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Buying engagement ring for the UK on limited budget - what are the best options

Ceilimom

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2018
Messages
403
Thanks Cellimom... the hardest part is actually finding the nicest great sparkling diamond!! lol

johnjo56 first off, your signing up on Pricescope, asking questions and willingness to learn about a product outside your experience shows how much you care about providing your intended a lovely engagement ring. Google GIA, they have great teaching tools. There are internal and external components, the 4 C's that contribute to a sparkler or a flat stone. It's a lot to learn, so worth it. If you are going with Blue Nile ask them to present you well cut options. Now GIA certifies diamonds, they have their Certificate# or the dossier. Price wise, you can check prices on Rare Carat, they may have the diamond you are considering through other vendors possibly at a lower price. Blue Nile claims it will price match I believe. Really looking forward to seeing your ring after you present it to your fiancee. We love hand shots and love cheering on love.
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
@johnjo56 This is an exciting time for you guys!

Heaps of fabulous advice on here, but I would just like to add that a trip to Hatton Garden or the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham couldn't do any harm. I have been to both & it's pretty mind blowing. Birmingham seemed to be where you got more bang for you buck to me, as Hatton Garden has a lot of artisan jewellers. But both will show you lots of plain settings etc.

If nothing else, you would be able to get a really good feel for the size & colour tints of various diamonds.

If I wasn't in a bit of a rush Alex I would try your suggestion but I have booked for us to go on a long weekend to York on 21st May and i am thinking of popping the question then with the said ring in my hand when I do so I need to get this sorted as soon as possible if buying abroad.
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
johnjo56 first off, your signing up on Pricescope, asking questions and willingness to learn about a product outside your experience shows how much you care about providing your intended a lovely engagement ring. Google GIA, they have great teaching tools. There are internal and external components, the 4 C's that contribute to a sparkler or a flat stone. It's a lot to learn, so worth it. If you are going with Blue Nile ask them to present you well cut options. Now GIA certifies diamonds, they have their Certificate# or the dossier. Price wise, you can check prices on Rare Carat, they may have the diamond you are considering through other vendors possibly at a lower price. Blue Nile claims it will price match I believe. Really looking forward to seeing your ring after you present it to your fiancee. We love hand shots and love cheering on love.

Thanks for the advice Ceilimom
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,177
Thanks for all the stone suggestions... its so hard making a decision on a stone when you are unsure you are making the correct decision through lack of knowledge!

Yssie - Thanks for your suggestions I checked the 5.3 carat option out on the HCA advisor and the score came out at 3.4! I thought I was supposed to be aiming for under 2?

As I mentioned in my original post - yes, HCA score will be scary on this stone! And that’s not something to worry about. HCA is a blunt weeding tool. It knowingly eliminates viable stones in order to help you quickly churn through a large inventory. A score under 2 means “may be good, get more information”, a score over 2 means “may not be good, eliminate unless you’ve got more information” - it was created over a decade ago, when “more information” like photos and videos were extremely rare. It’s still helpful when buying blind, but BN and many other companies nowadays offer more fine grained detail with which to select.
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
Colour is super personal and subjective FOR SURE. That being said, I feel like people expect stones in the J/K/L to face up like fancy intense colours because of the scaremongering messaging.

This is a good video to show you what K colour looks like -

Also, I might be wrong but I remember reading that GIA penalises brown a bit (the concentration of colour in a brown K would be similar to the concentration of colour in a yellow J) - this could just be marketing stuff though but I do remember hearing this.

This article can be helpful - https://beyond4cs.com/color/k-diamonds/

Thanks AllAboard for taking the time with all that info its very useful! Its like buying high definition anything, when seen in isolation the thing can look stunning then put it next to something more refined, defined etc and you go ohhh. now i see the difference!

I must admit I am still a touch worried that K on white gold might actually highlight the hue more, like it says on the video.

I'll maybe try having a look for an I or J maybe.

Also I have googled 60/60 shape diamond, is this better/worse/better sparkle than others or just a fashion thing there the shapes change with the times?

Sorry I am asking loads of questions!!
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
As I mentioned in my original post - yes, HCA score will be scary on this stone! And that’s not something to worry about. HCA is a blunt weeding tool. It knowingly eliminates viable stones in order to help you quickly churn through a large inventory. A score under 2 means “may be good, get more information”, a score over 2 means “may not be good, eliminate unless you’ve got more information” - it was created over a decade ago, when “more information” like photos and videos were extremely rare. It’s still helpful when buying blind, but BN and many other companies nowadays offer more fine grained detail with which to select.

