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Thread: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

  1. #1
    Master
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    I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Hi Gents, I know there are a few of you on here that are knowledgeable (more so than me) when it comes to engagement rings.
    My fiancée is arriving in the UK next Friday/Saturday and whilst I have already proposed to her using a token ring, I need to get a proper ring for when she arrives.
    I’ve been looking on Blue Nile, but a few people have said you can get good deals by going to Hatton Garden and buying a diamond and ring separately and then getting it mounted. Would this be a better way of going about it? I have to admit I prefer the idea of seeing the diamond and ring in person and dealing with a human rather than a website, but I want to get the most for my money as possible.
    If anyone has any suggestions on where/how to buy I’d be really grateful.

  2. #2
    Master kungfugerbil's Avatar
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    I've said it before, but I had great service from 77diamonds.com. Great prices, great service, great choice. The people on the other end of the phone really know their stuff and the website is brilliant. Choose your stone, set sliders for criteria, view the cert then choose the ring. Pricing really transparent and really quick to deliver with great comms all the way through. They also have a showroom just off Oxford Street so you can make an appointment to go see them.

    I'm aware the above reads like an advert but I really did find them to be excellent :lol:

    I did a lot of real and virtual legwork before I settled on them. The thing I like is that you can exactly choose your stone rather than most jewellers that, if pressed, will say "well it will be somewhere between a VVS and SI, somewhere between a J and a G" and so on. But then I'm fairly analytical and wanted to ensure I knew exactly what I was getting and was getting the very very best for the cash. It appeals to the control freak like me :)

  3. #3

    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    You gave her an obsolete Layer 1 data communication protocol as an engagement present.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Token_ring

    Shame on you.

    IGMC.

    (I used 77 diamonds recently and they were great - but you are a little short of time really).
    "Bite my shiny metal ass."
    - Bender Bending Rodríguez

  4. #4
    Master W124's Avatar
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Take a walk down to Hatton Garden, any number of diamond outlets, and you can walk between them to play off and get the best price.

    Colour is more impressive than clarity for the same £££ - look for E-G colour, and maybe down to SI1 for a stone that blows her away, and appears clean to the uneducated eye

  5. #5

    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    We picked up my wife's engagement ring, and her and. My wedding ring from Hatton garden.
    The value of diamonds is hugely variable, and is a minefield so you need to do some swatting up to decide what you want. Size, colour, clarity all have a big impact on the value.

    They are very willing to haggle, but not sure about playing them off, as there are too many variables.

    Good luck and congratulations

  6. #6
    Master markc's Avatar
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Quote Originally Posted by stooo
    You gave her an obsolete Layer 1 data communication protocol as an engagement present.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Token_ring

    Shame on you.

    IGMC.

    (I used 77 diamonds recently and they were great - but you are a little short of time really).
    I LOL'd (However, I am a computer geek). Good job I wasn't drinking coffee at the time!

    Cheers,

  7. #7
    Journeyman
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    I hink at this stage, you're going to struggle for time to get a stone bought and mounted.

    I'm based in Dublin, and there's a very well known diamond dealer here called Voltaire

    http://www.voltairediamonds.ie

    I know he has recently opened a London office - basically they don't have a store front, you make an appointment and they show you a sample and they'll guarantee to make it for much less than the shops retail it for - this normally takes a few weeks, however if you cantact him, i assume he'll have stuff in stock that he could let you have

    the owner is Seamus, he's a very nice guy - non pushy, and offers full cash refund should your better-half not like it

    i've no affiliation, but i did buy my Fiance's engagement ring through them (Dublin not London)

    might be worth a call

  8. #8
    Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Quote Originally Posted by MrBanks
    Hi Gents, I know there are a few of you on here that are knowledgeable (more so than me) when it comes to engagement rings.
    My fiancée is arriving in the UK next Friday/Saturday and whilst I have already proposed to her using a token ring, I need to get a proper ring for when she arrives.
    I’ve been looking on Blue Nile, but a few people have said you can get good deals by going to Hatton Garden and buying a diamond and ring separately and then getting it mounted. Would this be a better way of going about it? I have to admit I prefer the idea of seeing the diamond and ring in person and dealing with a human rather than a website, but I want to get the most for my money as possible.
    If anyone has any suggestions on where/how to buy I’d be really grateful.
    There are plenty in Hatton Garden who will be able to help within your timescales. If you know what she wants and know her size, then you could choose it yourself.

    Might be better to go together though. IME women often have strong views on this kind of thing. :)

  9. #9
    Craftsman
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Why not spend the weekend in Brighton and choose a nice ring together in The Lanes, then have some posh seafood at Englishers. Thats what I did, and loved the experience :drunken:

  10. #10

    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Congratulations!

    I used this outfit for an engagement ring a couple of years ago and got great service:

    http://www.qualitydiamonds.co.uk/

    You can choose a diamond that meets your spec / price range and they will mount it on a ring of your choice.

