Post # 1
Ladies from the UK, would you consider a ring larger than .50 ct to be “vulgar” or “chavy”?
My wonderful BF and I live in NYC. He is from southern England and we will be moving there for work in another year.
When we started looking at rings, we became aware of the difference in expectations between the two cultures. In NYC, the average ring size is a whopping 1.6 ct, whereas in the UK it is .35 ct.
Most of the women in my family have a 1ct or larger, while most of the women in his family have a .25 – .40 ct. I have read about why there is a difference in the size – “vulgar displays of wealth” being frowned upon, quality diamonds expected to be small & rare, and a more practical view on finances. I also read a review from a jeweler who relocated from the states to Scotland – he said that his wealthiest UK clients would not consider a ring larger than .50 ct.
I’m a bit torn about the kind of ring to get. My BF has some preferences (no halos, smaller than 1 ct), but otherwise is very understanding. He has said that if we get a ring too large people will expect it to be fake – and really, it will be. I have my heart set on moissanite or sapphire, as most of our money will soon be going toward a move and visas.
So, UK ladies, what kind of ring would you recommend for a soon to be ex-pat?
This topic was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by tinyterrier.
Post # 2
As someone who is obviously not from the UK with your accent, you get a pass on a lot of chavvy behaviours, other than high heeled sneakers. I wouldn’t worry too much about it, just get what you like!
Post # 3
Haha – no sneakers for me anyway. Thank you!
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2014 - Lubeznik Center for the Arts
I am not from the UK, but I would advise going and trying on rings with different stone sizes, if you haven’t already. I thought I wanted a big diamond but when I tried them on, it felt awkward and wayyy too flashy. I ended up with a .8 or .9 carat, and I’m really happy with the size. I attached a photo so you can see – and I have big hands, too, a size 8 ring size. Point being, you might not want something as big as you thought.
Post # 5
I agree with the PP who advised to pick what you like. I’d also add that you should decide what’s the most important thing to you – is it size, price, what people in your family will think, what people in FI’s family will think, what strangers in the UK will think or something else entirely different? In all honestly, after the inital glow of showing off the ring and etc in the first few months is over you’re the one that will be wearing it and it should in a small way represent what matters to you – it’d be far too tiring to pretend to be something else 🙂 For what it’s worth, I have a smaller ring with an excellent stone – v. “uk” in your sense. However, my favourite thing about it is the fact that it has a hallmarks on the outside of the ring at the bottom showing that it was made in Paris. That’s special to us as a couple and probably no one else (eg there aren’t any ‘show us ur hallmark’ threads out there :P). But there you go! Good luck with the move and all the best for your new adventure in the UK 😀
Post # 6
Will they think you are a chav…
Well… firstly, as soon as you open your mouth they will hear your accent, and realise you are an American. Also, you’re right that most people would just assume that a very large stone on an otherwise modestly dressed woman was costume jewellery… a CZ or something.
The only time I can see it being a bit of a disaster is if you look a bit like a “footballer’s wife” (Google WAGs if you don’t know what that means). Lots of blingy labels, very “new money”. That’s the only time you might get some stick…
Post # 7
I’m not in the UK, but I am an American expat living in Europe and I dealt with the same issue. Though I’ll admit to being sensitive to the perceptions of my family, I ended up with a .25 ct stone that I absolutely love. I’m from the States but I live full time in the EU, so that’s the place I want to feel comfortable. Anything over half a carat (and really at my age, anything over .33 ct) would look seriously out of place. I think the comments you read online ring true – even very wealthy couples tend to buy more modest stones. When they don’t, it may seem like they’re really trying to send a message. But PPs are right, in the end you’re the one who’ll wear it so you should be happy with it! Good luck!
Post # 8
I am from Scotland & I recently moved to Texas. I definitely notice a big difference in engagement rings between the two places (everything is bigger in Texas though right?). I can’t comment on whether these Texan rings are diamonds or not or whether carat was chosen over clarity/colour but I do notice a trend for halos & lots of accentuating stones to make the ring look bigger in general even if the center stone is smaller. Lots of big center stones too though!!! Big & showy seems to be the trend.
For what it’s worth- I got engaged when we still lived in Scotland & I have a 1.35ct diamond & platinum solitaire. It’s definitely bigger than average in the uk & I got lots of (very nice) comments on it! I never felt like it was too big or gaudy AT ALL!! Here in Texas I feel like it pales in comparison!
