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Antique Engagement Ring

almost engaged

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Hi. I am looking to get an engagement ring from the Marche aux Puces in Paris because I find all the brand name stores have uninspiring designs and inflated prices. I went to a antique certified dealer and found this ring whose style I like. However, Im not sure of the diamond quality and hence it's value because he wont tell me what grade they are as they are old and one would need to remove the diamonds from a very intricut setting. He says it is from 1870-1980 because of a horse seal on the inside of the band. I looked at the diamonds under the magnifying glass and I couldnt not really tell if there were inclusions or not. Price? 2500 Euros. Is this fair? Should I buy a vintage ring without knowing the quality of the diamond or the authenticity of the piece?


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A few questions: you say a "certified" antique dealer. Certified as what by whom? Do you have reason to believe this "certification" is worth something?


If you have reason to trust the "certification", why not believe that the item is authentic? And that is should be valued as a whole antique piece rather than as the value of the stones? You should compare it to other similar antique pieces, not to loose and/or modern stones...


The refusal to "grade" the diamonds is not necessarily a bad sign; the dealer is right that to grade them correctly they would need to be removed from the setting, which would damage it (and possibly the stones).

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I’m also interested in what a ‘certified’ dealer is and what you can conclude by that.


I count it as a bad sign that the dealer isn’t willing to make a representation about the quality of the stones. Although it’s true that a gemologist can do a better job of grading stones unmounted, you can learn quite a bit from an inspection in the mounting and I guarantee this has been done. Unless your dealer is a fool, he/she knows what it is, so the big question is why they aren’t telling you what they already know? I'm hard pressed to come up with a theory that's in your best interest.


We've got nothing like enough information about the piece to give you useful thoughts on the pricing. You are relying 100% on the dealer, which brings us back to the issue in the above paragraph. You need to decide if you trust this guy with 2500 of your Euros.


Neil Beaty

Edited by denverappraiser
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