In many ways, purchasing antique rings is as much about personal preference than anything else. A ring that one person glosses over at an antique show or estate sale might be a must-have purchase for another person. But even though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there are certain things that a buyer of vintage jewellery must look out for. This is true of all pieces including Art Deco items such as rings. If you’re planning on making a purchase soon, here are a few things to consider:
Type of stone used: Most rings today are set with diamonds. However, diamonds weren’t necessarily the only valuable diamond to be used during the Art Deco era of the 1920s and 1930s. In particular, the early Art Deco rings of the 1920s utilized colorful gems such as amethyst and sapphire. If you find a gemstone that is emerald, opal or another soft gem, make sure you inspect it carefully – these gems could have internal cracks or other damage.
Metal used in the setting: Platinum was the main metal used in Art Deco rings. If the ring you are looking to buy has a metal other than platinum, it could be a reproduction or a lower-quality ring.
Repair work: Because Art Deco rings are older, you’ll want to check to see if it’s in its original condition or if it has had repair or refurbishment work done on it.