Ok thanks for that explanation.

Weird, I Just checked the 0.53 carat diamond you recommended using both the LD15573111 ref no and the 1373036036 report number and on rare Carat its saying its a 0.32 carat with an E grade colouring even though it says 0.53 and J colouring on the BN website!!
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
1,332
Thanks AllAboard for taking the time with all that info its very useful! Its like buying high definition anything, when seen in isolation the thing can look stunning then put it next to something more refined, defined etc and you go ohhh. now i see the difference!

I must admit I am still a touch worried that K on white gold might actually highlight the hue more, like it says on the video.

I'll maybe try having a look for an I or J maybe.

Also I have googled 60/60 shape diamond, is this better/worse/better sparkle than others or just a fashion thing there the shapes change with the times?

Sorry I am asking loads of questions!!

60/60 is just a different “flavour” of cut. It was more popular in the 70s/80s I think. I personally prefer the look of a good 60/60 (with complementary angles) because it looks whiter and brighter and is a touch spreadier (but can have a bit flatter a crown than the tolkowsky ideal). A bad 60/60 may be leaky or too flat.
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
60/60 is just a different “flavour” of cut. It was more popular in the 70s/80s I think. I personally prefer the look of a good 60/60 (with complementary angles) because it looks whiter and brighter and is a touch spreadier (but can have a bit flatter a crown than the tolkowsky ideal). A bad 60/60 may be leaky or too flat.

Thanks for your help again, do you have any more diamond suggestions? I will have another search myself once I finish work but its always helpful when you get a good guide on what is out there. I can find the setting its more just getting a great sparking diamond!
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,177
Ok thanks for that explanation.

Weird, I Just checked the 0.53 carat diamond you recommended using both the LD15573111 ref no and the 1373036036 report number and on rare Carat its saying its a 0.32 carat with an E grade colouring even though it says 0.53 and J colouring on the BN website!!

I'm not familiar with Rare Carat, but if you open the GIA report that's listed on BN, and you check that report in GIA's database, it does match.

I just signed up with Rare Carat. This is what checking the GIA number yields on the site:
1618935877342.png

But I'm a bit confused - what's your goal in checking retail stones on Rare Carat? GIA will assign a new report number to every single stone it grades. GIA will assign a new report number to the same stone that's submitted for regrade, actually. So if a stone has a GIA report (and it's the right stone - it's the stone for which that report was created), then there's no concern that the report signifies a different specimen. BN, they might reuse stock numbers - I don't know how they handle their product indexing :))

Blue Nile is an extremely reputable retailer. I haven't a clue what Rare Carat considers a "verified retailer", but frankly this just tells me that Rare Carat isn't even trying for objectivity - no unbiased supplier or search service would ever question BN as a reputable stockist.
 
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yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,177
Ah, I see. Rare Carat trawls several vendors' inventories and presents filtered options in one aggregated, searchable UI. Here are the retailers they search. This is... Not a useful list. I confess I'm not impressed with Rare Carat so far.

1618937439610.png
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
1,332
Thanks for your help again, do you have any more diamond suggestions? I will have another search myself once I finish work but its always helpful when you get a good guide on what is out there. I can find the setting its more just getting a great sparking diamond!

Here's another 60/60 J VS1 0.54 5.3mm that I liked - faint fluoro. HCA is 1 and it scored excellents across the board for HCA.

This one I don't like as much but could still work, J SI2 0.52 5.18mm. HCA is 0.9. The good thing is that the clarity grade is based off of what looks like white crystals, not cloud, so if it is eyeclean (you will need to get the rep to confirm) it wont be milky. At that size I think it would be eyeclean.


J SI1 0.51 5.2mm. HCA of 0.7. Clarity grade based off crystals under the table though, so you'll have to ask if it is truly eyeclean.


My personal order of preference: 1 then 3 then 2. I don't like 2 as much tbh but I have put it here since the HCA is good, its within budget (all of these are ~800GBP incl of VAT) and may be eyeclean. In terms of spread, you might conceivably see a difference in spread between 1 and 2. I don't think you would notice much difference between 1 and 3 or 2 and 3, so spread wouldn't be a distinguishing factor here.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,177
0.50 I SI1, £828.00
60/60 type, nice and spready. Honest inclusions. Medium blue fluor.

