The Best Place to Buy Antique Engagement Rings in Orange County & Surrounding Areas

Antique Engagement Rings – Why Are Vintage Diamond Rings So Special?

Everyone has their own taste, and lovers of antique & estate jewelry are no exception. If you’re thinking of taking the plunge and searching for antique engagement rings for your bride-to-be, you’re not alone. Antique engagement rings are back in vogue — you’ve seen them on your favorite celebrities’ fingers and in major fashion magazines.

But why purchase an antique engagement ring? At Watch & Wares, we like to ask, why not purchase one? Vintage and antique engagement rings are nod to historic style and values, but also incredibly chic and unique. With each vintage engagement ring comes it’s own history and a connection to the past… a time where bonds between lovers were not only sacred, but tough to break. From the Great Depression to the Roar & Bustle of Big Band, Classic Hollywood Stars & Cinema, and who can forget Prohibition? The 1920’s and 1930’s saw a lot of ups-and-downs, but there was a solidarity within the country as well.

As such, there’s been a huge upswing in all things vintage & throwback, antique engagement rings included. We’ve also seen a rise in custom wedding bands made to emulate vintage wedding rings and estate jewelry from the days where radio and newspaper ruled over social media and online videos.

How Much Should I Budget for Antique Engagement Rings in Orange County?

Shop the Largest Selection of Antique Engagement Rings in Southern California at Watch & Wares

Antique Engagement Rings at Watch & Wares. Photo c/o @isaiahvaldez.official via Instagram

While many people have caught the vintage engagement ring bug, there aren’t too many guidelines out there to help you shop for an antique engagement ring. Orange County and Southern California are both havens for estate jewelry and vintage wedding rings come in all shapes, sizes, precious metals and colors.

Some antique wedding bands and vintage engagement rings may look the similar on the surface. The truth is, while most antique engagement rings may have similar qualities, there’s a few things you should look out for. But before we go any further, you’ll want to figure out your budget for the engagement ring. Finding out what you want to spend on a vintage diamond ring is paramount to the process. It provides a guideline for qualifying different pieces and picking your favorite rings.

Budgeting your purchase properly also gives the antique engagement ring store or jeweler insight as to where to start. Since we’re talking about diamonds and precious metals, prices will vary. The great news is that vintage engagement rings can be extremely affordable or on the other end of the spectrum, lavish & expensive. Once you’ve got the budget out of the way, we can now begin shopping for the perfect antique engagement rings that fit your taste & bankbook.

What Should I Look for When Shopping for Vintage & Antique Engagement Rings?

antique engagement ring, vintage engagement ring, antique, vintageWhile some antique engagement rings feature a diamond as the main stone, others may incorporate sapphires or other precious gems. It’s important to buy from a reputable antique engagement ring store in your area. Go to a place you trust, or one that has great online reviews. Furthermore, look for a jewelry store that specializes in antique engagement rings. If you’re ever in doubt, simply ask.

If the jewelry store carries vintage or estate jewelry, ask them about their antique engagement rings. Find out about their selection and vetting process. Ask the vintage jewelry store if they have anyone on staff that inspects or certifies the diamonds. Look into whether or not they restore their antique jewelry and engagement rings. Finally, you’ll want to know about the vintage engagement ring’s appraisal process.

Some other important things to ask when shopping for antique engagement rings includes:

  • What era is the vintage diamond engagement ring from?
  • What is the diamond’s clarity, size and color rating?
  • Is the precious metal rated at 10k, 14k, 24k etc.
  • Where was the antique ring acquired?
  • Did the vintage diamond ring undergo any restoration?
  • Do you have a GIA gemologist on staff?
  • Will I receive an appraisal & certificate with my purchase?

If You’re Shopping for Vintage or Antique Engagement Rings in Orange County, Check Watch & Wares First!

antique engagament ring, vintage engagement ring, pear shaped diamondAt Watch & Wares, we hate tooting our own horn, but we practically wrote the book on vintage, estate and antique jewelry. Our history dates back 35 years with over a century of vintage jewelry experience between our entire staff. Our Owner, William Houchin, is a collector of fine jewelry and vintage & estate engagement rings and has been honing his skills for over 3 decades. We started as collectors and that’s why we only offer the best.

Our customers know us as the premier destination for vintage, designer and antique engagement rings in Southern California. Our selection of vintage diamonds and wedding bands is staggering, and we’re proud of that. We’ve earned a reputation as the best place to buy antique engagement rings for many reasons, but our commitment to our customers is our favorite.

