I recently got married (more of this another day!) and to my surprise discovered that buying vintage wedding bands wasn’t as easy as I had thought. If you are similarly looking for wedding rings, here are my top suggestions for where to buy your dream pair.

Your local antiques market
When my husband and I decided to get married, the first places we checked out were antique markets. As we’re based in London, we had quite a lot of choice, like Greys Antiques and Alfies Antiques. We had decided on silver or platinum bands, as simple as possible, and I loved the idea of getting a Thirties Art Deco band. To my surprise, there were hardly any rings we liked, and many dealers told us that people are selling their heirloom jewellery to be melted rather than selling them as vintage as this gives a better return.

We also soon realised that since my husband and I have completely different ring sizes, finding a matching pair or a pair that could be made to match us, would be near impossible. So if you and your partner have very different ring sizes, be prepared to go for non-matching rings!

Sadly, I also wasn’t prepared for the rudeness of a lot of the dealers who completely ignored us, clearly thinking we weren’t worth the effort. Don’t let this put you off though, if you’re after gold rings and don’t mind not having matching pairs, an antiques market is still a great starting point!

When it comes to online shops, Etsy comes in top for vintage wedding bands. A simple search brings up lots of options. If you’re worried about sizing, go to a local jewelers to have your fingers measured. There are plenty of ring size converters online which will help you find the right measurement.

What I really loved about many of the rings we looked at on Etsy was that they were already engraved with a wedding date or love note -to me that’s hugely romantic!

The high-street
If you are after something really simple and on a tight budget, you might want to consider the highstreet. Admittedly, shops like H Samuel sell modern jewellery but when we had a look, I found lots of very plain gold or silver bands that reminded me of my grandparents’ simple gold bands.

Your family
Instead of buying something, you might want to consider using rings that belong to your family. When my nan died, I inherited lots of her jewellery, including some gold rings. I’m not a fan of gold, which is why I decided against it in the end, but I could have had her rings re-sized to fit me or reworked into something totally new.

Incidentally, in the end, we didn’t go for vintage rings but second-hand ones from recycled silver. This way, we got the simple design we wanted with the same ethical qualities of a vintage ring, and who knows, maybe one day they’ll become heirlooms for generations to come.

3 Responses

  1. Missy Vintage

    I also found shopping for wedding rings difficult. I aspired for a vintage ring for myself, but Joe was pretty open minded about his, and we always knew we wouldn’t get matching ones but that made it easier.

    I found looking for a ‘vintage’ ring really difficult and in a few shops they actually brought out trays of just second hand – which I obviously don’t have a problem with, but they were trays of rings that could have been from people who divorced yesterday – no age to them , not even from the 60s.

    I had to really push to be shown earlier rings but I felt I was either fobbed off, or made to feel like I couldn’t afford them! (One shop made me feel *exactly* like that scene from Pretty Woman, when she’s told to basically bugger off because she isn’t rich enough!)

    What I settled for in then end was a brand new white gold ring, but with a traditional design – which is remarkably like the one pictured in your post, in fact I had to study it very closely to see if there were indeed the same.

    I feel new but traditional was a good compromise for me. I’ve had lots of compliments on it and so many people have said it’s ”very me” – so I think the end choice was perfect. Just a shame shopping for rings just wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be.

    • Lena

      I can completely relate to your experience. Shopping for rings was something we both looked forward to but being looked up and down by people and only being shown modern rings – we had the same issues as you – made us feel really depleted. Like you we went for modern rings (using second-hand silver) in the end. Mine is super simple and looks like a lot of the 60s rings I researched.

      I’m glad you found a ring you love! x

  2. CherryT

    My problem was I have very large hands and fingers, UK size S! We ended up going for new, but had a plain gold band, not very thick or bulky, in fact it’s the same width as my mom’s wedding ring from 1958, which, incidently, fits my little finger 🙂