How can you tell if a ring is antique gold?

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Whether you found it while thrifting or received it as a gift, an antique gold ring is a beautiful and valuable piece of history. While it can be tricky to tell the difference between old gold and modern pieces, there are some key signs that will help you identify an antique gold ring.

In this blog, we’re going to go over some key ways to identify antique gold, while also giving you some information on key styles from past periods, to help you determine whether or not your piece really is a piece of history. Let’s get started.

How to check if a ring is antique gold

So, if you’ve been gifted a gold ring, or bought one from an antique dealer, how can you be sure of its authenticity? Here are a few ways to check:

Look for patina

One telltale sign of antique jewelry is its patina, which can give it an aged look. The patina of antique gold is often more yellow or reddish in color than the brighter hue of modern gold jewelry, so an aged patina can be one surefire way that your ring is an authentic antique piece.

In addition to this, remember that antique jewelry is often more worn or tarnished than modern pieces, so it’s worth looking closely for any signs of wear and tear. Check the edges or settings of the ring; if they are less defined than a modern piece, then this could be an indication that it’s antique gold.

Check the hallmark or stamp

Another surefire way to tell if a ring is antique gold is to check for a hallmark or stamp. Antique pieces are usually engraved with a maker’s stamp and have been hallmarked to indicate authenticity – some may even have a date stamp or a karat stamp indicating the gold percentage, such as a hallmark for a 22k gold ring. If you find a hallmark stamp on your gold ring, there’s a high chance that it’s authentic. However, do remember that not all gold jewelry has been stamped, so don’t lose hope if yours isn’t hallmarked.

It’s also important to note that some designers and manufacturers may change their hallmark stamps over time, so Google image search is your friend here.

Take it to a jewelers

Another way to tell if a ring is antique gold is by taking it to a jeweler who will be able t o examine the design. An experienced jeweler will be able to inspect the piece and tell you definitively whether or not your piece is an authentic antique gold ring.

Consider the era it came from

The era that an item of jewelry originated from can be another way to tell if it’s antique gold, which is why it’s always a good idea to converse with your antique dealer about the piece and its history. For example, art deco pieces often feature angular shapes, while Georgian jewelry is known for its symmetrical engravings. Knowing the era of a particular style of jewelry can help you determine whether or not your piece is truly antique – we’ll get onto the particular antique styles further on in the article.

Understanding antique gold styles

As we just mentioned, another way to determine the age of your gold ring is to examine its design. By understanding popular design elements from different time periods, you can tell whether or not your ring is an authentic antique. Here are some of the popular gold styles that you should be looking out for:

  • Victorian (1837 to 1901): Known for its ornate filigree settings and romantic motifs.
  • Edwardian (1901-1920): Characterized by elaborate curves and diamond accents.
  • Art Deco (1920-1930): Features geometric shapes and colorful gemstones.
  • Retro (1920-1945): Highly stylized design featuring abstract motifs and bold colors.
  • Midcentury (1945-1960): Geometric, symmetrical patterns with simple settings.
  • Modern (1960 onwards): Contemporary designs, minimalistic settings, and bold statements.

Hopefully these tips will help you determine whether or not your ring is an authentic antique gold piece – be sure to look for any hallmarks or stamps, examine the patina, and research its design elements thoroughly before making a purchase. With these steps in mind, you can be sure of buying a genuine antique gold ring.