Why Buy Vintage?
There are any number of reasons to love vintage & antique jewellery, especially when it comes to wedding/engagement rings! Here are my top five:
It’s affordable. In terms of price, vintage & antique jewellery runs the gamut. While rare and precious antique rings - like those owned by celebrities and members of various royal families - fetch a pretty penny at auction, there are many affordable pieces to be found. In fact, vintage & antique rings can be found to fit just about any budget. And in many instances, buying vintage costs considerably less than buying new, with the added bonus that you may be able to get more “bang for your buck”! An antique engagement ring that is maintained and cared for is also more likely to maintain or increase in value over time.
It’s an ethical choice. Most of us are aware of the ethical dilemmas in purchasing a new engagement or wedding ring, especially one that contains diamonds. While there have been steps taken to address the serious ethical issues with diamond sourcing, we also know that these processes can fail. Fortunately, “alternative” engagement rings are becoming increasingly popular as a result. Buying vintage is one of these excellent alternatives. For starters, the majority of vintage & antique rings pre-date the use of diamond mining to fund wars and conflict. In addition, buying vintage also reduces the current demands on gold, diamond, and gemstone mines, which also has a significant positive environmental impact. In other words, buying a vintage wedding or engagement ring is a great option for those committed to making an ethical and environmentally-responsible choice for this important purchase. It’s recycling in the oldest sense!
It connects you to history. There’s a certain undeniable romance in wearing a family heirloom - like your grandmother’s ring. While not everyone is lucky enough to be gifted an heirloom, or to have a ring in the family that you love enough to wear every day, buying a vintage ring is another way to connect yourself to history. Maybe you’ve chosen to wear an antique wedding band as your own (all the better if it’s engraved with the original wearer’s wedding date and/or initials); maybe you picked a ring in a similar style, or from the same historical period as one that belonged to someone meaningful in your life; maybe you picked a ring from an era that’s of particular interest or importance to you; maybe you just love antiques in general! However you come by it, wearing a piece of vintage jewellery is like a little thread that ties you to the past. It’s entirely up to you what meaning you make of it.
It’s unique. One of my favourite things about vintage jewellery is the wealth of styles and designs to be found. Very old pieces were almost certainly custom- and hand-made. After the introduction of methods of mass production, it was still common to find custom pieces, and pieces that incorporated highly skilled details such as hand-engraving. Regardless of whether your vintage piece was custom-made or ordered from a catalog, you’re not likely to come across someone else with the same one! You can find something to suit any lifestyle (with diamonds, or without). Additionally, there are so many amazing periods, designs, and styles to choose from that whether you’re a romantic or a modernist or something in-between, there’s sure to be a style you love.
It’s timeless. Design trends are great fun, but when it comes to an investment piece - especially one you’ll be wearing for the rest of your life - there’s something to be said for a timeless choice. Choosing a vintage or antique piece is a great way to pick something timeless. Though modern trends reference historical design all the time, a true vintage piece will always have a different look and feel to its modern counterparts. Even if the design was all the rage 100 years ago, a classic piece from any era will stand the test of time, regardless of whether it’s flashy or quietly subdued.