Post # 1
My partner and I are going ring shopping next weekend, we have an appointment with a designer in November who I’m 99% sure will make my ring but we want to get some ideas from the high street beforehand and check out our other options.
As I have literally never stepped inside a jewellers before I have no idea where to start! Do UK bees typically get their rings from highstreet chains? Beaverbrooks etc? I’m worried that these sort of places will be super pushy.
What are your experiences with chain jewellers? Or should I look up some independent stores too?
Post # 2
My bf had a family friend who helped him find the stone and design the ring so all independent. He did visit Hatton Garden but found it all a bit overwhelming and offputting. It will be better with two of you together and with some prior research so you don’t get bamboozled by sales people.
I would definitely go independent if I were you and if you are going for a diamond ring try and get a GIA certified stone.
My friend just got engaged and he used used Diamond Palace in Hatton Garden and would recommend. I also had my ring resized by Handley’s also in HG and Simon is lovely.
Post # 3
Mine came from an independent jeweller, but was “premade”. It was exactly what I wanted, and I’ve found their aftercare to be excellent (I don’t know about their sales as my fi bought it without me).
A lot of the chain jewellers can do some custom work (eg change the gold colour) but it’s usually limited. If you’re after something completely unique, custom is the way to go. If you’re after something more traditional, I’d go independent, but I’m generally conscious of shopping locally. My least preferred option is a chain. Either way, looking can’t hurt!
Post # 4
alicebee123 : I didn’t want my SO paying highstreet prices so we went to Samara James’ showroom a few weeks ago and designed my ring. Because they are mainly online with only one showroom they don’t pay the overheads of a highstreet chain and therefore pass those savings onto their clients. I really would recommend them for the buying process. The sales assistant was very helpful and explained everything to us in a way we understood and did not at any point pressure us to go above budget. She only showed us what we could afford.
Post # 5
alicebee123 : we got my engagement ring from an independent jewellers in York. It was already made so we didn’t custom design it.
With my wedding ring, as my engagement ring is a weird shape, we went to Ernest Jones who custom made my ring for me. It sits wonderfully flush with my engagement ring and their after care was brilliant. They weren’t too pushy about the wedding ring at all or too pushy for us to use their custom services. Although I did find that their service varies from branch to branch, as another branch wasn’t as helpful as where we ended up.
Post # 6
Antiques dealer. Mine is from the 1920s. No way was I going to let OH pay inflated high street prices for lesser quality.
Post # 7
I wouldn’t buy from high street chains. Poor value. We did go shopping though to see what I like. It turns out I like Old cut diamonds so my husband ended up buying from an antique diamond dealer. Paid cash and got a good deal.
After a lot of research he found online was also a good way to go and would have bought from jewels by grace or similar (and had it shipped) if he’d not found the one on home turf.
Pricescope forum will help you get the best for your budget once you know what you want in terms of shape and style.
Post # 8
Avoid the High Street. The shops will try to sell you high colour, high clarity, poorly-cut diamonds that don’t sparkle.
I bought my diamond from the American Online company Whiteflash and then had it set by Mappin & Webb at their workshop in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter. I paid 20% import duty on the diamond and still managed to pay less than I would have done on the High Street while getting an excellent diamond.
A diamond’s beauty is due to cut, not clarity or colour. Make sure that you get an excellent cut.
If you want to explore buying diamonds I would recommend the online site Whiteflash and Brian Gavin. Look at the websites and then email them or (even better) ring them up. They are really helpful. I suspect that Brian Gavin’s diamonds are the best in the business.
As far as settings are concerned, try lots of settings on. You may find a particular setting suits your hand.
As far a British jewellers are concerned I’ve seen some very nice rings from Samara James.
Here’s my ring with a 0.51 carat G VS2 Hearts and Arrows diamond (A Cut Above) from Whiteflash. My ring is a round solitaire. They sell other shapes too.
Post # 9
I think it’s worth going into high street stores to get an idea of styles that suit you. I did and they weren’t pushy at all. I think when it’s an engagement ring they expect people to look a lot first. I went to beaverbrooks and earnest jobes just to try things on and the sales people were really nice. It showed me that halos And pave bands really didn’t suit me. I could then find the ring I wanted online knowing exactly what I was after. Have fun shopping!!
Post # 10
My Darling Husband went to Hatton Garden for the e ring and we both went together for wedding rings. We both found all trips to be relaxed and a good experience. We went in almost all the shops and no one was pushy or offputting. You can also haggle down a really good amount.
Post # 11
- Wedding: October 2016 - Painswick Church and the Falcon Hotel
I’d avoid high street chains, most of their stuff is over priced garbage which is heavily included! My husband got mine from a local jewellers who specialise in antique pieces and custom designs. I’d advise looking around smaller independent jewellers
Post # 12
Thanks everyone! Our appointment next month is in Hatton Garden, like I said, I’m almost positive that I will love the designers works and that she will make my ring. We are a two hour train journey from London so I’m hoping I’ll only have to make one journey and my boyfriend can do the rest!
We are going to head to our nearest city next weekend to try on some styles in the big chain stores and see what suits. I do like the idea of using our town’s local jeweller however their bespoke stuff is so expensive and their non-bespoke stuff is super common as our town is so small with only the one jeweller (2 of my friends have the exact same ring from there!)
Post # 13
We got my ring from Alba Rose. We bought online because we don’t live near one of their stores. I agree with the others that high street chains are very over priced for what you’re getting. Alba Rose were fantastic!
Post # 14
We went to Hatton Garden together and had my ring designed. It is easy to be overwhelmed so research a few places first before visiting so you know what you want/and are looking for.
Post # 15
I assume you’re not two hours south of London? We went to an independent antique jeweller called Friar House, in Battle. They have most of their rings online to view. I highly recommend them.