    They've got an office in Hatton Garden in you want to look them in the eye, but I've found the service over the phone pretty good as well.

  11. #11

    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    just stick with the "token" (who said it was a token ring anyway?? ;)) and get yourself a new watch instead :)

  12. #12

    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    I used 'diamond geezer ' a few years ago and can highly recommend. Read up on the 4 c's carrat cut clarity colour, so you know what you're looking for.

    Brighty

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2

  13. #13

    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Lots of online stores offer a viewing service.....and are much cheaper than Hatton Garden. Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter is very competitive too...
    Last edited by carlijoanna; 16th October 2012 at 14:42. Reason: link problem

  14. #14
    Master Kirk280's Avatar
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Slack & Andrews in central Manchester is the place I'd recommend. They make a lot of rings for the Birmingham stores. I bought my wife's rings there for ca.50% of the high street price, and quite a few mates have been very happy customers too.

  15. #15
    Journeyman
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Congratulations.

    Just gone through something similar myself last year...got the token ring (well charm)...and then "upgraded"

    Depending on your fiancee your missing one option, which is to bring her with you to a shop for something she likes....will take a lot of the pressure off you. YOu can set your limit and then let her pick what she likes.

    We went to a place in Dublin, she picked a sapphire and diamonds, and went through the whole process of designing the ring, changing aspects of it etc etc...she loved been involved and the ring means so much more to her now..

  16. #16
    Master
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Bought my wife's engagement ring in Birmingham Jewellery Quarter by choosing the diamond and then having a ring made to accommodate it.

    There are a number of jewellers there who will do that and at very good prices.

  17. #17
    Craftsman
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    I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Be aware that Hatton Garden is not as competitive as you might expect, as several of the shops are under common ownership.
    I work nearby and spent a good amount of time trawling the shops last year for a ring for mrs t. In the end I bought it on a business trip to New York, as it soon became apparent that we get truly screwed over price wise on diamonds in the UK. I hand picked a stone (via certificated), and had a custom setting and matching wedding band made in 4 days instead of the 30 days quoted on HG and at half the price.

  18. #18

    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Congratulations, can hook you up with a make who makes most of the rings for the jewlers he has a workshop in Hatton Garden. Made myMrs engagement and wedding rings, top bloke and much cheaper. Although he does not work Saturdays, Pm me if you want his number

  19. #19
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Hi, give Mark a call at Craftingold.com his numbers on the home page. Great guy, a self employed goldsmith who's also got a nice collection of watches.
    He re made my wife engagement ring in platinum for me at a great price. Based in Eastbourne on the south coast, he'll make you a ring to whatever design you require. Funnily enough we were talking diamonds this morning and he was explaining the ins and outs of diamond classifications, colouring etc.

  20. #20

    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Quote Originally Posted by closetothebrink
    Congratulations!

    I used this outfit for an engagement ring a couple of years ago and got great service:

    http://www.qualitydiamonds.co.uk/

    You can choose a diamond that meets your spec / price range and they will mount it on a ring of your choice.

    They've got an office in Hatton Garden in you want to look them in the eye, but I've found the service over the phone pretty good as well.
    +1

    I've had a number of rings from these guys (only one engagement!) I couldn't find cheaper and all diamonds are certified. They have an office so you can see the diamond, but with no shop have lower overheads. Great service too, they even swapped my wife's wedding ring as she wasn't happy, they gave her a different ring and finished it to match her engagement ring at no extra cost.

  21. #21
    Craftsman
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    I can wholly recommend DiamondGeezer, I have recently found them truly excellent, very customer focused, so much so that I may even start a thread ranting about it!

  22. #22
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Get a nice second hand ring.

    If you want a diamond take a loupe and check out the tea leaves (inclusions)

    You can expect to pay less than half the new price and save yourself a lot of money (for a watch) :wink:

    I buy all my wifes jewellery second hand, the mark up for jewellery in shops is astronomical.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  23. #23
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Can I suggest that you drop a PM to Tim/Java on here? His lovely wife made up Bea's wedding and engagement rings (and my wedding ring) and her work is superb.

    Naturally, I took a photo...


  24. #24
    Craftsman Lazydonkey's Avatar
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    If you've already got the token ring I'd wait and then get something custom made. Cheaper than buying off the shelf and she will always be more attached to because of the prices you went through.

    We got one custom made (in glasgow so no use to you!) over a year ago and my fiancée still can't stop gazing at it. Of course she will love anything you buy but if you want adoration / obsession she's really got to have a hand in it.

    Congratulations and hope it all goes well

  25. #25
    Master
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Quote Originally Posted by kungfugerbil
    I've said it before, but I had great service from 77diamonds.com. Great prices
    Looks like a good website. I bought this for my soon to be wife at the start of the year from Hatton Gardens. I put it's spec in to that website and the price was the same as what I paid - only difference is retail in Hatton Gardens was double and I got a 50% discount.

