Antique diamonds come with a certain charm and timeless beauty that newly-made diamonds simply don’t have. With so many online jewelry stores, finding the antique diamond of your dreams has never been so easy.
If you’ve been thinking about buying an antique diamond online but you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about online shopping for antique diamonds.
What Are Antique Diamonds?
For a diamond to be considered antique, it must be at least 100 years old. Technically speaking, antique diamonds were mined anywhere between the 1300s and 1930s. Most antique diamonds on the market come from the Victorian era (from 1820 to 1900), the Edwardian era (from 1901 to 1910), and the Art Deco era (from 1920 to 1930). Diamonds mined and cut between the 1930s and 1940s are considered vintage.
Antique diamonds vary from modern diamonds in many aspects, not just their age. Due to the way they were cut, they are less sparkly than newly-cut diamonds. On the other hand, antique diamonds are special, and they usually come with custom, handmade settings. They’re also much more romantic and the perfect choice for vintage and antique jewelry lovers.
Antique Diamond Finder
If you’re looking for an antique diamond, EDJ’s antique diamond finder can be very useful. All you need to do is enter your name and email address and select what kind of diamond you’re looking for, and Estate Diamond Jewelry will email you a quote within one business hour.
You can choose the exact carat weight (from 0.60 carats to 6.00 carats and higher), the diamond shape (old mine cut, old European cut, rose cut, etc.), the diamond color (from D to M), the diamond clarity (from F to SI2), and the price range. In addition, you can enter any specifications that can help us narrow down the search.
How to Shop for Old World Diamonds?
Shopping for antique or old-world diamonds can be daunting. It’s a completely different process from buying modern, or man-made diamonds. There are many factors you need to consider while looking for the perfect antique diamond, especially when you’re shopping online. Follow these seven tips to avoid getting scammed:
1. Don’t Look For the Perfect Diamond
When shopping for an antique diamond, there’s one thing you need to remember above all else. You won’t be able to find a diamond without any imperfections. Using modern technology, man-made diamonds can be polished to perfection in gem labs. Many diamonds on the market, real or not, have also undergone some sort of treatment or enhancement.
The main appeal of antique diamonds is their raw beauty. That’s why you can expect some miniature inclusions in the stone. Of course, we’re not talking about visible cracks and scratches but tiny imperfections that can typically only be seen with a microscope.
2. Ask for a Diamond Certificate
Since you are interested in buying an antique diamond online, you need to be careful about scams. The last thing you want is to end up with a newly-made diamond rebranded as an antique, or worse, a fake. The best way to avoid this scenario is by asking for a diamond certification.
Diamond certifications are granted by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and they attest to the diamond’s “four Cs” (color, clarity, cut, and carat weight). A certification will also prove the diamond is real and that it was mined and cut in a certain period.
In the case of antique diamonds, their are a few other certifications that could be acceptable if they specialize in vintage and antique diamonds.
3. Understand the “Four Cs”
Speaking of the diamond’s quality, you need to keep in mind that antique diamonds have different quality requirements. For example, when it comes to color, antique diamonds have a slightly warmer undertone. That’s because most of them were mined in deposits that produce warmer-colored diamonds.
What’s more, antique diamonds were cut differently, so there’s a high chance you’ll have a limited number of cuts to choose from. In terms of carat weight, don’t expect to find large naturally-occurring diamonds, as they are very rare. We already talked about clarity and how unlikely it is to find a perfect diamond with no inclusions.
4. Know the Difference Between Naturally-Occurring and Man-Made Diamonds
The main difference between antique and modern diamonds is their occurrence. Antique and vintage diamonds are real, earth-mined diamonds. While there is nothing wrong with buying man-made diamonds, as they have the same chemical and physical properties as naturally-occurring diamonds, they are not antique.
5. Set a Reasonable Budget
What makes antique diamonds so desirable is their rarity. Unlike modern diamonds, which are being produced on a regular basis, there is a limited supply of antique and vintage diamonds. That’s why you need to set a reasonable budget for your antique diamond engagement ring. That being said, antique diamonds are typically less expensive than modern diamonds. You’ll probably be able to find a diamond that offers a good value for the money.
6. Antique vs. Antique-Cut Diamonds
Be careful about the terms “antique” and “antique-cut,” as many use them interchangeably. You could end up with a modern diamond that has an antique cut, like the old European cut. Another common misconception revolves around the word “style.” For example, you’re interested in getting a diamond from the Art Deco era. If you see “Art Deco style diamond ring,” this just means the diamond ring was made to look like an Art Deco ring.
7. Shop at a Reliable Jewelry Store
Finally, the best way to avoid getting scammed into buying a fake antique diamond is to shop at a reliable jewelry store. Make sure to find a jeweler who will provide you with insurance, security, and a certificate for the gem.
Estate Diamond Jewelry offers the largest collection of high-quality antique and vintage engagement rings in the world. What’s more, all of our jewelry is ethnically sourced and GIA-certified.
Different Types of Loose Antique Diamonds
The history of antique jewelry followed the fashion of that time. In the 1900s, diamonds were cut and polished by hand, as diamond-cutting technology didn’t yet exist. Some of the most popular antique diamond cuts were the cushion cut, the old European cut, the old mine cut, the rose cut, the Asscher cut, and the emerald cut.
