from Love and Lovely Co. The baguette cut diamond is a perfect nod to the 1920s influence.

Vera Wang Halo Engagement Ring – Ernest Jones

VEra Wang engagement ring

The halo-style engagement ring is a great way to channel some 1920s style and this ring by Vera Wang for Ernest Jones doesn’t disappoint. A princess cut diamond is surrounded by an intricate cluster of small diamonds – perfect for brides who want lots of sparkle.

Art Deco Engagement Rings

Art deco engagement rings feature clean lines, geometric designs and linear diamond cuts such as emerald cut diamonds and marquise cut diamonds.

Cluster Engagement Ring – Evorden

Art deco engagement ring

This yellow gold art deco engagement ring from Evorden has the clean lines and angular detail that you would want from an art deco engagement ring. You can choose from a range of centre stones and also have the option of a yellow gold, rose gold or white gold finish.

Gold and White Diamond Hexagon Ring – Liberty London

Vintage inspired engagement ring

This stunning gold and diamond engagement ring from Liberty London shows how an art deco engagement ring can still be dainty and elegant. A simple solitaire diamond is framed by a hexagonal setting for a stylish finishing touch.

Square Diamond Engagement Ring – Alison Macleod

Square vintage engagement ring

We love the style of this princess cut engagement ring by Alison Macleod, with a simple diamond framed in a square setting. The detailed dropped shoulders are a beautiful finishing touch to this art deco design.

Victorian Engagement Rings

Engagement rings from the Victorian era were all about a classic centre focus – so a classic simple solitaire in a beautiful setting or a cluster of smaller stones all held together on one centre setting.

Daisy Cluster Engagement Ring – Minxy Vintage England

Daisy engagement ring

We adore the dainty detail of this daisy-style engagement ring from Minxy Vintage England. If you are looking for an engagement ring that is a little bit different from the norm then this is the one for you.

Halo Engagement Ring – Amazon

Halo vintage engagement ring

This gorgeous halo engagement ring is from Amazon. A 0.7 carat diamond is framed by a halo of small brilliant cut diamonds to add a glittering Victorian engagement ring style.

Solitaire Diamond Ring – Ernest Jones

daisy-diamond-engagement-ring

Another beautiful Victorian-inspired daisy engagement ring, we love the clean and simple lines on this yellow gold and diamond engagement ring from Ernest Jones.

88 Facet Diamond Ring – Goldsmiths

Victorian engagement ring

It was during the Victorian era that the Tiffany and Co classic diamond solitaire and yellow gold ring was born, so if you know your other half wants something classic and timeless then this simple solitaire ring from Goldsmiths could be perfect for you.

Edwardian Engagement Rings

Edwardian-style engagement rings are traditionally yellow gold and include more intricate settings to reflect how jewellery production advanced during this time.

Teal Sapphire Engagement Ring – Ring by Irina

Sapphire engagement ring

Who says your engagement ring has to feature a diamond centrestone? This teal sapphire engagement ring from Ring by Irina is beautiful and the unique stone pattern is a refreshing change to traditional engagement ring styles.

Twisted Shoulders Engagement Ring – Ernest Jones

Edwardian engagement ring

For an engagement ring that is classic with a twist, this yellow gold and diamond engagement ring from Ernest Jones channels traditional Edwardian style and is a unique design your other half will love.

Vintage Leaf Engagement Ring – Amazon

Edwardian engagement ring

This vintage leaf style engagement ring from Amazon is priced at just £830 and is perfectly channels some vintage style. A twisted leaf setting is scattered with diamonds and leads to a sparkling centre diamond.

Platinum and Diamond Engagement Ring – Mitaine Shop

Vintage engagement ring

This platinum and diamond engagement ring from Mitaine Shop at Etsy is a stunning choice for a bride who wants a ring with classic vintage style. The one carat centre stone is beautifully framed with a platinum setting and yellow gold band.

Coloured Stone Engagement Rings

Sapphires and rubies also make beautiful centrestones and took centre stage in many vintage style rings. If you want to channel some classic style from the 1960s, 70s or 80s then a coloured centrestone could be perfect.

Sapphire and Diamond Engagement Ring – Goldsmiths

Sapphire and diamond engagement ring

A sapphire is a classic alternative to a diamond and was of course made an iconic choice by Princess Diana. Three gorgeous sapphires are surrounded by halos of sparkling diamonds for an impressive finish to this ring from Goldsmiths.

READ MORE: Sapphire Engagement Rings – Our Favourite Dazzling Styles

Yellow Gold and Ruby Engagement Ring – H. Samuel

Ruby vintage engagement ring

We are in love with this ruby and diamond ring from H.Samuel. A stunning oval ruby is framed by two baguette diamonds for the perfect art deco finish for the bride who wants something unique.

White Gold and Emerald Engagement Ring – Ernest Jones

Vintage emerald engagement ring

This white gold and emerald engagement ring from Ernest Jones is perfect if you are looking for something unique and budget-friendly. The metal setting features intricate detail and means this affordable engagement ring looks elegant and expensive.

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Getting ready to make the big purchase? Our engagement ring buying guide will help you through every step.