    I do like Hatton Gardens but do barter hard!

    With the stone, I went for a D colour (the whitest you can get), looking back E or F would have been of equal quality but slightly cheaper.

    There is a big premium for totally flawless so don't worry about that!


  26. #26

    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    I've got one I can sell you if you like.
    Platinum with a round stone that runs flat with the ring.
    It's hardly been worn.
    Unmarked and just needs a box.
    Totally legit and you can have it for peanuts in comparison to what I paid.
    Bought from a v reputable jeweller in Chester about 10 years ago.
    My fiancé now loved it, but understandably as it wasn't originally bought for her wanted a new one......
    Modern design in platinum - bargain.

  27. #27
    Master ~dadam02~'s Avatar
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    We had ours made by a very nice chap in Hatton Garden, but his 'office' is an apartment. We went and chose the diamond we wanted, which took a while then discussed the setting and he made it and wa-la.....one happy future wifey. Back to him soon for the wedding rings.

  28. #28

    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    We looked at Hatton Garden and as mentioned, be careful. We found the prices not to be as competitive as you might think. In the end we went to Tiffany's and picked up a similar stone in a beautiful setting for not a lot more.

    Chris

  29. #29
    Master
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Thanks for all of the advice gents. A lot to take onboard. I have finally decided (with some persuasion from my fiancee) to go together and choose the stone and ring. mainly because I wasnt happy about spending several grand on something she could potentially dislike and she wasnt either. I know I'd feel the same about a watch . Will be checking out all the place you've recommended, online and in store.

  30. #30
    Master
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Booked an appointment for 77 diamonds for next friday, but thinking of going up this weekend to Quality diamonds and a few other places recommended on here.
    Quick question, is a GIA certificate really worth so much more than an EGL cert? Some bargains to be had with an EDL cert diamond.

  31. #31
    Craftsman
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    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    +1 for 77 diamonds, great choice and prices, see if they am set the ring for u?

  32. #32

    I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    Quote Originally Posted by MrBanks
    Booked an appointment for 77 diamonds for next friday, but thinking of going up this weekend to Quality diamonds and a few other places recommended on here.
    Quick question, is a GIA certificate really worth so much more than an EGL cert? Some bargains to be had with an EDL cert diamond.
    GIA is worth the premium if you read around about cert types. Or rather there really is no premium for equivalent stones.
    "Bite my shiny metal ass."
    - Bender Bending Rodríguez

  33. #33

    Re: I Need Help!...Diamonds & Engagement Rings

    As an old married guy, I second the recommendation of taking her shopping with you to pick it out.

  34. #34
    Are there places to buy vintage diamond rings in Hatton Garden? I'm assuming that with vintage stuff they don't have GIA certificates?? How does buying a vintage diamond ring work then? Any advice?

    Grays Antiques centre better for antique jewellery perhaps?
    Last edited by triumph coupe; 27th August 2012 at 15:01.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by dougair View Post
    +1

    I've had a number of rings from these guys (only one engagement!) I couldn't find cheaper and all diamonds are certified. They have an office so you can see the diamond, but with no shop have lower overheads. Great service too, they even swapped my wife's wedding ring as she wasn't happy, they gave her a different ring and finished it to match her engagement ring at no extra cost.
    +2 for Quality Diamonds.

    Have had a great experience getting my first and hopefully last engagement ring. Went with their bespoke service and after providing images of what I wanted, they got it a bit wrong (communication breakdown) they changed it at no expense. Really pleased and got a great deal (and more generous insurance certificate).

  36. #36
    Master Cirrus's Avatar
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    Seems to me that given she knows about the proposal there is an opportunity here - to let her pick her own...

  37. #37
    Rather an old thread...I'm guessing she turned him down?

  38. #38
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    Get a nice second hand ring.

    If you want a diamond take a loupe and check out the tea leaves (inclusions)

    You can expect to pay less than half the new price and save yourself a lot of money (for a watch) :wink:

    I buy all my wifes jewellery second hand, the mark up for jewellery in shops is astronomical.

    Totally agreed - mark up is about 200-400%.

    I got my wife's engagement ring 1.3ct from the lanes in brighton - later the valuation we got was 4 times what we paid. Like most things in life 2nd hand is cheaper.

    Failing that buy a nice second hand ring and the get the stones remounted - done that as well. eBay can actually be a great source of secondhand jewerly, if you know what you are doing. Colour, cut, clarity, carat weight

    Its a smart move as older diamonds are cut thicker hence tend to be more reflective.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Pox View Post
    Rather an old thread...I'm guessing she turned him down?
    Who knows?

    I raised the thread from the dead as I found the info useful, and wanted to add my experience.

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