Your perfect engagement ring: new vs. old

For many modern brides, the choice of the engagement ring is of the utmost importance. You and your partner may pick the ring together or you may want them to surprise you, but whatever the case is, that ring needs to be perfect for you.

The idea of a modern ring might be exactly what you’ve always wanted. You don’t like old things or things that have been owned by someone else and so a new ring feels like the best choice for you. Plus, a new ring comes with the advantage of having conflict-free diamonds.

On the other hand, you may be someone who loves vintage or antique jewels and the elegance that comes with an old ring. You might be passionate about recycling and reusing and so vintage appeals to your environmental sensibilities.

Whatever you’re looking for, we’re here to guide you to find your perfect engagement ring whether it be new or old.

What are vintage and antique rings?

Diamond wedding bands

When it comes to old rings, something you should know is that ‘vintage’ and ‘antique’ tend to refer to different things. A vintage ring is one that is at least 50 years old, but less than 100 years old. This puts art deco rings and 1950s Edwardian-style rings in that category.

Antique rings will be anything older than this, so things like genuine Edwardian, Art Nouveau and Victorian rings.

Both of these categories house a range of stunning jewellery to choose from that will be unique and very much unlike anything you’ll find in a modern jewellery store.

Buying an old ring – Pros


The prices of vintage or antique rings is obviously going to vary based on the materials and gemstones used, just like they would with modern rings. However, on the whole, you can find beautiful vintage or antique rings for more affordable prices than you can find a modern ring for, making them ideal for those on a budget.


Rings made prior to 1950 are likely to have been handmade. This means that these older rings have their own signature, unique quality and aesthetic. Older rings tend to be more intricate and include filigree designs, something that modern rings tend to not have. You’ll find beautiful craftsmanship in your old ring that you won’t find in any modern ring.


Diamond Ring

The best thing about vintage and antique rings is that they’re unique. Sure, lots of jewellery stores bring out these vintage reproduction rings nowadays but due to the craftsmanship from your old ring, you’ll have something that is a true original and so it would look vastly different to the modern reproductions. This will appeal to brides who want something unique to them.

Buying an old ring – Cons


If you’re interested in purchasing a ring that is antique, then you may find that the durability of it is not as high. Due to the more intricate designs in older rings, the durability may be lacking as they’re simply not made for everyday use and wear.

Costly maintenance

Due to their age and perhaps intricate design, an older ring may end up being more expensive to repair than a modern ring. So even though it may be cheaper to buy initially, the cost of repairing it and keeping it looking good may be more than you bargained for.


Wedding ring

For some women, the idea of owning a pre-owned engagement ring wouldn’t be an issue, but for others this idea of sharing an engagement ring with someone else may be too much to take. We all want to feel unique and special so you need to decide whether a truly unique ring that’s been worn by someone else will make you feel this way, or if a modern ring in a design that many others have but that has only been owned by you will.

Buying a new ring – Pros


A really great thing about new rings is that you can have them made to suit you. You can have them engraved, resized or even design your own ring. The customisation possibilities on new rings is almost endless so if you’re a creative person who has a specific idea of what they want, then this level of choice may be perfect for you.

Easier to match your wedding ring

Many brides choose to get a set of rings that perfectly fit into one another known as a bridal set. This is super easy to do when you buy a modern ring as many are specifically made for this purpose.

If you choose to get a stand-alone engagement ring, it can still be very easy to match it to a modern wedding ring. This is because you’ll easily be able to find the same colour or gemstone in a different ring that you can match your engagement ring to.

It’s new

If you’re all about wearing something that has only been owned by you, then you really can’t go past a modern engagement ring. If the idea of wearing someone else’s ring irks you in some way, then a modern ring is the obvious choice.


Many modern rings come with the choice of having conflict-free diamonds, which is the perfect choice for the modern ethical bride.

Engraver, engraving a writing into a ring, close-up

Buying a new ring – Cons


The cost of a snazzy new engagement ring can be huge, depending on what you’re going for. You can certainly find new rings cheaper than old rings, however the quality may not be as high. If you’re keen to get engaged, you’ll definitely be able to find a modern ring in your budget, it just may not be the elaborate ring you were hoping for.


Male hand holding a golden wedding ring with an engraved year 2016

The biggest downfall to a modern ring is that they’re mass-produced, meaning that Julie in marketing and Leanne in accounts may have the same ring as you. If this is something that is a big no-no for you and you still want something modern, then go down the customisation route and create your own ring.

Looking for your perfect engagement ring? Check out our suppliers in your area to find it.

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