Practical Advice For The Jewellery Buyer
Vintage diamonds are one of our absolute favorite gems. We find each vintage diamond is timeless and has an individual glow, sparkle and character, imparted decades ago by a skilled diamond cutter who would have applied his or her art to each stone individually as the diamonds were cut by eye and hand without the exacting tools of modern technology. The result is a faceted piece of art, each gem unique. Some of our favorite old diamond cuts include:
Old Mine Cut
One of the most popular antique diamond cuts, we love old mine cuts for their bold appearance. They are similar in appearance to modern cushion cut diamonds, with a square outline and gently rounded edges. They have full and chunky proportions with a higher crown, smaller table and larger open culet. The old mine cut diamond is one of the most common cuts found in Georgian (1714 – 1837) and Victorian era (1837 – 1901) jewellery. Some of our favourite cushion cut engagement rings include Sarah Jessica Parkers antique cushion cut sparkler and we love Meghan Markel’s cushion cut center stone in her stunning trilogy ring.
A truly timeless style, the rose cut diamond has been used for over five centuries. Like its namesake flower, the rose cut diamond was named for its petal like appearance. The cut has a distinctive multi faceted dome shape with a flat bottom. We love this cut for its understated and soft sparkle. Famous rose cut engagement rings include Jennifer Aniston’s giant sparkler.
Old European Cut
We love Old European cuts for they way they reflect light and sparkle. They are the precursor to today’s modern brilliant cut diamonds, with a round outline but thicker triangular facets and often a larger open culet that reflect the light in a unique and romantic way with their flowery faceting pattern. They were commonly used in vintage jewelry from the late Victorian eras through the Edwardian era (1901 – 1915) and Art Deco periods. Some stunning vintage Old European cut rings have recently been spotted on Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivia Wilde.
We love the long elegant lines and minimalist look of the emerald cut diamond. Popularized in the 1940s, with a large table and stepped faceting they throw bright flashes of light in dramatic style. A couple of our all time favourite Emerald Cut engagement rings including Amal Alamuddin-Clooney’s stunning bauble and Princess Grace of Monaco, so elegant and classic.
We use the standard US ring size measurements (as oppose to the European sizing). We can generally size most engagement rings up or down about 4 sizes without interfering with the integrity of the setting. Rings can be sized in two ways (1) when we only need to size slightly we can do it by adding a sizing bar or ball to the inside of the ring to make it a tiny bit smaller. This is a great option because the band does not need to be cut and the bar or ball can easily be removed; (2) cutting the back of the band and either stretching the band open and adding more gold or cutting a portion of the band out and re-soldering the opening. Rings with diamonds or engraving around the band are harder to size and the option of adding a sizing bar or ball is preferred. We offer sizing as a service to our customers and charge a nominal fee to cover our costs. Just ask us and we’ll confirm if we can size your ring.
How do I know what ring size?
If you want to surprise your partner, here are a couple sneaky ways you can use to find out their rings size (1) borrow an existing ring they wear on that finger and measure the internal diameter and send it to us so we can calculate the size; (2) bring a ring to us and we use our ring sizer to determine the size. Be careful you don’t make it too small. You don’t want to ruin the moment if the ring doesn’t fit. You can always size the ring smaller later.
Wedding Band Pairing
It can sometime be challenging to find the perfect band to pair with your vintage engagement ring. Here are some of my favorite guidelines and tricks to finding the perfect marriage of pieces.
- Do Mix Old Styles & New Styles
- Do Mix Metals & Finishes
- Do Mix Textures
- Do Add Some Sparkle
- Do Feel Free to Personalize by adding Engraving or a Gem
- Do Wear Your Engagement Ring & Wedding Band on Different Hands
- Don't worry about the band fitting snuggly up against the ring. Unless you solder the two together they will move around anyway
- Don't Mix Soft & Harder Metals
- Don't be Afraid to Just Wear One Ring as an Engagement Band and Wedding Ring in One
- Don't Feel Like You Have To Follow Any Rules
Care & Maintenance
Each vintage item is a truly unique piece with it’s own unique story, character and patina. Please expect to see minor signs of age and wear on vintage items. All vintage items are sold in “as is” condition and we do not offer a warranty on vintage items. Some jewellery items can be fragile especially dainty claw set pieces. All pieces of jewellery should be treated with care to prevent damage. Care should be taken to protect items (even diamonds) against scratching, hard knocks, extreme temperatures and chemicals. Please consult us for expert care and cleaning instructions for each unique item. We also recommend you have you jewellery checked by a jeweller on a regular basis to confirm the stones are secure in their settings and clasps are functioning properly. If jewellery is not properly maintained you risk losing a stone or the entire piece which really sucks:(