Jewelry: How to Buy VintageWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Trumpet & Horn
Wedding ring trends are constantly changing, but vintage rings or vintage-inspired pieces are always popular options. It sounds easy enough, but what’s the best way to buy a vintage piece? How do you know what you’re getting and where is the best place to shop? We asked the fine folks at Trumpet & Horn to share their expert advice on what grooms and couples should consider when buying vintage. Trumpet & Horn is an e-business specializing in the curation of vintage and estate engagement rings, as well as fine jewelry. One of the wedding industry’s most familiar faces, Claire Pettibone, recently collaborated with the brand to create her own collection of engagement rings and wedding bands. Below, please find Trumpet & Horn’s tips on how to best shop for your dream vintage piece.
1. Buy from a reputable company. The company should have at least one individual who is very experienced in the vintage jewelry industry, because it is quite different from the industry that manufactures newly made rings. Look for at least one gemologist at the company. There is a whole lot of information that goes into the sourcing of vintage rings and attributing them to the correct time periods – it’s important to know that the company you’re working with is legitimate and trustworthy.
2. Make sure you can return it (especially if you buy online)! This is good practice in case she doesn’t love the ring, it’s not what you expected, or it’s not in good condition when you receive it. Being able to return your ring (without any re-stocking fees) takes the pressure off!
3. Ask to see a certification for any diamond over 0.50ct (and many precious colored gemstones have certifications as well, but not all). A certification tells you the technical information about your diamond (color, clarity, cut, and carat size) that has been certified by a lab, so you know it’s correct. This makes sure you know exactly what it is you’re buying and why it is priced the way it is.
4. Make sure to get the ring appraised - even better if the company you’re buying provides an appraisal for free from an independent appraiser. Appraisals typically cost $150-$250, so they are not exactly cheap, but this is what you will use to get the ring insured for the proper amount.
5. Talk about styles together – and get specific! Vintage rings are incredibly unique and most are one-of-a-kind. There are so many vintage and antique rings out there, and they are very different from most modern rings we see today. Getting her input to make sure she’s into a vintage ring (especially if she doesn’t like to be surprised) is a great idea.
The site also offers a fun and helpful quiz to help discover your ring "style." This could definitely come in handy for grooms, so feel free to nonchalantly share! For more information on Trumpet & Horn, visit trumpetandhorn.com.
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