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Could we compile a UK 'recommended' vendors list please?

Hounddog

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As most of the recommendations on PS are understandably for US companies or Independant Jewellers, would it be possible to start a list of very good to superb UK jewellers who would be of a similar standard to the Victor Canera, Steven Kirsch, BGD etc etc often used by PSers and recommended here (Apologies to the other wonderful ones I haven't mentioned), these are just off the top of my head!

There must be some great jewellers and workbenches in the UK!
I don't mean big international brand companies like Tiffany, Cartier, De Beers etc but wonderful independents or artisan jewellers or benches all over the UK, for those of us that would love to have a UK 'go to' that has a proven record from delighted customers.

Apologies if there is such a list already, and if there is and as I haven't seen it, please could someone tell me where it can be found.
Thank you :)
 

dk168

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Can't help, as I have not bought anything significant in the UK since the late 1990s.

The only one I can recommend, is the London outpost of Diamondhouse in Antwerp (I went to their Antwerp office to select my EC diamond from a selection of 3 that Rob called in for me):

http://www.diamondhouse.be/contact/jewelry/1/

Good luck with the list.

DK :))
 

Hounddog

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Thanks dk168, that's a good start :)
 

jenniann

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Another vote for the London office of DiamondHouse. This used to be operated by Indira Marchant who has since retired, I have no experience with her replacement but was very pleased with my experience with Indira (they are / were the UK Crafted by Infinity dealer too).

Some very high end pieces and access to some extremely good benches who do work for many of the Bond St jewellers.

I also used Qualitydiamonds.co.uk for a much smaller purchase and had a good experience but that was 2008 so some time ago, now sure how they compare these days.
 

Hounddog

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Hi Lissyflo, I just hope we get some good recommendations. I know there must be some excellent vendors, workshops out there :)

Hi Sparkleaddict, thank you for the supporting vote and the new information. When we get a big enough list I'll compile them and post that separately...might be a while!

When you mentioned Bond Street it reminded me, I do know that 'Hatton Garden Bespoke Diamond Workshop' is an Independant with excellent skills and I believe he also does bench work for bigger London 'names', as well as making some gorgeous stuff for private clients. He has a FB page. I'll just point out I do not have any connections to him (or any other jeweller.... unfortunately!) other than being an admirer of his work.

N.B. There are lots of companies using the 'Hatton Garden' title in their names in that area, so if anyone is interested please ensure you find the correct one.

Looking forward to more suggestions for anywhere in the UK.
Thank you.
 

Hounddog

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Any suggestions for the Birmingham area?

As it has a famous jewellery quarter there must be some out there...looking forward to suggestions.
Thanks.
 

gm89uk

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I've been well around the jewellery quarter in Birmingham. I can't say I've seen anyone serious about ideal cut diamonds and most of those available are steep deep very shallow. I've rarely come across the quoted recommended criteria here.

Not to say the diamonds don't exist, but expect to do the ground work yourself as the staff there generally don't care much for it.I'd love to hear if anyone has found a vendor that does!
 

susief

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For high quality custom work, Midas Jewellers on King Street in Manchester have a fantastic bench - they have done brilliant CAD-cast work for me, are reasonably priced, and really know their stuff. Everything is made on-site. They've been around for years.

Diamonds? Not found anyone who would come even close to PS standards. There used to be a CBI dealer in London, not sure if she's still around.
 

Hounddog

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Hi gm89uk,
Thanks for your comments, that's not sounding too good...you'd think the UK and especially the Diamond district of Birmingham would be better than that...disappointing to say the least! I hope someone has some recommendations to raise our confidence.

Hi Susief,
Thank you for the recommendation of Midas Jewellers in Manchester, that sounds good. Do you know if they also work totally by hand, without casting?
Have you remembered anymore details about the CBI dealer in London?

I'm hoping we get many more as its not looking good for the UK so far, more expensive prices and they don't really know their stuff...surely not!!
Talk about "hiding you light under a bushel" :wall:

Thanks for the comments so far.
 

egemnoel

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Fortrez is London Crafted by Infinity dealer. Tandem operation with the same Fortrez Antwerp that is located in the same neighborhood of CBI diamond cutting HQ. Great review on the forum also about Fortrez and the owner Rob van Beurden.

http://www.fortrez.com
 

dk168

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egemnoel|1472378223|4070821 said:
Fortrez is London Crafted by Infinity dealer. Tandem operation with the same Fortrez Antwerp that is located in the same neighborhood of CBI diamond cutting HQ. Great review on the forum also about Fortrez and the owner Rob van Beurden.

http://www.fortrez.com
Rob also owns and operates under Diamondhouse as mentioned above.

DK :))
 

Hounddog

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Hi egemnoel,
Thanks for suggesting Fortrez and all the information.

Hi dk168,
Thank you again for the info and clarification.

Hope you're all having a good weekend.
 

dk168

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Indeed I am, and it is not yet over, and Bank Holiday Monday looks like a nice day for a change!

