Buying Diamond Alternative Vintage Engagement Rings: When to Tread Lightly

Although the diamond industry has succeeded in persuading young men to spend about three months worth of their salaries for an engagement ring, quite a few forward-thinking consumers are no longer taking the bait. Sure, the diamond still holds a certain fascination for many future husbands and brides to be; but even so, more and more shoppers look for alternative gemstones when buying a ring for a marriage proposal. But even here there are some pitfalls to avoid. Do you know what they are?

Chipping, Cracking and the Mohs Scale of Hardness

In the early 18th century, mineralogist Frederich Mohs rated the hardness of minerals. With talc on one end (1) and diamonds on the other (10), the listing identifies the stones that are more likely to

resist scratches and chipping by others. Since that time, artisans and jewelry experts have expanded the scale to place other gemstones and materials within this frame work. For example, platinum would rank at 3.5 while steel would be found at 4.5. Emerald and spinel are on the same level as tungsten, which rates around 7.5. The topaz is found at 8.

Why am I telling you all this? The answer is simple: durability. When you choose a diamond alternative, you should pick a gemstone that rivals the diamond in hardness. This ensures many years – hopefully decades – of daily wear without damage. Good examples are sapphires, rubies and topazes. Amber, pearls, apatites and turquoises are on the other end of the scale. When you want to go for durability, stick with the upper end of the Mohs scale.

A Look that Transcends the Ages

You propose marriage on Valentine’s Day, 2015. You marry in June. You stay married for the next four decades. If you give your bride-to-be a ring that is highly modern by today’s standards, you set her up for disappointment when the fashion changes. The same is true for your girlfriend’s current fashion preference.
Let’s say that she favors Bohemian chic. Next year – or a decade from now – she might change her style to something completely different. Will the ring that you picked out still look fashionable on her hand? This is where choosing a vintage style that offers timeless beauty is always a good idea. We have found that Art Deco in particular is an era that never really goes out of style. Its style elements are attractive to the eye and look great even when taken out of the 1920s era context and its fashions.
At Peter Suchy Jewelers we are experts in all types of vintage, estate and antique jewelry. We hope you’ll stop by our showroom located at 1137 High Ridge Road in Stamford Connecticut.
Or, hop on over to our top-rated BigCommerce Store where you’ll find all the vintage engagement rings you see here. If you find a listing has ended, please email us at as we may still have the item in stock.
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