We’ve sold thousands of pieces on eBay, where we hold 100% Feedback since the early 90’s. We cross-sell items on Etsy and have an immaculate 5-star rating on Yelp through all of our 3 locations. Our flagship jewelry store in the Orange Circle features hundreds of antique engagement rings and vintage settings. If you’re looking for a custom engagement ring or would like to replace a cherished heirloom that was lost, we can do that too!

Watch & Wares Has the Best Selection of Estate & Antique Diamond Engagement Rings in SoCal

Best vintage rings, vintage rings, vintage and antique ringsWatch & Wares has a GIA gemologist on staff and every vintage piece of jewelry we acquire undergoes a well-practiced restoration process. Not only is every antique engagement ring and vintage wedding band appraised properly, most look brand new.

We’ve served hundreds of beautiful couples that have tied the knot in Southern California. We’re proud to be a part of a legacy and tradition that keeps these beautiful antique engagement rings alive. We know that every customer is unique in terms of taste, budget and needs. We offer a 12-month layaway with no interest on all of our vintage wedding bands and diamond engagement rings.

Give us a call at 714-633-2030 or come by the store today! Speak with one of our Engagement Ring Concierges and let them walk you through some of our pieces. Ask us questions — we love answering them. In the end, we want happy & satisfied lovers making educated decisions. We want you to love the jewelry you wear and nothing is more cherished than an engagement ring.

Make the gift you give her on this special occasion one she’ll remember and covet forever.


*for more information about precious gems & diamonds used in antique engagement rings, visit the GIA Gem Encyclopedia.

*if you’d like to sell us antique engagement rings or other jewelry, you can come by or stop by our Tustin, CA location!

5 Tips to Help you Shop for the Best Vintage Rings

5 Tips to Help you Shop for the Best Vintage Rings

When shopping for the best vintage rings in Orange County, Los Angeles and other surrounding areas of Southern California, there are a few tips that can help you find not only get the best price, but find the best rings as well! We’ve compiled this handy jewelry buyer’s guide as part of a series of How-To’s that are aimed at giving you more confidence in shopping for and selecting only the best vintage rings.

Tip #1 – A Jewelry Store’s Knowledge is Key in Identifying the Best Vintage Rings

So let’s say you’re ready to pop the question and have spent hours on the Internet researching your significant other’s favorite styles of vintage engagement rings. You keep track of diamond rings they post on Pinterest, ask their friends for advice and even have design in mind, but aren’t sure about the specifics. If you’re not sure about what you’re looking for, you’re not alone. Some people aren’t sure if they want a vintage setting to compliment the heirloom diamond that was handed down to them, or if they should start from scratch and get a custom-made vintage-style engagement ring.

Because there are so many variables when it comes to designing the best vintage rings and engagement rings, finding a jeweler and engagement ring store that has the right knowledge is key. You want a jeweler that has been in business for a long time and knows their stuff. Regardless of whether or not you know exactly what diamond engagement ring you want, your jeweler should definitely know the ins and outs of the best vintage rings and be there to guide you in the right direction. Try not to confuse this with a jewelry store that will guide you towards the more expensive option, because sometimes you can find inexpensive vintage engagement rings that fit the bill.

An experienced engagement ring store that has been selling the best vintage rings, diamonds and engagement rings for a long time will know what questions to ask you in order to help find what engagement ring fits your taste & budget perfectly. Likewise, they will also know the right questions to ask in order to weed out the options and hundreds of diamond engagement rings that won’t suit your specific needs.

Tip #2 – A Jewelry Store is Only as Good as its Inventory of Engagement Rings

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Use your own family stone and purchase a vintage mounting to save!

Selection is a big part of finding the best vintage rings, diamond rings and engagement rings. Because without selection and a large inventory of engagement rings, you’ll never truly know if you got your favorite piece. Once you find a jewelry store that specializes in selling the best vintage rings, stop in and view their showcase. There’s traditional diamond rings in several cuts. Some engagement rings have sapphires or other colored stones. Vintage rings come in all forms. Some rings are white gold while others are platinum. Some engagement rings may just have a platinum setting, but no stone. There are also engagement rings that have beautiful and intricate filigree and engraving.

