24 January 2011

Valentine's Day at Grays

With the announcement of the Royal wedding and Valentine's Day just around the corner everyone is shopping for antique engagement rings.  Grays is the perfect place not only to find something truly special but to get some expert advice from our antique dealers.

Diamond Crossover Engagement Ring from John Joseph
The perfect engagement ring should be unique, and it’s perhaps for this reason that antique rings are becoming more and more sought after. Antique rings are usually one-off designs, sourced from around the world, so you can be sure that yours is the only one of its kind. What’s more, you know that you are buying a piece of jewellery with an ageless beauty that has stood the test of time. Platinum set Edwardian and Art Deco rings, single-stone Art Deco rings, cluster rings and bigger stones are all very popular at the moment.
Diamond & Emerald Engagement Ring from Anthea A G Antiques
About one third of the people who buy antique engagement rings at Gray’s are men planning to pop the question, the other two thirds being couples choosing together.  This also avoids any heart dropping moments when proposing if the bride doesn't like the ring or it doesn't suit her, which is quite a common occurance.
French Art Deco Engagement Ring from Westminster Group.
Of course, another major reason for the current popularity of antique engagement rings is that they are affordable. Antique rings offer better value for money because antique dealers sell on the margin scheme - so they pay vat on our profit and not on the whole amount. Therefore prices are generally cheaper than modern versions.
Diamond Engagement Ring from Donald Edge.
Here are some top tips for picking the right antique engagement ring from our expert dealers at Gray’s:

• Buy the best you can afford. Traditionally one month's salary is used as a guide price.

• Avoid buying online, as it is so important to actually see and try on what you are going to buy. It’s such an important purchase it is good to see the item in person and get advice from the dealer.

• Get an insurance valuation.

• Ask the dealer questions about the make of the ring, the date of manufacture and about the type of stone – e.g. have any stones been replaced, are they firmly set.

• Read up on the 4 C's; Cut, Clarity, Colour, Carat.  These will help you understand the different types of diamonds and quality available.  You can read more on this here.

• Buy with love. Real beauty does not necessarily have a price!

For more information on engagement rings at Grays click here, or pay us a visit and see for yourself!

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