As a piece of jewelry meant to be worn and treasured for a lifetime, an engagement ring is likely one of the most significant jewelry purchases most people will make. Many approach the task of buying their loved one’s engagement ring with equal parts excitement and anxiety. Figuring out where to start looking can be overwhelming, but, with a budget and design in mind, an auction house could be just the place for you to find that perfect ring.

1. Get More Bling for Your Buck. While buying an engagement ring is typically one of the more important purchases one will make in their life, it doesn’t have to the be the most expensive. Generally speaking, auctioned jewelry sells for approximately 25%-30% of the retail price due to the fact that the items have been previously owned. Alex Cooper’s Director of Fine Jewelry, Selden Morgan, who has 25 years of experience in retail and auction jewelry, says, “I’ve seen time and time again young couples shop engagement rings at auction and they’ve been pleasantly surprised at the final price without compromising quality. This allows them to put money toward other major purchases, like paying for the wedding or honeymoon.” In addition to getting a great price, you also won’t be encumbered by a pesky salesperson suggesting rings outside of your budget or style.

2. Find One-of-a-Kind Rings. Most auctions offer an unparalleled variety of rings and jewelry, ranging from antique to contemporary, so you’re sure to discover something truly unique. Traditionally, diamonds have been the first choice for engagement rings due to their hardness (they’re the hardest substance known to man!) and resistance to wear. Recently, however, colorful gemstones and even pearls have become increasingly popular.

Alex Cooper’s upcoming February 6 auction will showcase a diverse selection of jewelry, making it the perfect place to find a one-of-a-kind ring.

Lot 295, an elegant pearl and diamond ring, recalls actress Emma Stone’s recently acquired pearl engagement ring designed by Tokyo-based jeweler, Kataoka.

Colored diamonds set in white-diamond halos offer an extra-sparkly, non-traditional option. Lot 194 presents a gorgeous yellow diamond in a pave-set diamond double halo.  A unique princess-cut deep orange diamond in a round and baguette diamond halo shines in Lot 196.

Sapphires’ and rubies’ hardness are second to diamonds, making these gemstones a durable and colorful alternative. In Lot 210, we see a classic three-stone ring boasting a round faceted ruby flanked by two round brilliant diamonds. An oval sapphire set in a multi-tiered diamond frame presents a rare yet exquisite ring design in Lot 292.

3. Own a Piece of History. An auctioned engagement ring’s provenance can make the piece all the more special. Whether the ring was previously owned by a famous opera singer or comes from a prominent family’s estate, you’re buying a piece of history when you purchase jewelry at auction. You also become a part of the ring’s history, letting it live another chapter instead of being melted down for gold or silver. For Selden Morgan, “[her] favorite part about evaluating jewelry is finding the original wedding date engraved on the inside of rings. It gives you a glimpse into the history of the piece.” To see the entire February 6th auction click here.

Erin Riggins-Hartlaub
Research Assistant