Post # 1
Hi everyone. I’ve been lurking these forums for quite some time, but this is the first time I’m posting.
I’m going to simplify a very long, complicated story: I am a college freshman in the US, and my boyfriend/fiance is from the UK. In July we had a private, unannounced proposal (due to my age). We are in love and have been through a lot together. Part of the reason we are engaged is so we can eventually live and work together after I graduate from college (final country destination is still undetermined).
I believe the UK is much different when it comes to engagement/wedding rings as opposed to the US. I notice that rings are much less flashy and more about design than quality. I prefer daintiness, so that works for me. I love my engagement ring, but there are a few things I am concerned about.
1. It is 9k white gold (commonly used in the UK) and I am used to the American standard of golds being above 10k.
2. The diamond is not the quality I would prefer (it’s not certified, don’t think it’s something a lot of young English men know to look for when getting a ring). It’s also a tad small to American standard (.25 ct) and I’m not sure if I’d prefer something slightly larger.
3. It isn’t insured from the retailer, Ernest Jones.
I’ve attached a picture that is similar to my ring, only in yellow gold.
I have several options… but I would like some input. Should I continue to use this as my “starter” engagement ring for the next few years then upgrade in the future? Should I try getting a new diamond if I am happy with the setting? In addition, if I want to change the ring around, can I work with a jeweler from the US to exchange the diamond?
I’d appreciate any input or personal stories that you girls have to share!
Post # 3
@sweetroses: I think it’s fine to have a ‘starter’ ring – plenty of women do. If you are concerned about the size of the stone you could also try getting a moissanite or other clear stone like a white sapphire, then upgrade to a diamond later if you wanted to. They are much more reasonably priced but still look very similar.
Regarding the moving to the UK thing, I should warn you that in recent years the government there has made it a lot harder for couples to get spousal visas unless your partner is earning a reasonable amount of of money. (He will need to earn even more if you have children.) You may find that him moving to the US is a better/easier option. But best of luck either way!
Post # 4
@Penang1885: thank you for your input! I think that our final country choice is leaning towards the US because of the opportunities and my career choice (nursing) is paid much better in the US too.
Post # 5
- Wedding: April 2013 - A court...
Hmm I think I’d upgrade later so you can still enjoy this one 🙂 As for it being 9kt gold, I thought the lower the number the more durable it is? Hmm but I like the color though.
Post # 6
I have what you might consider a starter trying. Fi bought me a beautiful sapphire ring, but we had a family heirloom diamond that we just had set for the wedding ring… do when we are married I will switch my sapphire to my right hand. Maybe though could keep an option like that open? D don’t change the special ring he proposed with just save up for a different wedding set.
Post # 7
I’m odd perhaps (maybe because I’m british!) But I’d keep it as it is for sentimental reasons…..and look forward to all sorts of other jewelry coming my way during the rest of my life! 🙂
However if your set on a different engagement ring than the one you have, I’d say get a whole new one rather than trying to alter the one you have.
Slightly upset that Brits have poor quality gold and are not bothered about quality! 🙁 I dont think we are that different to the US…..though I agree, rings here do tend to be a little less.
Post # 8
@sweetroses: FWIW, I think your ring is adorable! Enjoy it and being engaged now. If you want to upgrade later, you can cross that bridge when you get to it.
And as to the gold purity issue. It 9k just meanst that it’s about 40%ish gold mixed with other alloys. Those other alloys add to the strength and durability of your gold. It doesn’t make it any less special or anything. It might change the color a bit, so yours might look a little whiter.
Oh, and here’s a comparison about gold. The one on the far right left is 10, then 14, 18 and 24k. I specifically wanted 10k because I’m hard on my rings and I wanted it to be durable.
Post # 9
In the UK it definitely appear that we don’t look at size as much as in the US! a 1 ct ring here is often consider ginormous!
Regarding the gold – 9k gold will be perfectly fine. Yes, 18k is stronger etc but I have never heard anyone complain about 9k having any issues. I would put preconceptions about this bit aside as honestly it won’t make much difference to the look either!
