Hello all. I would be most grateful on finding out the best way to purchase a diamond/diamonds. I had a special birthday recently and my husband kindly offered a new engagement ring or eternity ring as a gift. My birthday has now passed and I am still without ring as I have no idea on the best way to purchase stones. I have what I thought was a healthy budget however high street prices have put me off! I would really appreciate any advice on where to buy here in the UK and also interested in hearing from anyone who has purchased in dubai recently. My parents are heading there soon for a short holiday but I would need to tell them where to go etc and unsure about the haggling etc. Thanks so much!
I would look at blue nile or James Allen and get it shipped to the UK, the 360 degree camera is great as you can see the actual stone in better detail than you would in a shop.
I would buy in Dubai but only if fairly savvy.
I never buy diamonds online, too easy to photoshop etc.
Have a budget in mind- go visit some independent jewellers and tell them you want the best possible for your budget and see what they can offer.
If you know exactly what you want, Cara in the Gold Souq building in Dubai is very competitive. My DS has worked and lived in Dubai for many years and has taken hundreds of people there, including my mum and I. Everything I have bought or had made has been valued for insurance back in the UK for at least double what it cost. But you do need to give your parents a very precise brief.
If you can get to London visit Hatton Garden. Set aside an afternoon or even a whole day and browse. Talk to the jewellers, try things on, tell them what you want and what your budget is. There are literally dozens (if not hundreds) of jewellers in a tiny area so competition is fierce and you will probably end up with a better price than a high st jeweller who only has one or two local competitors. Don't be afraid to ask for a discount, they might say no but more likely they will reduce the price a bit.
There are bargains to be had in Dubai but you need to be able to haggle HARD. My DD visited with a local friend and was shocked at just how aggressive the haggling was and how much less she ended up paying than the asking price. She would have paid double if she was on her own.
The other disadvantage of asking your parents to buy for you is that you can't try things on to see what suits you. I am also shopping for a significant ring and originally had a very clear idea of what I wanted but having tried several things on my original idea has changed a lot. I will need at least one more afternoon in HG (or the Lanes in Brighton, also a very competitive jewellery quarter) before I make a final choice.
There isn't much haggling at Cara, though you should dither a bit and ask if that's the best price. It is one of the bigger jewellers, and not as attuned to ME/Indian 'bling' tastes (more Western) as many of the other stores, but there are hundreds to browse. Their manufacturing is very quick too, as the workshop is upstairs in the same building where the public are not invited, so if the sample isn't the perfect ring size, for example, they usually fix it by the next day.
I'd second the Lanes in Brighton vintage jewellery doesn't have VAT so you save money straight away. Look closely at the stone it should be clear, bright and very sparkly. individual stones are generally much better than cluster rings so avoid them. Buy a lovely stone and get the setting changed or choose a second hand/antique or vintage the possibilities are endless. Go on a wet rainy day if possible or a boiling hot one the Lanes will be quieter and shops keen to get a sale, and bargain aim to pay 80 to 90% of asking price and pay in cash for best discounts.
You can trust Cara in Dubai - just give them a picture of what you want. Keiron is one of the owners and is normally there and really lovely. He will help you but all the guys there are good.
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