A Guide To Buying Second-Hand Engagement Rings


When it comes to choosing an engagement ring for your significant other, a sparkling new diamond may seem like the obvious option – but it isn’t your only one. While new diamond engagement rings can be a stunning choice, there are also many advantages that second-hand engagement rings can offer.

We understand how important it is to find the perfect ring for your loved one and here at Miltons Diamonds, we want you to feel confident with your choice. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve created a guide to buying second-hand rings, including why they could be the ideal choice for you and the important factors to consider before purchasing.

Why buy second-hand engagement rings?

First things first; let’s look at a few things that a second-hand engagement ring can offer and why they are a popular choice for many when it comes to choosing such a significant jewellery piece.

1. Value for money

Don’t be put off by the label; second-hand engagement rings do not mean lower quality or value. In many cases, the opposite is true. If you’re looking for precious gemstone or diamond engagement rings, second-hand diamond rings can often offer you much more for your money, enabling you to find a higher quality stone or band for less than the price of a newer alternative. While you could find a beautiful new ring for £20,000 at any high-end jeweller, a second-hand ring can offer you the very same ring for half the price or less – and you would never know the difference. You could be looking for something more unique and personal with a custom piece, however, you’re still able to get value for money, and distinctive pieces when buying second-hand, particularly when it comes to second-hand vintage engagement rings.

2. Greater variety of choice

Whether you’re looking for contemporary or vintage style rings, another benefit to considering second-hand engagement rings is that it gives you a broader variety of designs to choose from.

One factor that inspires some people to opt for second-hand engagement rings is that they can feel unique. Second-hand engagement rings are often one of a kind and offer you the opportunity to find authentic heirlooms from different eras of popular jewellery design. Rather than replicating 1920’s pieces, you could have the genuine article. Alternatively, you can also find popular and contemporary ring designs, such as platinum rings, at a fraction of the price of brand new rings. Whichever style you’re looking for, opting for second-hand ultimately gives you far more choice.

3. Environmental impact

Another important factor to consider is the fact that second-hand engagement rings are more ethically sound and have less of a negative impact on the environment. Mining for diamonds, gold and other precious metals has a detrimental effect on not only the environment but, in some cases, human rights in the areas they are mined. By choosing a second-hand engagement ring, you are not contributing to the demand for newly-mined materials and therefore not adding to further environmental destruction. 

What should you look out for when buying second-hand engagement rings?

If you are considering second-hand engagement rings, there are a couple of important things to look out for that can help you determine the quality, authenticity subsequent pricing of your ring:

1. Ensure you buy from reputable and certified jewellers

One simple step you can take before purchasing your ring is to check the reputation and credentials of the place you buy your ring from. Are you purchasing from certified jewellers qualified to assess your ring? This is the first thing you need to check.

Here at Miltons Diamonds, our in-house team of gemologists hold official DGA and FGA qualifications, so you can rest assured that our second-hand engagement rings have been expertly checked for authenticity and quality.

2. Check for stamps and hallmarks

One other thing you can check for is evidence of stamps or hallmarks that will help you identify the carat and quality of your ring. If it’s white or yellow gold engagement rings you’re interested in, be sure to look out for a stamp that states the carat and gold purity of your ring; for example 9ct (375), 14ct (585) 18ct (750), 22ct (916).

While there are benefits to choosing a brand new ring, second-hand engagement rings offer many of their own advantages to consider and can broaden your options when searching for the perfect ring. Once you know what to look for when assessing quality and authenticity, a second-hand diamond ring could make a unique and special choice for your loved one that will last the test of time.

How to choose the right second-hand engagement ring 

It goes without saying that you want everything to be romantic and memorable when you get down on one knee to pop the question. Finding the right engagement ring can be a little tricky,  so we’ve put together a little run down of on-trend designs to help you find the perfect ring that will have your special someone saying “Yes” in a heartbeat. 

Pear cut engagement rings 

The pear cut is a classic example of a vintage design that is set to become one of the biggest trends when it comes to engagement rings. With so many huge names in the celebrity world flaunting their pear cut rings such as actress and model Emily Ratajkowski, we’re expecting to see the demand for these unique engagement rings to skyrocket. Boasting sophisticated lines and beautiful shape, a pear cut engagement ring sits elegantly on the finger and provides the right balance between metal and diamond. 

If you feel a pear cut engagement ring is right for your bride-to-be and you’d like to see an array of bands and gems, we have an extensive collection of beautiful pear cut engagement rings to help inspire you.

Diamond cluster engagement rings 

Cluster rings have seen a resurgence in popularity over the last few years, mainly thanks to high profile celebrities such as Jessica Biel and Princess Eugenie sporting the beautiful style on their own ring fingers. Made for capturing the attention of all who see it, diamond cluster engagement rings sparkle so brightly thanks to their design. With a stunning diamond in the centre of the ring, the main stone is encased by a halo of smaller gems to create a beautiful, dazzling look.

A diamond cluster engagement ring is one of the top choices for popping the question, as it’s hard to go wrong with such an elegant piece of jewellery. Whether your partner prefers white gold, rose gold or platinum, you’re sure to find what sets your special someone’s eyes to sparkle with a diamond cluster engagement ring.

Princess cut engagement rings

Princess cut engagement rings make a classic choice when it comes to signifying the love you have for your partner. One of the most admired diamond shapes over the past 20 years, princess cut diamond engagement rings will never go out of style. Their distinctive pointed corners make a sophisticated statement on the finger, while a choice of precious metals such as yellow gold, white gold, platinum or rose gold means there’s a style to suit everyone. 

If you’re looking for a ring with a ‘sparkle’, princess cut makes a great choice. This shape of the diamond provides a high level of brilliance that results in white light reflection, due to the way they’re cut from the rough stone.

Round brilliant-cut engagement rings

Another great choice, if you’re looking for an engagement ring that shines, is a round brilliant cut diamond engagement ring. Round diamonds effectively catch light from all directions, which results in more radiant shine. While all of our second-hand rings are inspected to perfection, in the long-run, round cut diamonds can hide and camouflage any minor flaws due to their multifaceted nature. As they reflect the most light than any other diamond shape, they hide hints of colour. So, if you’re looking for a ring with shine, a round brilliant cut is for you! If you’re looking for something with a hint of colour, you may want to opt for an alternative shape.

Where to buy second-hand engagement rings 

You can explore an exquisite collection of second-hand engagement rings here at Miltons Diamonds, where you’ll find a plethora of styles, diamond cuts and precious metals to choose from. Each of our second-hand pieces has been thoroughly inspected,  so you can rely on diamond clarity and pristine condition. Let’s face it; only the very best will do for your future bride! 

Additionally, if you’re looking for places to propose, or you want to get the day just right, be sure to check out our ‘How to propose’ guide for helpful hints, tips and advice.  

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