Why Estate Engagement Rings Don't Always Make For GOOD Engagement Rings

Posted by Bella's Fine Jewelers on Jun 19, 2017 2:37:05 PM
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The popularity of antique style rings has exploded over the past decade, especially with brides-to-be hoping for unique engagement rings.  However, as vintage bridal trends grew, some brides were left wanting more individuality in their rings and looked to authentic estate engagement rings as an alternative.
At first, this may sound like a romantic idea, but the reality is that these antique ring settings are actually used jewelry and not the best investment for an engagement ring. When it comes to something this important and sentimental you don't want to risk both your financial and emotional well-being.  

This doesn't mean that estate jewelry is bad, but there is a time an place for it.  Unlike an antique cocktail ring, that is only worn briefly on rare occasions, an engagement ring is subject to daily wear and must hold up over time.  It will be bumped, banged, scratched, covered in hand lotion and soap residue, and will be subjected to unavoidable wear and tear. Save the estate ring your first anniversary gift, and shop with the long term in mind.


What are the potential problems of estate engagement rings?

Unfortunately, used jewelry can have significant structural problems that can lead to damage or loss.  Not only are these losses a financial burden, but there is also an emotional loss when an owner looses symbolic piece of jewelry like this.

The concern come when the structural integrity of the become compromised in one of three main areas; the prongs, shank, and/or stones.  Any of these losses can jeopardize the entire integrity of the ring.  


A prong is a thin metal projection that holds a stone(s) in place.  When prongs become damaged they can no longer the stone(s) in place and will put the entire ring in jeopardy.  Damaged prongs can occur from  

  • Cracking
  • Worn/Thinning
  • Bending


The band of a ring is called a shank.  It is the structural foundation of any engagement ring, wedding band, cocktail ring, etc.  However, with older rings you can end up with:

  • Cracked Shanks
  • Worn or Thinning Shanks
  • Bent Shanks
  • Sizing Concerns

I mentioned sizing concerns because this can affect the ENTIRE Ring (stones too).  A poorly sized ring, can loosen stone if the prongs are not adjusted properly.  Likewise, a ring that has been sized too many times may have compromised structural integrity.


Certainly, the stones are a focal point of any ring.   When they need to be replaced it is not only expensive, but it is an emotional loss too.  Therefore, you need to be aware that stone with the following issues are at a higher risk of loss:

  • Chipped Stones
  • Broken Stones
  • Loose Stones 


How do I get vintage style engagement rings
that look like estate engagement rings? 
Shopping for antique style engagement rings, that look authentic, is all about mastering the details!  From motif to setting styles, there are a number of ways you can find rings that look like actual estate engagement rings.  
Another plus to buying a new engagement rings, in addition to having superior structural integrity, is that a new setting gives you options!  Shopping for reproduction, or vintage style engagement rings allows you to get the exact ring you want without having to compromise because you are limited to what rings your estate jeweler has in stock.  
If you are still not sure about reproduction antique rings?  Here are a few examples of antique style engagement rings that look just like authentic estate engagement rings:
reproduction antique rings
design your own engagement rings
sapphire engagement rings
rose gold engagement rings
flower antique style rings
Learning what details authentic estate engagement rings possess will help you find your perfect ring.  My blog, "New Vintage Engagement Rings" has lots of great ideas, tips, and pointers to get you the perfect ring.  You can read it here. 
Learn More About  Die Struck Jewelry  with Our Free Guide Die Struck Jewelry 101
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Bella's Fine Jewelers

The authors of Bella's Blog are dedicated to the American Jewelry scene. From pairing jewelry with today's trend to gemology, Bella's blog will intrigue even the most passionate jewelry fanatic.

June 19, 2017

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