An authentic piece of jewellery from the Victorian or Art Nouveau periods of history tend to have very distinctive looks. The Victorian period, says Cynthia Findlay Antiques, is best remembered by the snake engagement ring worn by Queen Victoria as a symbol of eternal love for her Albert. This was also the first time in history where the diamond solitaire engagement ring made a debut. Art Nouveau, on the other hand, emphasized hand craftsmanship and used lots of color (like opal, agate and moonstones) as its hallmark.
The more you know about these clues, the easier it will be to identify authentic vintage engagement rings.
Certified and Backed by Appraisal
When you buy from a dealer who specializes in estate jewellery, every piece will have extensive documentation so you can better understand its history and its value. Certified pieces are also easier to insure, so you can make sure your purchase is protected over time. It’s also common for people who are holding an estate sale to get jewellery appraised in order to ascertain its value.
In short, appraisals allow both buyers and sellers some security that the price asked is close to the value of the piece. Keep in mind that you can order custom jewellery from Toronto if you’re unable to find something authentic that is modeled after the style you want.
You might notice some other clues that a ring is not the usual mass produced fare, based on its metalwork or the types of gems or settings it uses. Pearls, for instance, are a big flag that you might be looking at a unique vintage piece. Only x-rays can tell you for certain, but pearls were often used in art deco pieces.