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You’ve probably heard that diamonds last forever, and when it comes to engagement rings, a trend that will continue into 2013 is a return to basics.

Consumers are no longer satisfied with the typical engagement ring seen in retail jewelry stores.

“They want something that is unique, different, and expresses their individuality,” said Frank Gesner of Gesner Estate Jewelry. “They’d want to see their ring worn by someone else.”

When a potential bride sees an antique engagement ring on her left hand, she usually falls in love and will not consider the more contemporary jewelry on the market today.

The explanation for the surge in antique and vintage engagement rings is straightforward. While more contemporary designs lose their allure after a few years, vintage and antique engagement rings have already passed the test of time.

They essentially never go out of style.

According to David’s Bridal poll, approximately 58% of women would alter anything about their engagement ring if they could.

Some manufacturers are even incorporating “vintage” patterns and aesthetics into some of their modern rings. However, Gesner finds that nothing compares to the actual thing.

Rings that are 50 years old or older, as well as antique rings.

Some of the most prominent styles date from several periods, including Victorian (1835-1900), Edwardian (1900-1920), and Art Deco (1920-1930).

Each epoch has its own set of alternatives.

Victorian rings, for example, would often incorporate accents of different types of stone and elaborate patterns fashioned of yellow or rose gold.

Edwardian era rings may be set with a sparkling sapphire, which creates a stunning eye-catching contrast.

Art Deco is perhaps the most well-known of all periods, with its bright colors and Asian and Egyptian influences.

Rings featuring a central stone and a number of lesser stones are still fashionable and popular.

Gessner offers a few pointers while shopping for an antique or vintage engagement ring.

As with every diamond purchase, keep the four C’s in mind: color, carat, clarity, and cut.

Antique rings often include stones that were cut by hand and have a more distinct look.

The clearer the diamond, like with all diamonds, the more costly the ring. Diamonds in antique rings are often colored, such as subtle pink hues.

A verified gemologist report is always requested.

Reputable vendors will often provide you with many reports to choose from.

Of course, you’ll want to know what the ring’s return policy is in case you change your mind or are dissatisfied with your purchase.

Take the time to comparison shop. Antique engagement rings may be purchased from a variety of sources, including antique shops, estate sales, jewelry stores, and internet merchants.

Online sellers are ideal for the first-time antique jewelry purchaser since they provide a no-pressure environment in which to learn about and see vintage and antique jewelry.

Websites enable potential buyers to study their items in more detail without the pressure of a salesperson lurking around.

Although diamonds are eternal, your engagement ring is designed to endure a lifetime.

Antique engagement rings are becoming more popular among couples who appreciate their beauty, distinctiveness, and long-lasting character.

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