Last year, Pippa Middleton took a page out of her big sister’s book and took the world of fashion by storm with her dazzling Art Deco engagement ring. Ever since, ring fingers around the world have been graced with jewellery that wouldn’t look out of place at one of Gatsby’s parties.
While exerts have speculated that Pippa’s four carat diamond dazzler cost upwards of quarter-of-a-million pounds, you don’t need to be tying the knot with a stock trader from the aristocracy to get this look for yourself.
In this article, we’ll share our top tips for getting your own glamourous Art Deco engagement ring without breaking the bank.
Should you go for ‘something old’ or ‘something new’?
If you’ve decided to go for an Art Deco engagement ring, then you need to make an important decision before you begin your search in earnest: are you going to go for a genuine antique article or a modern design that takes its inspiration from the era?
One isn’t objectively better than the other, and the choice is going to be personal to you, so make sure to visit a trusted jeweller and have them show you a few examples of each so you get a sense of the difference. As Lynelle Schmidt explains on the Long’s Jewellers blog, you’ll find that vintage gemstones and their modern equivalents differ quite significantly in cut. This means that an older diamond will produce a warmer sparkle than its modern counterpart, which is cut to be “brilliant” and reflect as much light as possible.
Another way that antique engagement rings differ from modern incarnations is the fact they feature a much wider range of gemstones. While contemporary rings mainly feature diamonds, genuine Art Deco pieces tend to showcase rubies, emeralds, and sapphires as their centre stone. If you’ve a fondness for a less common stone, then a genuine antique could be your best bet.
We asked Kerry Gregory, the Gemstone, Diamond and Specialist Jewellery Manager at H&T Pawnbrokers, for her advice on buying an Art Deco ring, and she gave us a great tip: “Antique rings often have beautifully cut, high-quality gemstones hidden in a design that isn’t considered very attractive by today’s standards. If you fall in love with a vintage ring’s gemstone but you’re not keen on the design as a whole, it can easily be removed and remounted on a band of your choice. Do this and you’re not only likely to get a great deal on a gorgeous gemstone, but you’ll also end up with a bespoke piece of jewellery.”
Get the size right
Whether you’re buying a vintage ring or a modern equivalent, it’s important you get the right size. You can have your ring finger measured in any good jewellers, while you can also do it yourself at home using the ring size guide on ringsize.co.
If you fall in love with an antique ring that isn’t your size, don’t worry, as you can have it resized. However, keep in mind that while making a ring smaller doesn’t pose any problems, making it bigger can weaken the band and even lead to it breaking later down the line. Therefore, you might want to think twice about buying a ring that is too small for you, no matter how perfect you think it is.
Broaden your search
If you’re looking for an antique ring, then you’ll be well served by broadening your search away from the high-street jewellers. You may well find the perfect Art Deco ring — and at an excellent price, too — on sites like Etsy and eBay, so make sure not to neglect them. Local flea markets, antique stores, and vintage shops can also be well worth a look during your search.