I am a doctor so I had colleagues who could presumably afford pricey engagement rings & I would guess I saw mostly .50-1ct rings amongst my peers & maybe .24-.5 in general public. I don’t think it was unheard of to see anything bigger however. I have a friend with a very similar looking approx 1.25 to mine & one friend with a 3ct whopper!! They don’t look ‘chavvy’ at all.
I think the trend for smaller engagement rings in UK is likely got a lot to do with price. Diamonds & precious metals are much more expensive in the U.K. My engagement ring would likely be a few thousand dollars cheaper here for the same specs.
I got married here in USA so read a lot of US wedding blogs/magazines & I think I noticed much more emphasis & effort spent on the ‘right’ stone/ring here in USA. There’s much more talk of cut/color/clarity/girdle/table/fluorescence & men taking a long time to chose the perfect stone. My jeweler (a high end one in Scotland) was shocked when I asked about the cut grade of my ring & had to go and look it up! It’s less of a trend to pick the stone separate to the setting in the UK.
All of this to say- I don’t think anything around 1ct would look gaudy. I don’t think people in the UK will assume it’s fake. Yes there is more of a trend for ‘understated’ in the uk but it doesn’t sound like you have your eye on a fancy cut 5ct rock that everyone cant stop staring at. I think you should get what YOU want & it will look beautiful on you.
Post # 9
carlsolindsay: your ring is lovely!
I tried some rings on recently, I agree – most of the 1ct + rings were a little too flashy for me. Multiple jewelers also pushed me towards halos (though I said that’s not my style!)
I thought a .70 was a great size. I think I would like a stone in the .60 range but the stores I tried didn’t have that stone size.
Post # 10
I don’t think it matters. My ring is a moissanite, equivalent to a 1.5 carat diamond (Radiant shape). I’ve gotten nice comments on it. I live in London though, where average carat size might be bigger than the rest of the UK.
Post # 11
tinyterrier: I voted 0.5-0.8 ct diamond. I voted diamond because I personally prefer diamonds, and I voted 0.5-0.8ct because I don’t think that’s too large, depending on the setting (eg a 0.80 ct in a large halo on a small finger will maybe risk looking ostentatious, yes; but a 0.8 ct solitaire? People will think it’s on the large side, but you’re not getting into the ‘ridiculously large’ territory, if that makes sense).
Also, times are changing, and I’m starting to see a much bigger variety of rings. While the type of ring I see most often (I work in customer services and yes, I do notice people’s rings lol, and I see a LOT of them!) is still a small-medium sized RB solitaire on a plain band, I’m started to see things like halos, etc. Of the people my age (mid-late 20s) I know who’ve gotten engaged recently, their rings are:
Approx 0.6 ct RB diamond on a pave-set band
1.35 ct pear solitaire
0.66 TCW flower cluster (mine)
0.15 TCW princess-shaped cluster
Black and white oval diamond cluster
Approx 0.5 ct RB with baguette side stones
Basically, a big range of both styles and sizes. People will probably notice something getting up to the 0.8 size, but I don’t think it would be large enough to be considered trashy or flashy, or fake; I know that I personally would only look twice and think ‘Woah!’ when you get to the 1ct mark, and I’d only start to question if it was ‘real’ at around the 1.2/1.3ct mark.
Post # 12
I have a 1/2 carat (0.51 TBA) E colour, high quality diamond. Personally if I saw a large yellow diamond or cloudy one i’d probably be a bit judgy 🙁 and then hate myself for it! But here if it looks like you spent a little and try and stretch it I think that’s really frowned upon. Or, spending a lot on something tacky lol no one wants to be naff! PPs summed it up with WAG!
But at the end of the day it’s your ring and who the fuck cares if you’re happy? 🙂
Post # 13
Yeah I’d probably not think “is that real” until about 1ct and only if it was really high quality lol weird, eh?
Post # 14
LeopardPrintBee: I get what you mean re the quality; my ring is a replica of my original one, only with much better quality stones. Sometimes it does look almost ‘too’ white and clear; the same goes for a pendant I bought recently (and it’s only F colour!). I do sometimes think people might think they’re both CZ lol.
Post # 15
American expat living in southern England here!
Honestly, get what you want. Don’t worry about what people think. Unless it’s really huge, I don’t think people will notice or judge.
I have about a 5mm Moissanite, which is between 0.5 and 0.75 ct. I have noticed plenty of ladies with rings of a similar size, but I don’t really look and compare. I’d say Britons overall are well put together and dress nicer (nicer than western USA where jeans, tanks, and baseball caps are the norm), but they are less blingy and flashy.
Anyways, get what you’d like and don’t worry about it. I don’t think people will even notice the size, especially strangers, if it’s 1ct or smaller. And if they do, who cares?