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Many couples choose to buy engagement rings which have legacy attached to them. The main concern which arises while buying such a ring is to understand what is what. Whether a Victorian ring is same as an antique ring? Or is it a vintage ring? These are a few questions which may arise while you choose between an antique and a vintage engagement ring. Here’s a guide to help you make an informed decision.

What is a vintage engagement ring?

As described on ringspo.com, “Victorian rings have a large central stone supported by several smaller stones, a bit like a modern ‘halo setting’. Diamonds were not as common then as they are today, so other stones were commonly used, like sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and pearls.  All of these stones are much less hard than diamonds, so when looking at a ring that is well over 100 years old, you really need to do it in person, to ensure that there is no damage to these softer stones.

Yellow gold and rose gold were the most popular metals for the bands, as these were Queen Victoria’s favorite and her taste was hugely influential.

One thing you should know is that gold engagement rings from early in the period may not have a stamp on them to show what type of gold has been used on the band. This was only required from 1854 onwards when the ‘Stamp Act’ was introduced, which meant that jewelers were then required to include whether jewelry was 9 carat gold, 18 carat gold etc.”

What is an antique engagement ring?

Any ring which is 50-100 years old is categorized as an antique ring. By 2020, all Vintage rings would be antique rings, but all antique diamond rings or other types of rings are not Vintage rings. There are different eras, for e.g., Georgian, Victorian, Art Nouveau, Edwardian, Art Dec, and Retro. Depending upon the era the engagement ring belongs to, it can be categorized as antique.

So, what is the difference?

As explained above, antique rings are usually fifty or more than fifty years old. On the other hand, vintage rings represent a particular era in terms of designs, stones, and metals.

Can an engagement ring be both Antique and Vintage?

It depends on which definition of antique do you go by. Some jewelry experts consider 50 years and above as antique while others consider 100 and more years as antique. Second, the era also needs to be considered. If the original and strictly conventional definition of the vintage is considered, then Vintage engagement ring isn’t an antique piece of jewelry. Why? Because technically Vintage era began around the 1920s. But, on the other hand, this is 2017 and just three years left to completion of 100 years of Vintage-era rings or any other jewelry. Further, if 50-plus years old rule is considered, Vintage rings can very well be categorized as antique.