Would you wear a used engagement ring? Here are some reasons to go secondhand

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Reasons to buy a used engagement ring as seen on @offbeatbride #engagementring #weddings
Is it REAL?! Awesomely faux plastic engagement ring from Violet Vanilla

There are usually three types of reasons one might sell a used engagement ring: a divorce, lack of use/wear, or to pay for a ring upgrade or other life expense. It's interesting how each reason can change the price and perception of rings.

There are definitely folks out there who might not want a ring from a divorce just for superstition purposes, but for most of us, a used engagement ring can be the ticket to good bang for the buck. Let's talk shop on why you might (or might not) want to opt for a secondhand used engagement ring.

You'll save money

Got engagement ring envy? Want a larger rock than you could afford otherwise? Are you just strapped for cash and still want some pretty bling? A used engagement ring can get you a lot more for the money.

Rings don't devalue quickly, if at all

Diamond rings usually don't lose value like a used car. Heck, diamonds are already old as balls in nature. If a ring is cared for, it can last for many years. A new ring may have that new ring “feel,” but a secondhand ring can be just as sparkly and awesome.

You can score antique stories

Another reason you may find a used ring is that it's actually an antique someone is selling from an inheritance or estate. These can net you awesome back-stories with real history and that vintage look that's popular. Will you save money this way? Maybe not, but it could be worth it for a little link to the past. You can find antique engagement rings at online stores or at any antique marketplace.

Con: watch for scams

Those online used ring marketplaces often have safeguards to prevent getting scammed, but places like eBay, Etsy, and Craigslist can be a little more shady.

There are only a few legit diamond grading labs like GIA (Gemological Institute of America), AGS (American Gemological Society), and IGI (International Gemological Institute). Try to stick to getting verification from those places just to be sure and verify it with the lab itself before you buy. On sites like eBay, look at seller ratings carefully, and feel free to ask lots of questions.

There are reputable places to buy

You can find certified, like-new rings at places like Kay Jewelers and  Zales  — we're talking 70% off gorgeous rings! 

Once a sale is made, the seller sends the ring to the website, not the buyer. A gemologist then verifies all the details of the ring, and payment is held in escrow until after authentication.

Would YOU wear a secondhand ring? Under what circumstances? Tell us in the comments!

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Comments on Would you wear a used engagement ring? Here are some reasons to go secondhand

  1. We found my engagement ring in a fantastic little antique/shipwreck salvage shop while on vacation in the Caribbean. We’d tried all the duty free jewelry places and were just feeling they were pushy and over-selling what I wanted, which was a small, elegant ring (no offense to huge rock-wearing ladies. I just prefer a smaller ring on my hand). We walked into the shop, really only to take a break from the high-pressure sales we’d been feeling, and the ring was just sitting there. I tried it on… and it was love at first sight. I love that my ring has a history (it’s circa 1910), that I bought it from a smaller, more local-feeling shop, and that it FIT immediately! (My fiance loves that he spent exactly what he wanted, and got a ring WAY nicer than he would have from the jewelry store if it were brand-new!)

    Now, the only problem is finding a wedding ring that I’ll love just as much. The engagement ring was just kismet.

      • No. Not at all. And that’s not an awful plan — it just never occurred to me! So, thanks for the thought. I may end up doing that!

        But when I say problem, I of course mean “problem.” It’s certainly a great problem to have — having a ring I adore is not a hardship. I don’t want anyone to think I’m whining about it! 🙂

        • I really did not like the feeling of two rings together so since about a day after we got married, I’ve just worn the one ring. Maybe test it to see if another band looks/feels right?

  2. I like to call mine vintage… Code for second hand. Bought it from my friends jewellery shop. Similar rings new cost 3 times what we paid for it.

    I was superstitious about a second hand ring till I realised I could get 3x the bling. It’s relatively unusual so it may never have been an engagement ring.

