Engagement ring, need help, am I being completely unrealistic?

(32 Posts)
Stepawayfromthesink Sat 02-Nov-13 10:56:05

DP has proposed but left it for both of us to pick a ring (after I dropped LOADS of hints whenever we talked about it that I wanted to choose together grin ). We're not remotely well off and it gives me the willies thinking about carrying £100's let alone £1000's on my hand anyway so we've set a budget of £150, possibly going up to £200 if we have to (not DP being stingy, he wanted at least double that but I wouldn't carry that much money down the street for a day let alone life so am insisting).

But am I completely out of touch with what we can get? I know diamond rings are 'pick a number and add a load of 0's' but convieniently what I really want should be cheap anyway - I really want a 9ct gold (I'd bend anything softer) ring with a decent sized amethyst and possibly a couple of much smaller coloured stones either side. I've found sites online with nice amethyst rings for the budget but not with coloured stones I like set beside. Ideally I'd love to design my own, not necessarily completely bespoke but at least be able to specify what stones I want in what setting. But am I being completely unreasonable with that budget and if not where do I start finding someone to make it? We're in Swansea, so near enough to Birmingham for a day trip to the Jewellery Quarter but would they laugh us out again with our budget? Or anyone know anything nearer or online? Or should I stick to something online ready-made?

scaevola Sat 02-Nov-13 11:07:22

Firstly, congratulations!

Secondly, would you consider an antique ring? Most precious stone jewellery is much cheaper if owned before, but if you don't like the idea of a ring with an unknown previous history, it might not be for you for a landmark item. But it might still be worth going to Swansea or Cardiff to look at what is available in which price ranges to get your eye in a bit.

Stepawayfromthesink Sat 02-Nov-13 11:11:00

Thankyou, and I'd definitely consider an antique/second hand ring, like the idea of it having history - had a quick look online the other day and only found 'proper' antique ones, very old and £500-600 min but could have a look locally (we've not long moved here so I'll have to have a good scout around and find the antique shops).

ChunkyPickle Sat 02-Nov-13 11:23:37

What scaevola said - I've got a normal engagement ring from a jewellery shop (low hundreds, and I'm still scared to wear it), but when I saw what you could get in a local shop for under 200 I really regretted going the shop route - there are things with so much more character!

ChunkyPickle Sat 02-Nov-13 11:24:32

local 'old-stuff' shop - antiques would be going a bit far, and tat would be selling it a bit short...

valiumredhead Sat 02-Nov-13 11:29:56

Look at Jeremy Herber jewellery,I have 3 of his rings and they are lovely, classic but not run of the mill boring. You have to order online but his customer service is fantastic and will refund or replace if you aren't happy. The pics on his website don't do his jewellery justice.

AnyFuckerWillDo Sat 02-Nov-13 11:39:55

Pawn shop all the way. DF bought one from HSamual for £999 1/4 carat. Amazed when I went past the local shop to see 1 carat rings being sold for cheaper.

Stepawayfromthesink Sat 02-Nov-13 11:40:27

Thanks both of you - need to find the 'old stuff' shops round here, 'character' would be the right word for what I want, I want something that looks and feels special to me, not just inherently special because it cost £2k.

Looking at the Jeremy Heber stuff now, it's gorgeous, just the sort of style I like as well - think I'm going to be spoilt for choice now rather than 'settling' for low budget grin

Stepawayfromthesink Sat 02-Nov-13 11:42:28

Oooh, hadn't thought of pawn shops, will find our local ones there too - heard someone say it was bad luck to buy pawn shop jewellery because of the association with hard times etc but doesn't bother me, it's a piece of jewellery at the end of the day, you make it into whatever you want emotionally.

Even if it's not "bad luck", it's still a bit shit to buy from a pawn shop. Someone's been so hard up that they've pawned their personal possessions for peanuts so that the shop can then sell on at a much higher price? Wouldn't sit comfortably with me. Sorry.