The point is, there’s so many choices & options that you can go with! Without visiting a jewelry store with a large selection of the best vintage rings, you can never be sure if you’ve found one that you know she’ll be crazy about for years to come, and that’s a tough lesson to learn. When shopping for the best vintage rings, find an engagement ring store with the biggest selection of antique diamond rings you can find, and get it right the first time!

Tip #3 – Make Sure They’ve Got a Gemologist in the Jewelry Shop!

best vintage jewelry, vintage jewelry, May Karam, Gemologist,

Make sure the jewelry you purchase has been vetted by a gemologist.

Any good jewelry store in Orange County knows their diamonds and engagement rings pretty well. A great jewelry store to buy diamond engagement rings from will have an actual gemologist on their staff! The different here is staggering. It’s like having a race-car driver who moonlights as a mechanic acting as a salesperson at a car dealership. A gemologist’s job is identify, grade and appraise gemstones. But it doesn’t stop there. If they’re employed by a jewelry store that sells vintage engagement rings, they’ll ensure they carry the best vintage rings.

Another reason to go to a vintage engagement rings store that has a gemologist on staff is peace of mind. You’ll know you’re getting the right stone and paying the right price for it. For instance, some sapphires are yellow, but so are fancy yellow diamonds. Aquamarines and Blue Topaz may look identical to some people. We’ve all heard stories about people buying a vintage ring only to learn the stone wasn’t what they thought. This can be bad news for both the vintage engagement ring store, but devastating to the buyer.

When in doubt, go to a vintage diamond ring store in Orange County that has a gemologist. This is also important if you’re buying colored stones or if you’re looking for a diamond with a specific grade/clarity. Finally, a gemologist will also appraise and value diamonds and diamond engagement rings properly. If you’re looking for the best vintage rings, buy from a place that has graded the diamond ring already? This can also ensure you’re getting the best value for your dollar, and a proper appraisal.

Tip #4 – Know How Much You Want to Spend

Cost will always be a defining factor when searching for the best vintage rings. Don’t get emotionally attached to an engagement ring before purchase. Go into the engagement ring store with a clear head. Make a list of antique ring attributes you or your significant other are looking for. Have an engagement ring budget and remember that the best vintage rings aren’t necessarily the most expensive.

When going into a Vintage Engagement Ring store, remember that several factors affect the cost. Some diamond rings may be antiques, while others are custom-made. There may smaller diamond rings that cost more than larger engagement rings simply due to the era it comes from. Whatever type of vintage ring you’re looking for, go into the jewelry store with a budget — you’ll thank yourself later. Any reputable diamond ring dealer in Orange County or Los Angeles would be happy to work with your budget. The jewelers that sell the best vintage rings generally also do enough volume to work with you a little on price.

Tip #5 The Jewelry Store’s Reputation & Commitment

Do some research on the jewelry store before your visit. Find out about other customers’ experiences. Find out if they offer warranties on their vintage rings and whether or not they stand by them. Yelp and Google can be a big help here. Check and see if they have an eBay store or if they sell online. Find out what people are saying about their online transactions as well.

At Watch & Wares, we’ve been selling the best vintage rings in Orange County for close to 30 years. What started as a small jewelry store in the Orange Circle has expanded into 3 locations. We buy, sell and provide collateral loans on vintage engagement rings. We’ve got a GIA-Certified Gemologist on staff to grade and appraise diamond rings. Watch & Wares has the largest inventory and the best vintage rings in California. The owner William Houchin has spent 3 decades helping customers find the best engagement rings for their special day.

We are a full-service jewelry store located in The Circle at Old Towne Orange. We provide Top-Notch Jewelry Repair and guaranteed work. Our master jeweler has over 32 years of experience. We provide impeccable jewelry repair and custom creations. Other jewelers come to us when they can’t fix it themselves. Read more about Our History & Expertise by clicking here.

Best vintage rings, vintage rings, vintage and antique ringsOur selection of diamond engagement rings will satisfy every bride and budget. Our engagement rings represent all art periods. If you’ve been thinking of popping the question, you’ve found the right store that can help! Our reputation speaks for itself and we have a solid 5-star review rating on Yelp. We’ve got 100% positive feedback on eBay, where we’ve been selling the best vintage rings and estate jewelry since the late 90’s!

Call Watch & Wares to Find the Best Vintage Rings Today!

Our customers love that many of our best vintage rings are one of a kind. We offer free ring sizing in most cases!

Call us at 714-633-2030 or stop in for a free consultation with an Engagement Ring Expert today!