Roundup: Unique Vintage Engagement Rings For Under $2K


TurtleLove.com has you covered

by Maddie Eisenhart, Managing Editor

Roundup: Unique Vintage Engagement Rings For Under $2K | A Practical Wedding

Before Michael and I got engaged, I dreamed of a vintage engagement ring. As a child, I spent a lot of time creating elaborate and dramatic narratives wherein I would find a hundred-year-old diary or treasure map in my attic and be transported to some long forgotten time. So a piece of jewelry with a built-in backstory fit in nicely with my historical fantasies (to me, vintage jewelry was like costume jewelry with street cred). But I had ulterior motives for wanting to shop vintage as well: Michael and I were young and broke when we got engaged, and vintage jewelry was the cheater’s way to get a really special ring for less than a whole year’s salary. And as much as I really did want that backstory, what I really wanted was to boast that I had a ring like no one else’s (I suffer from a pretty serious case of snowflake syndrome).

Back in 2007, online engagement ring shopping was… lackluster at best. Sterile and impersonal at worst. And finding a local vintage dealer we could afford seemed really daunting. So I ended up with a lovely vintage-inspired ring from Jared’s that I’m going to imbue with my own backstory, if it’s the last thing I do. But lucky for you, you have TurtleLove.com. Unlike a lot of other vintage engagement ring retailers, TurtleLove.com stocks their vintage engagement ring collection with rings almost exclusively in the $2,000 and under range, and they do so with beautifully ornate pieces that have just as much oomph as huge, pricey diamonds. And today I’ve rounded up my favorites of the bunch; the most unique and snowflakey engagement rings of them all. But don’t think for a second this is an exhaustive list. TurtleLove.com has plenty of unique engagement rings in their inventory right now—from simple and understated to beautifully crafted ornate pieces. And since so much of the craftsmanship of these rings is in the design itself, they are all priced at a value even 2007 Maddie can afford:

Roundup: Unique Vintage Engagement Rings For Under $2K | A Practical Wedding

1. Lavinia Diamond Vintage Engagement Ring circa 1950 ($995) 2. Ida Diamond Vintage Engagement Ring circa 1950 ($1525) 3. Paula Vintage Engagement Ring circa 1950 ($1475) 4. Henrietta Diamond Vintage Engagement Ring circa 1950 ($1650) 5. Alma Diamond Vintage Engagement Ring circa 1950 ($950) 6. Mabel Diamond Vintage Engagement Ring circa 1950 ($875)

Sometimes I think shopping for an engagement ring is the most fun in theory. Sure, I can peek in a store window and choose my favorite in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, that favorite usually costs $10,000 (double if it’s vintage). When it comes time for the real deal, it can be really hard to find a ring that feels unique and special and like it belongs to you, while still keeping your budget in check. But TurtleLove.com is changing all that, every day, with a constantly evolving inventory. And lucky you gets to reap all the benefits.

Not sure what to look for in a vintage engagement ring? Check out TurtleLove.com’s guide to buying a vintage engagement ring right here on APW!

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is the Managing Editor of A Practical Wedding. She’s been writing stories about boys and crushes since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) in the art of talking from NYU in 2008. In her spare time, she takes pictures of people in love. Maddie lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband Michael, her Mastiff named Juno, and her roommate named Joe.

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  • sarah l

    So, not vintage, and I have no idea how APW the companies are, but I want to put in a shout out to synthetic/simulated/lab grown diamonds as a budget-friendly option. My rings are super sparkly and blingy and were definitely a lot more affordable than anything comparable in a mined diamond. plus, they’re definitely not blood diamonds. we got my rings from diamond nexus – don’t know much about their business practices, but they have a strong BBB rating and will supposedly replace the stones if anything happens to them.

    • frugal anon

      totally! I have a vintage repro in 14k white gold with a moissanite center stone. I love it, and I REALLY love that it was $500.

    • Ally

      YES 100%! I love my lab diamond. Mine wasn’t THAT MUCH cheaper than a similar mined diamond but I do feel much better about it’s origin. Science, right? I got mine from Brilliant Earth and I do have to say that they are awesome – I went to their SF showroom about a million times to try things on and they were always super helpful and informative.

  • Sara W

    My wedding ring is a vintage engagement ring I got from Turtle Love. The quality is great, the ring is beautiful, and it came at an affordable price!

  • ardenelise

    Any chance Turtle Love will start offering vintage wedding bands? I really want one and so far scouring eBay isn’t going so well!