0.50 I SI1, £754.80
Twinning wisp inclusions can be astonishingly clean IRL. They can also not be. But size works in your odds here. Medium blue fluor.
 

Fabfashion

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
303
Wanted to share with you what a J diamond looks like in a white gold setting. They’re 0.75 ct each and only slightly warm against a white background. Today is cloudy here and that’s when I find I can see the J colour at its warmest. The second pic shows the J against a 0.25 ct G diamond in a white gold bezel so you can see the slight difference but not significant really.

327BE3CC-BEBD-467B-93D4-11DE4C44A2B0.jpeg
F6FA2C06-191A-4145-AE3D-14C986BC03D9.jpeg
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
Here's another 60/60 J VS1 0.54 5.3mm that I liked - faint fluoro. HCA is 1 and it scored excellents across the board for HCA.

This one I don't like as much but could still work, J SI2 0.52 5.18mm. HCA is 0.9. The good thing is that the clarity grade is based off of what looks like white crystals, not cloud, so if it is eyeclean (you will need to get the rep to confirm) it wont be milky. At that size I think it would be eyeclean.


J SI1 0.51 5.2mm. HCA of 0.7. Clarity grade based off crystals under the table though, so you'll have to ask if it is truly eyeclean.


My personal order of preference: 1 then 3 then 2. I don't like 2 as much tbh but I have put it here since the HCA is good, its within budget (all of these are ~800GBP incl of VAT) and may be eyeclean. In terms of spread, you might conceivably see a difference in spread between 1 and 2. I don't think you would notice much difference between 1 and 3 or 2 and 3, so spread wouldn't be a distinguishing factor here.

I think somebody has been reading your post AllAbourd, I had a quick look last night on BN and your favourite one of the three listed was still for sale, I checked again this morning and its now sold!
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
I'm a bit confused - what's your goal in checking retail stones on Rare Carat?

Blue Nile is an extremely reputable retailer. I haven't a clue what Rare Carat considers a "verified retailer", but frankly this just tells me that Rare Carat isn't even trying for objectivity - no unbiased supplier or search service would ever question BN as a reputable stockist.

I was only having a look on Rare Carat as it was mentioned on here yesterday I honestly didn't really know anything about it, I just thought I would satisfy my curiosity and see what it was about. I am new to buying diamonds from anywhere but the high street so am groping around in the dark a little really... but am so glad for you and the other great guys on this site helping me out!! I am more than happy to use Blue Nile as it gets good reviews here in the UK along with White Flash. James Allen gets mixed reviews over here.
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
Wanted to share with you what a J diamond looks like in a white gold setting. They’re 0.75 ct each and only slightly warm against a white background. Today is cloudy here and that’s when I find I can see the J colour at its warmest. The second pic shows the J against a 0.25 ct G diamond in a white gold bezel so you can see the slight difference but not significant really.

327BE3CC-BEBD-467B-93D4-11DE4C44A2B0.jpeg
F6FA2C06-191A-4145-AE3D-14C986BC03D9.jpeg

I must admit its hard to spot much difference at all from those photos!
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
Screenshot_20210420-174642.png

I've attached a picture of my K SI 1 diamond in platinum, a white metal. It's not a close, close up picture. I hope it helps a little. Some K's are closer to J's and vice a versus. My diamond does have medium fluorescence. The diamond is clear without cloudiness or waxiness.
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
Screenshot_20210420-174642.png

I've attached a picture of my K SI 1 diamond in platinum, a white metal. It's not a close, close up picture. I hope it helps a little. Some K's are closer to J's and vice a versus. My diamond does have medium fluorescence. The diamond is clear without cloudiness or waxiness.

Thanks Ceilimom that helps. An approx 0.5 carat should look fine looking at your 1 carat ring.
 

Ceilimom

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2018
Messages
403
Thanks Ceilimom that helps. An approx 0.5 carat should look fine looking at your 1 carat ring.

My diamond is a wee bit larger than 1 carat. Glad you could see the coloring of the diamond with a white metal setting. Can't wait to see your choice and the complete ring.
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
Lol I somehow misread your message!l

I must admit that although rather clueless on diamonds I did think wow thats an amazing looking 1 carat diamond it looks huge!! now I can see my instinct was initially correct and it is a tiny bit bigger! lol
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
At the moment Blue Nile are checking the suggestions you guys gave me for milkyness/ eye clean etc sooo while on my lunch break I spoke to somebody on WhiteFlash. Whiteflash is expensive for my budget but they did send me a link to a stone.