I think regarding the whole ‘upgrade’ thing, that is up to you and how you feel, and whether you feel your ring is good enough for your expectations.
My engagement ring is silver, with the most tiny diamonds. And if it were durable enough I would keep it forever as it has the sentimental value of being the ring he asked me to marry him with. I would never upgrade it purely because of its size. The only reason I am looking at any other rings is because silver is much less durable than gold, and at some stage I will need to replace it, so I would rather that day be my wedding day so it will still have sentimental value, as the first day I wear my new ring will be my wedding day 🙂
Post # 10
@sweetroses: Firstly, I think your ring is beautiful. It really is. I would definitely keep it even if I upgraded some day. Because the ring wasn’t too much money, I would probably keep it intact and get a whole new setting and diamond because yes, it’d be a piece of jewelry I’d be attached to, regardless of its imperfections.
Yes, a jeweler anywhere can probably rework the setting, replace the stone, etc., but again, I’d retain it as is and if I chose to upgrade, buy a new ring. Who knows, you may choose to keep the e-ring as your forever ring and let it remind you just how far you and FH have come someday.
Post # 11
I’m based in the UK. Diamonds aren’t big in the UK partly because of poor choice, partly due to high tax and partly due to expensive housing.
My 0.5 carat diamond is big compaed with most people’s diamonds.
I bought my diamond online from Whiteflash and had it shipped from the States. I bought a setting here in the UK. Even with 20% import duty plus postage it didn’t cost me more than a ring bought in the UK. The only thing was that instead of a poor diamond I had a top-notch diamond. I recently had the ring valued for insurance purposes. The ring is worth 50% more than we paid for it.
Usually even in the UK we have 18k gold for wedding rings and engagement rings.
Post # 12
I bought a 14k white gold ring from the US and tried to sell it some years later in the uk. i went to four different jewellers and all told me that it was essentially 9k gold and priced it as such. I was disappointed with that. All my jewellery now is either 18k or platinum. I never buy diamonds or any other gemstone from here (UK). I get everything abroad through my mum.
Keep the ring you have for now and then upgrade in the future when you’re more financially secure. You can then wear your current ring as a RHR Or turn it into a pendant.
There are plenty of beautiful, certified diamonds available in the UK but the cost is often prohibitive for many couples when you get to .50 and above.
Post # 13
If you are going to move to the UK, I’d say there’s no point in getting a larger stone. The stone size is very standard for the UK, and will not be considered too small by most people. Also, “upgrading” your ring isn’t really a thing here, so people are unlikely to get it if you tell them that the stone was too small and you traded it for something bigger.
My ring is 9k white gold, and I love it. It’s really shiny and sparkly, and has never been bent out of shape. A 18k gold ring is actually softer than a 9k, so it’s more likely to get bent or twisted. I’ve had my ring for 2 years and I haven’t even needed to have it replated yet, it’s still as good as new.
Post # 14
@sweetroses: Think 9k gold is fine, think the difference between that and 10k is negligable. I know the diamond is not certified but does it sparkle?
Point being that most of the diamond rings we see irl are not “certified” and actually may be considered less than stellar quality (I clarity, warmer colored) per lab grading standards, yet we don’t notice because they are lively and sparkly.
I think your diamond ring is pretty and it is what he proposed with. I probably wouldn’t mention upgrading at this point.
Just my 2c. you may deserve change.
Post # 15
Thank you for all the positive feedback, everyone! I will definitely stick with my engagement ring for now. It is very special to me and I just want to make sure I’m comfortable wearing it forever. I’m the type of person that can get very nit-picky about things (especially things that I will have forever, like an engagement ring!) I like the feedback from those of you in the UK about how it is a standard ring in England as well, that’s reassuring. 🙂 You know how it can be in America… everyone is very flashy and I’m experiencing a bit of a culture clash haha.
Post # 16
Am I the only one who can’t see the ring? I get an error loading the web page. 🙁
Anyways, I wouldn’t worry about the gold being 9kt, 9kt gold is quite strong. I think you should try to enjoy the ring as it is, and maybe look into an upgrade in the future!
Congratulations on your engagement!