How to Care for Vintage Diamond Engagement Rings

by Sammy in , 2 Comments — Updated August 26, 2023

How Should You Care For A Vintage Diamond Engagement Ring?

Diamond engagement rings are always beautiful, a symbol of a romantic commitment. So many options are available for those that want to get engaged and it is interesting to notice that many now want to buy vintage or antique engagement rings instead of the modern options available in most jewelry stores. That happens because of various different reasons. No matter what yours is, a really important thing at the end of the day is being sure that you are going to take care of the ring in a proper way.

Vintage diamond engagement rings tend to be more fragile. They require more care and dedication, just as you would go through an addiction recovery plan. Commitment and special care will be vital to maintain the beauty of the ring. If you want to properly care for the rings, here is what you have to know.

Proper Storage

The very first thing that you have to do for vintage jewelry is to be sure that storage is done properly. You want to protect the ring from the elements. A particular focus has to be put on destructive elements like fluctuating temperatures, light and moisture.

The reason why the elements have to be avoided is that vintage diamond engagement rings can be deteriorated. You always want to reduce the possibility that this would happen. The best thing that you can do is to put the jewelry in a box that is breathable and padded. Temperature has to always be stable, without fluctuations ranging from extreme cold to extreme heat.

The chosen storage box or area also needs to be properly ventilated. That would stop the negative effects of moisture.

Vintage Jewelry Is Fragile

Because vintage diamond engagement rings are fragile, they can easily end up worn out. Damage that appears will be much more apparent. This includes scratching as the most common problem. Do be sure that you are extra careful whenever you wear the diamond ring. Also, in the box, it should never rub against the other pieces that are there.

When you wear the vintage diamond engagement ring, acids and oils can actually cause deterioration in the fixings and metals included. Because of this, be sure to clean the ring gently and regularly. Before the ring is put back into the storage box, do clean it to remove any present moisture or oils.


The last thing that you should remember is the importance of cleaning. You want to choose the right cleaning substances based on the diamond gemstone and the metals that are included in the ring. Diamonds are tough and really durable but this does not mean that you cannot damage them. The best option is regularly a solution that is based on ammonia.

Various metals have different techniques that have to be used. You can easily look online for a guide that is suitable for the metal included in your vintage diamond engagement ring. Alternatively, go to a vintage jewelry store so that you can be told exactly what cleaning products have to be utilized.

2 thoughts on “How to Care for Vintage Diamond Engagement Rings”

  1. Thanks for sharing the tips for vintage diamond ring care. Its a really antique and unique ring so you need to put it in the safe storage.

  2. I’m confused. Vintage engagement rings were made of basically the same materials as modern rings. Gold, alloyed with the other metals that make it workable and strong so that it can be formed as desired, and easily stand up to daily wear, and diamonds, formed deep in the earth, under heat and millions of pounds of pressure, millions of years ago, and the hardest natural substance known to man, topping the charts on hardness and durability. But, now you’re saying that because a ring may have been made a few decades ago, it’s suddenly become almost too fragile to wear.

    The two biggest factors determining a vintage ring’s continued wearability are the way the ring was made to begin with, and the quality of the metals used. Gold, platinum and diamonds are not going to be seriously affected by some moisture, or a little dust. If that were the case then the artifacts from the Egyptian tombs would have crumbled away ages ago. Even once found and released from their captivity, many of which were discovered around the turn of the 20th century, they would have had ample time to do so. The thing they are most protected against now is theft, not dust, moisture or lack of ventilation. Metals and diamonds don’t “breathe” so that’s not really a concern.

    The best thing you can do is make sure you’re purchasing a vintage or antique ring from a reputable, experienced dealer, not somebody selling a “one off” from Grandma or Great Aunt Amelia online.

    IF you absolutely must buy the ring of your dreams from such a source, then make sure there is an adequate returns policy in place, so that if you find put something about the ring once purchased that is a deal breaker, you can return it for a full refund. THEN, as soon as you have it in hand, make its first trip be to an experienced, reputable jeweler who is experienced in dealing with vintage and antique jewelry repairs and maintenance, not just sales, for a thorough going over, to get his or her best opinion regarding the quality of the stones, and the condition of the mounting, AND an appraisal. If it has suffered from a very active wearer and was banged around, or if it has had prior repair work done of less than top quality it can be found out right away, or especially if it’s needing prongs retipped – the #1 most important issue, as prongs in poor condition or missing altogether put your diamonds at high risk of loss. The stone or stones are likely to be of cuts other than the current traditional round brilliant, as that style of cut wasn’t introduced until the 1940’s, so if you purchase what’s been identified to you as a true antique, the presence of a brilliant cut diamond means the original stone was replaced at some point during or after the 1940’s. The color isn’t likely to be a “D” color “blue white” diamond, since diamonds with some warmth and color to them were actually more popular in rings of antique vintage. So, don’t be surprised, or even put off, by a stone identified as less than an “F” or a “G” color rating. What’s on paper isn’t quite so important as what it brings to the eye. But the cut is likely to have larger facets, and you need to know if it’s been cracked, chipped or otherwise damaged in its “previous life” as an engagement ring on someone else’s hand. While diamonds are the hardest substance known to man, and can only be faceted by diamond dust in oil, they can get inherent weak points at the tips and edges of facets. A sudden blow in the right (wrong!) angle, against some surfaces, can chip the edges. Many of them though are too small to see without magnification. BUT, this is also true of contemporary stones as well – they can be damaged the same way.

    While skin oils and acids can make your stones and gold look dull and in need of a cleaning, they aren’t going to eat away at any of them in a special way that normal, regular hand washing won’t eliminate. For regular cleaning, a regular bath in a normal jewelry cleaner will take care of the surfaces not normally reached by washing your hands, which is mostly underneath the stones, where skin oils and dead skin cells can accumulate. Most jewelry cleaners come with a small soft brush to accomplish that. Without one, an old, soft toothbrush would be a good substitute. It might interest you to know, however, that many jewelry stores which offer free cleanings actually make their own cleaner from hot water and Mr. Clean? Yep, household cleaner, or even household ammonia will accomplish the same purpose for a lot less money. Even when jewelry is being produced in manufacturing facilities, one of the last things that happens to it is being cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner full of industrial strength ammonia and some water. Industrial strength ammonia! Now, if that doesn’t eat them up – and of course it doesn’t – then there’s not much damage you can do to your jewelry by cleaning it in a little Mr. Clean and water – I use about a 10:1 mixture of water to cleaner. I’ve been a jeweler’s granddaughter all my life, and he would never have steered me wrong! Plus friends I have “in the biz” as they say. And I’m 61 now, so that’s a lot of years. About 50 since he started teaching me about jewelry when I was 9.

    However, there is one household chemical you should avoid at all costs, and that is chlorine bleach. That WILL eat up your gold. And that means not just laundry with bleach in it, but swimming pools, saunas, hot tubs, and anywhere else where chlorine products have been used to keep water “clean.” Always remove all your jewelry before going into any water like that.

    If your jewelry has pearls, emeralds, opals, or any other more fragile stones- lists are available online, and your jeweler can advise you too, do not ever put, or allow anyone else to put them in an ultrasonic cleaner. Doesnt matter if they are contemporary or antique, no ultrasonic cleaner! Pearls especially should never be cleaned in jewelry cleaner. Just rubbed gently with a soft cloth. And don’t put your jewelry on until after you’ve used all your hair spray, cologne, perfumes, etc. The rule for jewelry is always “last on, first off.”


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