It is a better graded cut being a hearts and arrows model but it is parameters any good and worth losing over half a carat for compared to the suggestions you guys made for me? Basically would you buy a hearts and arrows like this over the blue nile excellent cut diamonds and will it have the sparkle factor?

https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-4361894.htm
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
1,332
I think somebody has been reading your post AllAbourd, I had a quick look last night on BN and your favourite one of the three listed was still for sale, I checked again this morning and its now sold!

Yep, there are a lot of lurkers around here and stones that are at popular weights (like 0.5ct) tend to get snapped up. If you see something that looks promising, put it on hold.


At the moment Blue Nile are checking the suggestions you guys gave me for milkyness/ eye clean etc sooo while on my lunch break I spoke to somebody on WhiteFlash. Whiteflash is expensive for my budget but they did send me a link to a stone.

It is a better graded cut being a hearts and arrows model but it is parameters any good and worth losing over half a carat for compared to the suggestions you guys made for me? Basically would you buy a hearts and arrows like this over the blue nile excellent cut diamonds and will it have the sparkle factor?

https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-4361894.htm

the WF stone is going to be beautifully cut and sparkly and gorgeous, but you will be losing 0.4-0.5mm and that is really significant. So you’d have to seriously consider whether it would be worth it for you.

For example, this is what the face up difference could look like:

49407A5F-A780-4F76-997D-3E75FEAE5FB0.jpeg

Left is 5.3mm, right is 4.9mm.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
22,177
At the moment Blue Nile are checking the suggestions you guys gave me for milkyness/ eye clean etc sooo while on my lunch break I spoke to somebody on WhiteFlash. Whiteflash is expensive for my budget but they did send me a link to a stone.

It is a better graded cut being a hearts and arrows model but it is parameters any good and worth losing over half a carat for compared to the suggestions you guys made for me? Basically would you buy a hearts and arrows like this over the blue nile excellent cut diamonds and will it have the sparkle factor?

https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-4361894.htm

The WF stone is 4.9mm. You’d have to jump up around 0.15mm to appreciate a visible and memorable difference in size. You can try different sizes here:

The WF stone will involve additional shipping/tax charges, correct? Is it comfortably in budget with those additional costs factored in?

Edit - ditto @AllAboardTheBlingTrain :))
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
Yep, there are a lot of lurkers around here and stones that are at popular weights (like 0.5ct) tend to get snapped up. If you see something that looks promising, put it on hold.




the WF stone is going to be beautifully cut and sparkly and gorgeous, but you will be losing 0.4-0.5mm and that is really significant. So you’d have to seriously consider whether it would be worth it for you.

For example, this is what the face up difference could look like:

49407A5F-A780-4F76-997D-3E75FEAE5FB0.jpeg

Left is 5.3mm, right is 4.9mm.

I didn't realise you could put stones on hold. Ah well that stone wasn't meant to be for me was it.

Wow what a difference 0.4mm makes!! Yes that is visually quite a lot isn't it! Its sparkle over size it seems.
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
The WF stone is 4.9mm. You’d have to jump up around 0.15mm to appreciate a visible and memorable difference in size. You can try different sizes here:

The WF stone will involve additional shipping/tax charges, correct? Is it comfortably in budget with those additional costs factored in?

Edit - ditto @AllAboardTheBlingTrain :))

Yes it is in my budget. It works out approx £810.00 for the diamond inc vat.

Which is your favourite?
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jul 17, 2008
Messages
11,850
I would choose the WF in a heartbeat!
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
22,177
Lurkers are definitely watching this thread - most of the earlier recommendations are no longer available.

WF has a very generous upgrade policy. What type of setting are you leaning toward? A bezel provides a nice size boost, if you'd prefer to cross the 5mm mark :))
 

johnjo56

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2021
Messages
46
Lurkers are definitely watching this thread - most of the earlier recommendations are no longer available.

WF has a very generous upgrade policy. What type of setting are you leaning toward? A bezel provides a nice size boost, if you'd prefer to cross the 5mm mark :))

Yes just checked and it seems that way!

I was going to get a 2mm classic 4or 6 claw solitaire as I thought it would show off the diamond better with light getting too it from all angles
 
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