Some of these cuts remain popular, like the emerald cut and the cushion cut. Other cuts, like the princess cut, the pear cut, the trillion cut, the heart cut, and the baguette cut, came much later.
Loose Antique Cushion Cut
Also known as the vintage cushion cut, the antique cushion cut was one of the most popular cuts of the 1900s. It’s similar to the old European cut, except that it has a square shape and rounded edges. The bottom of antique cushion cut diamonds features a bold culet, and the top has a tall crown.
Some of the most famous diamonds in history have the antique cushion cut, like the Hope Diamond, the Yellow Tiffany Diamond, the Cullinan Diamond, and the Regent Diamond.
Old European Cut
Most antique diamonds you’ll find on the market these days have an old European cut. This cut is the first version of the modern round cut. It’s also called the old-mine brilliant cut, the old-euro cut, and the antique round cut.
Old European-cut diamonds have more sparkle because they’re open to more light. These types of diamonds have an open culet, a tall crown, and a small table. The way they’re cut also makes them appear chunkier.
Old Mine Cut
The old mine cut preceded the old European cut. This cut is also known as the first brilliant cut. What makes genuine old mine-cut diamonds so special is that they’re challenging to come by these days. They are characterized by deep pavilions, tall crowns, and small tables.
You might come across the term “old mine cut” a lot if you research antique diamonds. That’s because this term is generally used to describe any antique diamond with an uneven shape.
The rose cut is one of the oldest diamond cuts in the history of gemstones. It was especially popular in the 1800s. Rose-cut diamonds are flatter because they don’t have a pavilion. It also has a domed top, which makes it look like an “upside down” diamond. Genuine rose-cut diamonds are very rare today.
Antique Asscher Cut
Antique Asscher-cut diamonds are like square emerald-cut diamonds. What separates them from modern Asscher-cut stones is a prominent culet, sharp corners, smaller tables, and high crowns. That’s why antique Asscher-cut diamonds appear octagonal.
Antique Emerald Cut
Antique emerald-cut and antique Asscher-cut diamonds may look very similar at first glance. Just like with other antique cuts, finding an antique emerald-cut diamond is very challenging these days.
Buying Loose Antique Diamond vs. Buying Antique Diamond With Antique Setting
There are two main advantages of buying a loose antique diamond, as opposed to a diamond with an antique setting. Getting a loose diamond without the setting is more affordable, and you’ll be able to choose custom a setting just for you. However, this process may turn out to be somewhat complicated. You’ll have to know exactly what kind of setting you want.
While getting an antique diamond with an antique setting may be more expensive, it’s also less of a hassle. You’ll be able to buy the ring and take it home with you right away. On the other hand, getting a pre-mounted antique diamond ring can be tricky because assessing the diamond’s quality will be a greater challenge. Not to mention that it’s easier to get scammed.
How to Tell if a Diamond Is Antique
There are a few ways to tell if a diamond is antique. For instance, you can look at the diamond’s culet, mounting, or girdle. It’s important to remember that antique rings were handmade, not mass-produced like today’s diamonds. That’s why most antique diamonds are truly one-of-a-kind. If you see the same design and settings in multiple jewelry stores, the diamond ring is probably not antique.
The safest way to determine whether it’s antique is to send it to a professional for an appraisal. Here’s a more detailed article on how to tell if a diamond is antique.
How to Save Money When Buying an Antique Diamond
Here are a few tips on how to save money when buying an antique diamond online:
1. Buy a Loose Stone
One of the best ways to avoid spending a lot of money on an antique diamond ring is to only get the loose stone. Not only will you save money, but you’ll be able to choose a custom setting for your diamond. Keep in mind that some jewelers only offer this service if you buy a loose diamond from them as well.
2. Consider the “Four Cs”
Don’t only look at the antique diamond in the photo. Make sure to read all the available information about the diamond, including the “four Cs.” This information will tell you whether the diamond is worth the money or if you should go with another one.
3. Avoid Shopping Seasons
Not only is buying an engagement ring and proposing on big holidays, like Christmas or Valentine’s Day, cliché but it’s also more expensive. You might think that there will be discounts and special offers around this time, but sellers are likely to increase the prices just before the peak season.
4. Choose the Right Metal
The metal you pair with your diamond can help determine the total price. Platinum is the most expensive material, but it’s also the most durable. If you want a more affordable option, you can get a gold ring. You’ll be able to choose between yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold. Silver is another safe choice, and it’s less expensive than gold.
5. Shop with a Reputable Jeweler
Another way to save money when buying an antique diamond online is to shop with a reputable jeweler, like Estate Diamond Jewelry.
If you shop with us, you will be able to buy a loose antique diamond or create a custom vintage style setting. You can also rest assured knowing you’ve made the right choice, as we will offer you the best possible deal for an antique diamond ring.
Talk to a Diamond Expert
Buying an antique diamond engagement ring will hopefully be something you’ll get to do once in your life. That’s why it’s important to get the right one. That being said, finding the perfect diamond has never been an easy task, especially if you don’t know anything about diamond jewelry. But don’t worry, Estate Diamond Jewelry diamond experts are here to help.
You can either fill out the antique diamond finder form or contact us directly. We will help you find the perfect antique diamond engagement ring for your significant other.