“Something old, something new”—you’ve heard it before, but what does that actually mean? For us at Trumpet & Horn, we live for the “something old”… particularly the very old, sometimes the over 150 years old! Vintage rings are our passion, and scouring the world for rare jewelry from decades past is our obsession. But we also have a soft spot for the “something new” out there, which we express through our ever-growing vintage-inspired collection.
So, what’s the difference between vintage & vintage-inspired, you may be wondering? Vintage and antique jewelry is authentically one-of-a-kind and was created decades (sometimes even a century!) ago. For a ring to be truly considered “vintage,” it has to have been made over 20 years ago from the present date (so before 1995) AND previously owned. Anything older than 100 years from today (those rings that were made before 1915) and previously owned is considered “antique.”
Each vintage or antique piece exhibits natural wear and characteristics of the time period it was created in. Most vintage jewelry created before the 1940s was made all by hand, from the carving of the stones to the welding and decoration of the setting. Vintage-inspired jewelry draws upon the styles and tradition of vintage jewelry, but is newly manufactured. This means that the piece has never been owned before, and can be reproduced time & time again.
If you love vintage styles, but are not sure if you want an authentically vintage ring or a vintage-inspired ring, consider these tidbits!
- Vintage jewelry tends to be more affordable than newly-made or brand name jewelry because there are no labor costs associated with the pieces, which makes the retail markup significantly less. Also, vintage diamonds and stones are considered “imperfect” by modern standards because they were cut by hand rather than by computerized lasers, which can help to reduce the price tag.
- Vintage engagement rings are truly unique & one-of-a-kind. There is only one piece out there that exhibits the distinct design and carries the same mysterious and romantic history for you to pass along to your family.
- Vintage-inspired jewelry takes influence from a distinct vintage time period, but doesn’t necessarily have any other connection with it. At Trumpet & Horn, we use recycled vintage metals & vintage stones in our vintage-inspired pieces to make them more authentic to the era, but that is not the case with all of the vintage-inspired options out there. If using recycled and conflict-free materials is important to you, this is something to consider!
- Vintage-inspired jewelry lends for more customization options than vintage jewelry. We prefer to maintain the integrity of our vintage pieces and would never tamper with a ring to replace a stone with a more modern one, but this would be an option in a vintage-inspired piece. For example, if you love the Art Deco style, but would prefer a modern, laser-cut diamond as the center stone, vintage-inspired might be the right choice for you!
Whether you’re thinking of incorporating a vintage or a vintage-inspired engagement ring into your family’s history, you’re sure to have a gorgeous and timeless piece to pass on and love for generations.
Photography: Elizabeth Fogarty | Sawyer Baird | Mariel Hannah | Jose Villa