Beccadugs Sat 02-Nov-13 11:54:52

Most jewellers will have second hand stuff if you ask. Not H Samuel etc. but the independent ones. My friend just for her wedding band (9ct gold 8 tiny diamonds set around it) for £130) the new ones were selling for about £5-600. They don't always have the stuff on display but it's usually great value!!

Stepawayfromthesink Sat 02-Nov-13 11:56:09

I said pawn shops but I was thinking really of cash converters type places where you sell your jewellery etc rather than pawn it hoping to get it back later, but get your point. Wouldn't want to buy something that someone had reluctantly left hoping to be able to buy back again but if it's been sold to the shop is buying it any worse than getting a good deal on Ebay?

Stepawayfromthesink Sat 02-Nov-13 11:56:59

Will have a look at local jewellers, thanks.

NachoAddict Sat 02-Nov-13 12:03:12

We got mine from a pawn shop, dp wasn't keen on the idea but when he saw the difference in what we could afford compared to brand new he soon came round.

I sold my wedding and engagement rings to a pawn shop when my previous marriage broke down. It was my choice so nor all jewellery ib there has been left by someone hoping to get it back and they don't go on for sale straight away anyway, they are kept to be bought back in a few months.

SorrelForbes Sat 02-Nov-13 12:10:41

I'd definitely try the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter. There are loads of great shops there which will happily design something for you to match your budget. You'll definitely get a better deal there than on the high street.

I've got a few rings including engagement ring from eBay, can get some really good bargains if you know what you're looking for.

CointreauVersial Sun 03-Nov-13 01:42:57

If you can re think the gold you could get something really fabulous and chunky in silver.

Onesleeptillwembley Sun 03-Nov-13 01:56:06

Even in a pawn shop a 1 carat ring will be an exceptionally poor shite diamond. Not really what most people would want on their hands.

Onesleeptillwembley Sun 03-Nov-13 01:57:49

Sorry - a 1 ct for £999 will
Be a very poor quality diamond, I missed out the price.

callamia Sun 03-Nov-13 02:23:28

Have you been to the jewellery shops in Cardiff?
I think it's the Kings Arcade that has some beautiful places to buy vintage rings that won't cost loads.

My engagement ring cane from a Yorkshire jewellers eBay shop - it's a 1920's diamond ring and cost a couple of hundred. I'm sure the diamond quality isn't the best ever, but it's just right for me.

Gingersnap88 Sun 03-Nov-13 08:51:04

I would definitely suggest a vintage ring. Mine is Art Deco, sapphire and diamond on a white gold band and it cost the grand total of £350 - but more importantly, I really love it and can't imagine having anything else.

I actually got mine on eBay, which obviously has it's risks, but would also recommend pawn shops.

Congratulations thanks

Gingersnap88 Sun 03-Nov-13 08:55:21

Ps: I think you get a better deal when you aren't looking for a standard diamond engagement ring as this seem to have a premium. I'm sure you'll be able to find something lovely! You could also approach some jewellery design students perhaps?

artyone Sun 03-Nov-13 09:05:44

My engagement ring was 2nd hand from quite an upmarket jewellery shop and was £395 it has 3 sapphires 4 diamonds and is white gold. So I think you could easily get what you want for your budget. I would check local jewellery shops and antique shops. They normally have rings for a range of budgets

Trizelda Sun 03-Nov-13 09:08:51

If you are coming to Birmingham try Rex Johnson in the city centre for a vintage ring. Had my engagement ring from there 18 years ago.

Shlurpbop Sun 03-Nov-13 13:45:18

My engagement ring was from the local jewellers where I live - small gold band with one stone. Cost £150 and I love it. I never wanted a big blingy ring. It's now 8 years old and doing fab. I wear it 24/7.
My friends £1000 plus ring is constantly in and out the jewellers and she wears it infrequently for fear of losing it.

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