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Help me find the best diamond ring for my sister

(92 Posts)
Fridakahlofan Fri 24-Jan-20 07:00:33

Hi Team!

My older sister's lovely boyfriend has just asked me to help him buy an engagement ring. His budget is approx £2k and I know she wants a 'simple classic diamond ring' with a gold band. Ethical too please

I have put some images of the kind of things we think she would like. He is a bit down that he can't afford more but I have promised him we will find something beautiful and not to worry. She was actually proposed to by a previous horrible boyfriend with a huge ring budget and so I think that makes him more sensitive as people still bring up the ring in front of him!

I know that £2k is a lot of money but rings get silly very quickly...

Should we go antique? Where should we go? What is the best we can do for the money!

I'll be in the UK for one week in a couple of weeks and he would like to buy the ring with me and then propose to her that same week so we can all celebrate together. Our shopping trip will be in London or easily doable from London.

Help us not be ripped off! All tips gratefully received...

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ihatethecold Fri 24-Jan-20 07:22:13

Astley Clarke has beautiful jewellery and a cute little showroom in London down a little mews in Marylebone.
My diamond ring I bought from them is lovely.

Ughmaybenot Fri 24-Jan-20 07:25:20

Definitely go antique, you get so much more for your money. Sounds like she’d like a simple solitaire, and for £2k you could get a really nice quality one of a decent size if you went for antique.

beanaseireann Fri 24-Jan-20 07:27:10

You won't get rings like in the photographs you posted for £2000 sadly, Fridakahlofan

nocluewhattodoo Fri 24-Jan-20 07:28:27

Go to Hatton Garden, you will get far far more for your money than buying from a high street jeweller. They will have antiques or the option to custom make something - which will both get more diamond for your money.

TDL2016 Fri 24-Jan-20 07:29:59

London Diamonds. Get in contact with them and they’ll make you one to match your budget and spec. Personally, I’d say solitaire all the way.

Fridakahlofan Fri 24-Jan-20 07:36:18

Thanks guys!

@beanaseireann One can dream! That is helpful though...

I want to have a feeling for what we should be aiming for so expectations are managed...

When I look on Etsy at antique rings some beautiful ones come up but we would never buy without seeing in person I don't think.

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Fridakahlofan Fri 24-Jan-20 07:40:48

@TDL2016 I think you are right - one solitaire is top of wish list...

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SleepingInYourFlowerbed Fri 24-Jan-20 07:42:29

Brighton has an amazing jewellery area in the Laines. Mix of antique and modern styles and plenty will make bespoke ones.

Think you need to revise what size diamond you can expect on that budget though. Those pictures will cost a lot more!

ticking Fri 24-Jan-20 07:43:44 give them a call, much better value than Hatton Garden.

Luckyonetwo Fri 24-Jan-20 07:44:16

Beaverbrooks have a massive sale on at the moment they are worth looking at

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Fri 24-Jan-20 07:46:26

Does it have to be diamond? The styles above work really well in other stones and would be cheaper that way.

And reassure him that 2k is more than enough. We didn’t spend 10% of that and I’ve been wearing mine for 19 years and still love it.

Luckyonetwo Fri 24-Jan-20 07:48:09

Just 2 examples in yellow gold

SleepingInYourFlowerbed Fri 24-Jan-20 07:49:27

I didn't mean 2k wasn't enough for a lovely ring by the way. Just meant if he's expecting that size diamond he'll be disappointed so best to start thinking smaller (still beautiful) before going shopping. Mine is a lot lot smaller than those and I adore it

Buggedandconfused Fri 24-Jan-20 07:49:41

Auctions are the best or second hand. You will get a beautiful ring for £2k if you do.

New, you will not get anything near fur £2k.

Look on it has all the auctions in the U.K. if you do go this route make sure you get a condition report if you can’t go in person to look before the sale day.

There are lots of antique jewellery sellers on Etsy too.

Juancornetto Fri 24-Jan-20 07:50:08

Ask on
It's the Mumsnet of diamonds, they'll be able to help you track down the best bang for your buck

fedup21 Fri 24-Jan-20 07:52:32

Those diamonds are massive-you won’t get that sort of thing for £2k.

You need to think what he is prepared to compromise on. A much smaller diamond?

msmith501 Fri 24-Jan-20 07:59:19

What about tanzanite instead of the main diamond. It's much rarer than diamond and you'll get a certificate of quality. There are some lovely tanzanite and diamond engagement rings and I think you'll get a lot more for your money.

Fridakahlofan Fri 24-Jan-20 08:01:51

This is all so helpful thank you. I can't emphasise enough how clueless we are...

Ok, the first pictures were unrealistic!

All we know is that on a family holiday we were joking around in front of a shop and all choosing our dream rings. I paid close attention in the hope this day would come and I got the impression she just wanted a big, sparkly diamond.

So I don't think we can compromise on colour. And we have to compromise on size/sparkle...

She will love whatever he gets her I am sure.

The London Diamonds suggestion has made we think about an illusion setting?

He will happily buy secondhand and perhaps online.... Just so nervous about being taken for a ride!

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okiedokieme Fri 24-Jan-20 08:03:03

Look at an independent jewellery designer - we approached one a couple of years ago and was quoted £600 for a decent size diamond (it came to £800 including resetting the existing stones from my previous ring, extra small sapphire, new gold band selling the existing gold and all the work of course) alas my h decided he would prefer a divorce hmm

TDL2016 Fri 24-Jan-20 08:04:12

Just some tips,
avoid white gold, although it’s cheaper, you’ll end up getting it re-plated every couple of years so it works out more expensive in the long run.
Palladium is the same colour as platinum and won’t tarnish.
Avoid a “high street” jeweller. Their shops are nice, but they also add a nice mark up to pay for that nice shop.
Different certifications command a different premium, with GIA being the most expensive.
Look out for anyone who tells you that anything other than a round diamond has a cut grade. Only round diamonds are graded for cut by GIA.

Swiftier Fri 24-Jan-20 08:05:45

Unfortunately you won’t find anything like the size of diamond in those pictures for that budget. Probably looking at around 0.25-0.3 of a carat for a new (I guess the pictures you posted the middle solitaire is more like 1.5 carat?). You could look at second hand, vintage or auction rings if he’s set on diamond. However I still don’t think you’d get that size.

Otherwise look at other stones, you’d get a much bigger gem for the budget if the size and style is what’s important.

Juniper45 Fri 24-Jan-20 08:11:26

Cut is very important for sparkle. Clarity you can be relaxed about as long as it is eye-clean. A well cut diamond can make a diamond look bigger than it is. Get a GIA certified diamond if possible, they are the tightest on colour. For example an I colour certified by ECL could be graded as a K by the GIA.

Secondhand rings in Hatton Garden too. I know someone who paid £45k for her massive diamond when she got engaged and when they split she asked them to sell it and it went in the window for £26k. So buying a new one and having it made (as her XH did) isn’t always the cheapest but second hand gets good value.

Also - If you bought a diamond new, 16% of it will be VAT which is a waste of money.

Argue down. “What’s your best price on that?”

Fridakahlofan Fri 24-Jan-20 08:13:13

On the stories bit at the top of the page the 'under 3k' selection looks beautiful to me...

Any comments oh wise ones? I actually really like the first one - 'round illusion ring'.

What a blimming minefield!

Perhaps we could trawl for secondhand and then approach London Diamonds if we fail!

OP’s posts: |
Fridakahlofan Fri 24-Jan-20 08:13:59

I'll (eventually) post what we do get to thank you all!

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