Dating jewellery rings

Early Victorian engagement rings were usually big and elaborate, while those dating from the late 19th century were smaller and more intricate.Until the 1870s, diamonds were scarce, but the opening of the diamond mines in South Africa led to a fall in prices and these precious stones were increasingly incorporated into the antique engagement rings of the times.Three stone engagement rings were popularised during the Victorian era with either a diamond or coloured gemstone in the centre, flanked by two smaller stones.

If you pick up a piece of Chanel vintage jewellery it must not feel light or tinny, I was once shown a supposed Chanel necklace that seemed to have all the correct markings but it felt very light and when the charms knocked together it sounded like a cheap wind chime!

Something else to look for is obvious soldering marks.

View our guide to buying vintage engagement rings One thing that stayed the same, however, was the choice of metal, which remained yellow or rose gold.

The romantic allure of rose gold appealed greatly to the Victorians, who liked to combine it with an array of coloured gemstones.

His name was Alain Wertheimer and he introduced the copyright and registration marks to protect the Chanel name.