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A buyer's guide to vintage wedding rings

Buying vintage is a tricky business and you have to visit a reputable jeweller if you want to insure that the ring is all it is talked up to be and to make sure you are not swindled into paying too much.

The gift of a ring

The tradition of presenting a ring to a loved one in order to show the world your intention to make your relationship official by marriage is a lovely notion. Traditionally, engagement diamonds are worth about four and a half months worth of the man's yearly salary and consequentially, often become status symbols, material counting of sentimental worth. Big engagement rings are not what its all about though. The proposer should always try to take into account the personal style and preference of the proposee when choosing a ring. With the trend for vintage still going strong, many couples are turning to the idea of buying pre-owned jewellery, either for the workmanship that has gone into it, love of a particular decade's signature style or because the piece has sentimental value originating from a friend or family member.

Positive points

If the bride has a love for a specific style era, choosing a ring from that period shows her that you appreciate her likes and have noticed that she enjoys dressing as a 20s belle, or a 40s lady. It shows more personality to tailor the ring to the bride's preferences instead of ordering the biggest diamond you can afford from a catalogue. Note If you want a sense of history behind your special ring, but maybe you don't fancy the idea of wearing old-fashioned jewellery or you dislike a particular setting around a glorious gem, then the option remains to make your own engagement ring by having the gemstones reset in a stylish new setting that you appreciate, but which also holds the sentimental value of say, a family heirloom.

Negative points

A disadvantage to the vintage wedding ring is the difficulty in trying to procure a set of matching wedding bands. While the fashion for his and her wedding rings is not one everyone wishes to follow, it becomes decidedly more tricky to manage when the ring comes secondhand. A second problem with vintage is where to buy engagement rings, as the resulting purchase could have its legitimacy brought into question if bought from any but the most respectable of jewellers who can give you a run down of carat, cut and clarity. There would be nothing worse than to be assured you had found a genuine 1920s art deco delight, bought and paid for only to then discover it is in fact a cheap wedding band from a department store jeweller.

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