    • Laura C

      I have another “any chance” question: Any chance of vintage earrings or other jewelry? I know this is a wedding site, but people need post-marriage gifts, too, right?

      • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck Winokur

        And not everyone wants a wedding band! See Rachel’s amazing vintage watch.

        • Ally

          My husband SO wanted a wedding watch instead of ring, but I wasn’t having that. In the end he got both and we’re both happy.

    • Jessica

      http://antiqueengagementrings.com offers a huge selection of vintage or vintage repro bands.

  • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

    I was so close to asking my fiancé to get my ring off Turtle Love Co…. I love my ring, but sometimes I still look at those ones and dream..:) I love vintage rings so much.

  • SB

    A little tired of the whiteness. The ‘default’ (white of course) people used everywhere, lack of discussion about race or ethnicity, the fascination with Girls, the lack of women of color intern/staff except for the awesome Rachel…. Of course you are going to tell me it is my fault for not contributing to this site and making it not as white. But if something is so white as to feel uncomfortable already?

  • Beth R

    These are all lovely. I also really really wanted a vintage engagement ring, but ended up with a “vintage inspired” one from Brilliant Earth. It doesn’t quite have the same feel, but whatchoogonnado. I did, however, get a vintage wedding band that I love love love, so that fulfills my own historical fantasies. As with so many other things, the details put into vintage jewelry just feel so much more…true and cared for.

  • rorygordon

    Have you guys heard of Ruby Lane? It’s kind of like a high end Etsy – lots of vintage jewelry and furniture that’s usually for sale by people with very established shops. My dad sells a lot of vintage rings and non-diamond rings that are a little funky and off the beaten path. You can find a lot of good stuff on there: http://www.rubylane.com/shop/scottgordonjewelry/ilist/,cs=Jewelry:Vintage:Rings

    • ardenelise

      Oh my goodness, thank you so much for this tip! Just found a wedding band that would be perfect, but a little out of my price range. I’m going to have to start checking Ruby Lane regularly!

    • H

      Ruby Lane is probably my most-haunted website (next to APW). I have a hard time not checking every day…it’s terrible.

  • Gina

    Also, if anyone is in driving distance to Pittsburgh, I would really recommend visiting Marlene Harris at her little jewelry shop (a refurbished chicken coop!) She has an amazing vintage and vintage inspired collection of rings (and bands) and many of them are between $500 and $1000. My husband and I had a great time visiting her to buy my engagement ring, and then later, bands that perfectly match the Art Deco style. Her website shows much of her collection here: http://www.marleneharriscol.com/categories/VintageEngagementRings.html

  • Helen

    This is essentially just boasting, but my engagement ring was my fiance’s great grandmother’s, who was a jewellery design student in the 1920s. It’s frickin gorgeous.
    About 6 months before we got engaged, we had a stand up row with me saying that I wanted to choose my own ring because I was the one who had to wear it & I wanted something I really loved. Turns out he had just been given the ring by his grandmother & knew I would love it. I have since apologised profusely.

    • H

      Girl, boast away. That’s awesome that you have a ring you love and a funny story too!

  • H

    These are lovely and all, but I all I see is white on white, and maybe one yellow gold band in the mix. I know the diamond is, at least in the past fifty years or so, “traditional” but I’d love to see some more colour and variety in the roundup! I agree that vintage is the way to go for so many reasons. I freaking adore my ring. It’s from somewhere around 1890-1900 and the previous owner’s name is inscribed on the inside. I think that detail is what I love best of all. Me and Berta, rocking the size four rose gold and seed pearls! (another MAJOR perk of vintage: if you have freakishly small child-hands, it’s not hard to find under size five ready to go).

  • emily h

    I just got engaged a little over a week ago (very happy to find this site in my early rounds of internet research btw) and I had to comment on this story and give my advice. My fiance and I both wanted to find a vintage/antique/essentially pre-owned ring for me and had trouble figuring out how to do just that in a budget-friendly, screw-convention kind of way until a friend of ours suggested one of those “WE BUY GOLD! WE SELL GOLD!”-type establishments. Turns out there are several in the St. Louis area where we live and we visited about six of them before we found a ring that spoke to both of us for $400!! There were so many options in the under $2k range. Just another option!

    • emily h

      So the place we bought from is called Midwest Money, they buy and sell rare coins and jewelry, so maybe not as icky as my original description would leave you to believe…or I’m just telling myself that to feel OK about it!