Do you love the mystery and intrigue of past love affairs?
Do you envision an engagement ring unlike any other?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then chances are, you have already started pinning estate rings on Pinterest, googling estate dealers in your area, and you may have already visited a local estate jeweler. Have you found rings you like? That's not good enough. You need to find a ring that you will love, not like. Plus, you need to know that the ring you select will last a lifetime.
In this blog I will look at the pros and cons of estate engagement rings, and how a new ring can still fulfill all your desires. After all, when it is a purchase with this much symbolism, not only do you want to love your ring, but you want to make sure that it lasts a lifetime so future generations can admire just as you do!
This blog is not meant to belittle estate jewelry, I love it too! However, I want to differentiate when and where antique and estate jewelry should be worn. I truly do not feel that it should be worn as an engagement ring because it has already withstood a lifetime of abuse. As a used piece of jewelry, it may not have the strength and structural integrity to withstand another lifetime. You can never truly know:
1. How well the ring was maintained
2. How often it has been sized weakening the metal in the band
3. How worn the prongs are that hold the stone(s) in place
I truly feel that estate rings are best worn on special occasions only; allowing you to enjoy their beauty without the concern of daily wear and tear. Ideally, estate pieces are great for a jewelry splurge when you want to spoil yourself, as anniversary gifts, and to celebrate special occasions. Leaving jewelry pieces that will be worn everyday for new and more structurally sound pieces, such as vintage style engagement rings. Vintage inspired engagement rings give you the look of old rings with the structural integrity of new ones. They are an exciting alternative and one worth exploring.
By all means, don't give up on your dreams! If you have always envisioned yourself with an estate engagement ring, then I have some great news, there are many ways you can keep that dream alive while still owning a stronger new ring. These options include:
- Use Estate Stones
- Select A Ring Made With Old World Techniques
- Identify Design Elements That You Truly Love
Use Estate Stones
Buy a vintage diamond for your ring to keep the romance, mystery, and intrigue of estate engagement rings alive. These diamond are often referred to as Old Mine Cut Diamonds. However, keep in mind that diamond mining, cutting, and quality standards have dramatically increased over the past century, so while the 4C's of diamonds standards might not be up to par on an old mine cut diamond as they are on new diamonds, you will still fulfill your love of the past.
It is also important to note, that over the past decade gold and platinum prices have sky rocketed, resulting in an overwhelming amount of antique jewelry being sold and scrapped for its metal. This has left a surplus of antique stones in the market. These stones will give you the 'romantic' element you desire.
Select A Ring Made With Old World Techniques
Have you ever heard of die struck jewelry? Since you are a lover of estate engagement rings you may have come across this term, and if not, I would be delighted to teach you about it. This is an early 20th century jewelry making technique, and buying a ring made using these old world techniques allows you to own a piece of history. In fact, some of the Jabel Die Struck Jewelry designs we carry today date back decades, making them essentially 'new' antiques. For example, the ribbon ring first appeared in a 1925 catalog and is still produced today!
So, what is die striking?
While die striking is still used in machine manufacturing today, it is rarely used in jewelry making anymore. This is because it is more costly than mainstream jewelry. However, you get what you pay for, and die struck jewelry is exceptionally stronger and is without question a higher quality piece of jewelry. Die struck jewelry is the definition of heirloom quality jewelry.
This style of jewelry begins early in the process when exact measurements of precious metals are blended during the alloying process, or the blending of precious metals; including gold and platinum. The metal will go through a series of heat treatments to keep the metal malleable (or flexible) while it is repeatedly struck between a tool and die with up to 50 tons of striking force, slowly forming the desired shape. The immense amount of force used in each strike of the tool compresses the metal into the dies shape. The compression condenses the metal making it denser and substantially stronger.
Selecting a setting made with old world techniques allows you to own a piece of history. Likewise, with gorgeous vintage style designs like many of those in the Jabel collection you can really feel like your owning a piece of estate jewelry history.
Finally, if you are drawn to estate engagement rings because of their exquisite design, than you may want to consider making a 'wish list' of your favorite ring characteristics. This wish list can become a road map, helping you find your perfect ring. And, since vintage style engagement rings can be made to order, you may find a ordering a new ring will allow you to get a ring that you truly love.
If you are looking at estate engagement rings because you want something different from all the halo style engagement rings you see today, then looking to vintage style engagement ring settings is a great option. Vintage style rings are available in a variety of non-traditional styles including gemstone rings, diamond cluster rings, and cocktail rings. Here are some of my favorites:
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