Because there’s a certain romance in being thrifty, right?

If you’re on the market for second hand engagement ring, firstly, did you notice the neatness of the phrase in relation to rings; that it will be the second hand to wear that particular ring? No? Just us, then.

Anyway, there are myriad positive aspects of buying your engagement ring second hand; you’ll likely save money, and you’ll reduce your environmental impact, too. You may even find a one-of-a-kind piece, and that’s something everyone wants from such a special, sentimental item, right? Now you’re likely convinced, let’s dive in a little deeper. Here are 5 tips for buying second hand engagement rings.

CONSIDER ALL THE BENEFITS 

People are often cautious about buying pre-loved pieces; there’s the false assumption that pre-owned pieces are old and cheap. Some may even suggest they bring bad luck. But superstitions are just the religion of a feeble mind, right? 

As such, people might be reluctant to buy second hand, or worse still, get buyers remorse. 

The first thing to address is any cognitive dissonance you may be experiencing when considering a second hand engagement ring. We’re going to help by extolling the virtues of preloved pieces

  • Buying a second hand engagement ring is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way to shop. The mining of precious metals and gemstones has a huge impact on the environment, not least the human rights issues that go alongside it. Pre-owned pieces, and the benefits of cyclical shopping, have a wholly less detrimental impact.
  • Second hand engagement rings offer the opportunity to buy something unique and distinct. Not only are there more choices and styles, second hand collections are often full of vintage, antique, rare and alternative rings that are one of a kind and you won’t find anywhere else.
  • It’s also cheaper to buy secondhand jewellery. Moreover, as jewellery depreciates in value over the years; that brand new diamond ring that originally cost £1000 could be worth just £50 years later. We wouldn’t want to wheel out that oft-repeated fact about a car’s value once it’s driven off the lot…so we won’t. But we kinda already did. Anyway, according to the experts, Vintage Victorian or art decor rings fare best – the rarer the ring, the more likely it is to hold onto its value.

DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE

If you’re shopping online, it’s certainly essential to do your due diligence before entering those all-important card details. Check the reputation and credentials of the website to ensure there’s no foul play occurring, also making sure to check if you’re purchasing from a certified jeweller.

Indeed, the online jewellery world is particularly difficult to navigate. If you’re considering buying from a platform like eBay, Etsy or other community-sourced platforms, check if the jeweller is Assay Assured – an online trust scheme for jewellery e-tailers. As trust-marks go, this is the most sought after online. 

CERTIFICATES, STAMPS & HALLMARKS

The experts at the jewelleryguru.com, who buy and sell second hand jewellery, suggest that the ”knowledge and power residing in the hands of the dealers and traders opens non-professional sellers up to being taken advantage of by unscrupulous experts who can buy low and sell high to boost their own profits’’. As such, it’s essential that authentication exists and is sought out.

Your second hand engagement ring should come with a certificate of authenticity from the WGI, GIA or IGI. While this is not always the case, since heirlooms and antiques may not always have corresponding documents (or they might have been lost), it’s still always a good idea to check when you buy. Also, ensure that the documents are genuine and beware of forged documents.

What’s more, stamps and hallmarks help you to identify the carat and quality of the ring; the government even has guidance on hallmarking that is useful to anyone buying and understanding the value of second hand engagement rings.

DESIGN & SIZE MATTERS

If you find a preowned engagement ring that you love, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and romance of it all. When this happens, a danger exists that you’ll forget about all the other important considerations when picking the perfect engagement ring. 

The most important of these considerations regarding preloved pieces is size. While some engagement rings are easy to resize, there needs to be enough room on the ring for the work to be done.

Depending on the design, resizing may not be possible and if the size of the adjustment is too great, it can compromise the structural integrity of the ring, leaving it vulnerable to breakage. What’s more, some resizing may completely change the shape of the ring, resulting in a misshapen piece – and those superstitious people we spoke about earlier may believe that to be particularly ominous.

If the ring is full eternity band, it can’t be resized because of the way the stones are set. Diamonds in tensions settings, where the stones are not mounted on rings, shouldn’t be resized as the structural strength that holds the diamonds in place will be compromised. 

If saving money is your main priority, do bear in mind that resizing can be expensive, especially for more complex rings. 

GO ON A TRIP

When buying online, it’s hard to get proper advice on buying second hand engagement rings, not least that you can’t’ try the ring on. A trip to the jewellery lanes of Brighton, London’s Hatton Garden or Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter could be just the ticket on your quest to find the ideal ring for you, allowing you to sample a few before you buy. Even if you don’t, it’s a great excuse for a day out!