Complete Guide to Finding a Vintage Wedding Band
Hannah Warren // Senior Writer & Editor
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Find A Custom Vintage Wedding Band That Matches Your Style
Vintage wedding bands are a bold departure from the common wedding bands that offer little more than the precious metal material itself. Intricate etchings, filigree, fine milgrain, and gemstones are some of the highlights that make vintage wedding bands so appealing.
Not only that, but their style and value transcend generations. This guide looks to help you find a wedding band that exudes elegance and stands out as a truly unique piece.
What Is a Vintage Wedding Band?
Vintage jewelry (bands and rings in particular) have been in vogue for some time. Due to this, a lot of pieces may come with the vintage label in name only, with no regard to whether they fit the era or the style.
For starters, vintage wedding bands, by definition, should be 50 to 100 years old today. If a ring is any younger you’re looking at a modern piece. And those older than 100 years are antique.
This is not a slight against antique or modern rings, of course. It’s just that the overall design, style, and embellishments don’t characterize the vintage era.
Most experts consider Art Deco to mark the beginning of what we now know as vintage. This was the formative style from 1915 and up to Black Tuesday, which compelled jewelers to scale down.
The pinnacle of Art Deco was the Roaring 20s when jewelry design was all about geometry, platinum, and details. That’d include generous use of smaller diamonds, milgrain on the bezel, and hand-engravings.
From the early 30s on to about the mid-50s, jewelers opted for simplicity. Embellishments and platinum gave way to relatively unadorned yellow and white gold. But as described earlier, these bands are still considered vintage.
Some of the highlights include artisanal precious metal and perhaps a tiny gemstone set into a band. Unlike with Art Deco, the gemstone cut probably wouldn’t be marquis, emerald, or Asscher.
Vintage and vintage-style wedding bands are not to be confused as the same. A genuine vintage piece has to be crafted during the era and with the corresponding provenance.
In comparison, the others are contemporary bands styled to have the characteristics of the vintage era. Some may even be handcrafted and studded with vintage gemstones. Just not the history of vintage bands.
In the end, however, vintage-style wedding bands can be valuable and easier to find, and few people are going to judge the owner any less worthy. For example, Estate Diamond Jewelry carries a great selection of both vintage and vintage-style pieces.
How to Shop for a Vintage Wedding Band
First and foremost, you need to determine a style that matches you. With that out of the way, the band’s age, authenticity, and craftsmanship may also interest you.
Your jeweler should have an estimate of the ring’s year of creation. If the band has diamonds or other gemstones, you’d preferably want to see a certificate. One that comes from the GIA or another top authority.
How can you trust the jeweler’s claim of vintage status? Any documentation regarding the band’s provenance, for one. Some may even come with the original receipt, the easier to trace its history.
Beyond that, it’s in your best interest to look for a no-fuss return policy, which the aforementioned Estate Diamond Jewelry offers for up to 14 days. That should be enough time for you to change your mind or even to get a third-party appraisal.
And if necessary, you can find a jeweler that offers a financing program, such as layaway or the ability to pay for the ring in installments.
Vintage Wedding Ring Online Shopping Tips
Even to this day, a reputable jeweler is one that has a storefront. Many of them also sell online but it may just happen that you’d want to see the piece in person.
Some like Estate Diamond Jewelry go the extra mile and offer a home-viewing program. With a deposit, you can have the wedding band of your choice shipped to your doorstep overnight. After that, you have two weeks to make a decision.
If you’re shopping online, beyond the standard website features, you might want to look for accurate descriptions of the individual jewelry pieces, certificates, age, HD images, and so on.
Above all, an online jeweler must have clear policies with regard to shipping, payment, and resizing. You might even qualify for free cleaning and maintenance, which isn’t exclusive to in-store purchases.
Matching to a Vintage Engagement Ring
An Art Deco band would be a perfect match for an Art Deco engagement ring. Surprise, surprise, right? But then, you also don’t have to adhere to any prescribed rules to achieve an elegant look.
Moving on, something from the 40s or 50s can also be an excellent match for an Art Deco engagement ring. As mentioned earlier, this era subscribed to a much simpler style, which can work well with Art Deco decorations, including a haloed or filigreed engagement ring.
In essence, you’d want to avoid anything too flashy or tawdry if you’re looking to complement a vintage engagement right. Look for a balance in the included gemstones and embellishments and matching precious metals.
Vintage Wedding Bands That May Trigger Your Bling Radar
All three of these pieces come from Estate Diamond Jewelry’s vintage wedding band collection.
Photo: Estate Diamond Jewelry
Whichever way you look at it, the Caramel is an impressive band. It’s platinum and sports diamonds all the way around. The gemstones check in at about 6.23 carats in total, VS clarity, cushion cut, and G-H color.
A particularly eye-catching detail is the square flow on the sides of the setting. It follows the diamonds and gives the ring a unique sense of motion. Courtesy of the diamonds and overall craftsmanship, the Caramel has always been made out to be among the more expensive.
Photo: Estate Diamond Jewelry
Straight from the golden years of Art Deco, the Fermi is a rare band that can please just about any future bride. The eternity of the antique diamonds takes center stage, followed by a fine milgrain on the ring’s bezel.
The diamonds add up to 1.40 carats and have VS clarity and H color. The platinum band dates back to 1920 and it’s not resizable. One may also marvel at the hand-engravings on the sides.
Photo: Estate Diamond Jewelry
French Cut Wedding Band
If you’re after colored gemstones, this band’s sapphires may just stop you in your tracks. The sapphires are channel set into the platinum, the bezels are milgrain, and the entire ring polished.
Overall, the bold and elegant band can be a good match for any of the more modern engagement rings. Custom size orders are possible with this band.
A Vintage Wedding Band for Life
So, how do you go about selecting the best vintage wedding band for your needs? As a rule, you can’t beat a reputable jeweler. Preferably one that carries a large selection and all the necessary paperwork.
You can also count on such a jeweler to offer guidance and advice, what’s going to fit you, your existing jewelry collection, and such. Moreover, we’re hopeful that the above has given you enough to make a start.
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