  3. My fiance got me a beautiful antique engagement ring – it’s from Tiffany’s (original box included!) and there is an engraving on the inside that says “1921.” I adore it. I really dislike modern engagement rings, and this one is so much more my style. I was a bit worried about finding a “matching” wedding band, but happened to find a perfectly coordinating one on a trip to Portland. We popped in an antique jewelry store there and found a wedding band also from the 1920s, perfectly my size, mimicking the style of my engagement ring – and yes, far cheaper than a new ring like it would have cost. I just love thinking about the history of these rings too!

  4. We also looked at 2nd hand/ vintage rings. We didn’t find one 🙁 instead found we found an emerald cut sapphire that we both fell in love with at this little historic jewelry shop about 2 hours from where we live. It was also way under the budge we had set for rings. I decided against a wedding band which also saved money.

  5. My engagement ring is a beautiful 1920s Art Deco white gold ring with two diamonds and six rectangular sapphires. I ADORE it. Before we even got engaged, I’d banned my hubby from buying me a ring because I’m super fussy. So after he popped the question I spent a few days hunting around websites like EraGem, which is where I ended up finding my ring. It was one of the first ones I found, and nothing else really compared! It is so much more my style than modern engagement rings

  6. My engagement ring is an antique 1930’s amethyst and pave’ diamond ring in white gold. I love that it is over 80 years old and looks very art deco. My wedding band is a 1980’s Tiffany wedding band with 9 beautiful diamonds. We could never afford a new Tiffany ring so a used one was perfect. We bought them both at a small jewelry store in Phoenix called Diamond Jim’s. They have new pieces but what really gets me excited is all their vintage and estate pieces. I LOVE MY RINGS. Why pay mall prices when you can shop local and probably save 40-50% from the chain stores.

  7. One more reason to go second-hand: the mining of precious stones and precious metals often comes with pretty big problems. Here’s a short intro to ethical issues in jewellery: http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/clothing/1329043/ethical_jewellery_what_to_ask_and_what_to_buy.html

    Now, obviously buying vintage isn’t the only way to have an ethical ring, but it’s a pretty surefire way to do so! I and my fiance got rings from a seller on Etsy (we made sure to buy from one with an excellent reputation). We couldn’t be happier with our choice: our budget wouldn’t have allowed for anything so unique if bought new.

  8. My husband picked out my engagement ring all by himself (and did a fantastic job!) It’s a new ring from a big box store. I absolutely love it but would have been just as happy with a used ring. I’m a life long goodwill shopper so I have no issue with something being used especially because not only does it save money but a lot of times used items are more unique than the hot off the assembly line, made en mass, items.

  9. My fiance proposed with a non-diamond ring that was a gift from friends who were sick of his excuses for why he hand’t yet asked me. Literally, it came from our friend’s wife’s jewelry box that same night.

    This past Christmas, my fiance gave me a new (to me) ring with matching band. He felt that I deserved a large diamond/diamond-like stone (two jewelers have told us that it’s likely a moissanite, but that’s a different story for another day), and the amount of thought that he put into it means way more to me than how the ring came to be in our possession. He bought it second hand from a friend of his who is getting re-married and in the process of relocating, so selling her set worked out for everyone involved. I don’t know what he paid, but he knows what SHE paid (or what her ex-husband paid, I suppose) and he feels like he got a bargain.

    I wasn’t expecting it, but truthfully, I don’t care that it came from someone else. While I believe in all sorts of other superstitions, I don’t think jewelry is “cursed” just because the marriage did (or didn’t) work out. After all, these things are typically purchased and given/received with only the best intentions. What happens after that, in any of our relationships, is essentially a roll of the dice.

  10. I know this post is from a while ago, but I just came across it so…
    The Boyfriend works in a pawn shop so I can pretty much guarantee my ring will be secondhand. I am completely fine with that. He has gotten me other unique jewelry there that I get compliments on all the time. Every time they get in something he thinks I would like, he sends me pictures so I know whatever engagement ring he picks will be something unique, well within his price range, and something I will love.

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