Hope everyone else in the UK is having a good long weekend too.

DK :))
 

Christinak

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Hello
Lovely weather seems to be continuing in the UK. Shock!!

I am working with Isabella George Jewels. Tina designs and creates bespoke settings which are then cast and hand finished by her workshop.

Can also source stones and found my OEC for me (picture below) as well as an unheated yellow sapphire for another ring. One of my settings is now cast and being finished, the other is cast next week. I will have photos to post soon (couple of weeks or so I would think).

No website as works mostly on referral/recommendation which seems to be the way it works in the uk. But can be contacted through [email protected]

So far my experience of working with them has been very positive and the creativity and workmanship of the items I have seen really very good. I will post my finished items when I have them.

Hope this helps
Thanks
Chris

img_20160518_0.jpg
 

Hounddog

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Hi Christinak,

I know, the weather has been amazing :) ...I realised the other day that for several days in a row, without even thinking, I'd been able to just dress in summer clothes... wonderful and so unusual! We're definitely from the UK discussing the weather!!

Thank you for your suggestion and the contact details, please could you say which county she's based in?
I can't wait to see your finished rings, after diamonds I adore Sapphires both Blue and Yellow, please do post photos of them. Your OEC looks beautiful, I've been thinking I need to add OEC to my wish list :love:

Thanks again and Good Luck with your rings.
Hope life is treating you kindly.
 

Christinak

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Hello
You make me laugh. Yes we are from the uk and yes we are discussing the weather!!!
Tina is in the uk in Hampshire, I have met her in London for viewing stones but we do everything else by email and post. This is the first time I have made any bespoke jewellery and its fantastic fun although a little nerve wracking! Also cheaper than anything I would have bought retail and I feel better quality as you can be really selective about the stones and also of course design exactly what you want! So overall I am very pleased and really looking forward to seeing the finished items. I will post pictures when i get them.
Have a lovely sunny day!
Chris
 

OoohShiny

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I used Durrants in Hatton Garden for my lady's engagement ring, and we plan to go back there for the wedding ring (likely to be an engraved/filigree platinum band).

Searching the forum for 'Durrants' reveals previous posts on them, including some noting scepticism regarding their claims to do work for 'big name' brands, but I was very pleased with the quality of their work, their helpfulness when I was being awkward, their no-BS attitude, and the fact they are a family-run business who take their dogs to work with them :) They also had no issues setting a stone from a third party vendor (thank you again, Wink :)) ).

I cannot personally prove or disprove their claims about working for the big brands, but having the bench chap wander out and show me a 6 carat pear solitaire ring he'd just finished setting and polishing :o :love: they would appear to have clients with substantial net worth using them, which must be worth something with regards to reputational value. (Sadly I am not one of those people :( lol)

I cannot comment on the quality of the stones they can source either, but they seem like they would be down-to-earth enough to put up with us people coming in with an ASETscope and IdealScope if we were open enough to explain that we haven't got their years of experience and are therefore 'relying on science' or whatever. I think any jeweller in the UK would probably give someone a strange look if they did, though, as cut quality and the tools to assess it seem to be sadly lacking in the UK industry in general.

I would recommend anyone going to Hatton Garden to pay them a visit once they've been round the other various retailers. The lack of 'hard sell' was most refreshing, and they'll tell it how it is, which in my book is infinitely preferable than some vacuous, fawning 'sales assistant' doing everything they can to make a sale because their bosses have set them targets that are impossible to meet unless they abandon all morals.
 

Hounddog

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Hi Christinak,
Thanks for the extra information. I agree it is a very exciting process having something made for you, I love it too.
I hope you're delighted with your items and I'm really looking forward to seeing them. Thank you.

Hi OoohShiny,
What a great name! Thank you for recommending Durrants and giving us all the interesting supporting information.
I agree with you about the ASET and IdealScope issue with UK vendors, I've spoken to a few small local Independant bench jewellers and they don't seem to have heard of them or maybe just aren't interested as there isn't a 'market' for them here yet. They seem to just go by the GIA cut, Sym and polish grades and their considerable experience of looking at thousands of stones, I felt rather 'wacky' asking about scopes and HCA scores etc!
Thanks for your recommendation, I can't wait to visit Hatton Garden again.
 

Hounddog

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Hello again,
A comment on another thread about recommended UK jewellers making bespoke work reminded me of this, so I thought I’d try to resurrect this list and hopefully improve on it.

I can add ‘LANES JEWELLERY’ at 5, Market Place, Holt, Norfolk, UK to the list now. A father and son outfit who make some lovely items with a shop at this location, they also sells other brands of jewellery.

‘MILTON JEWELLERS’- For good quality secondhand/preloved jewellery in Chester, Cheshire, UK. They have an amazing range of stock along with some Branded/Signed pieces eg Bulgari, Boodles, Cartier, Etc etc. As it’s preloved jewellery it just depends what’s there when you go in!
They have a few other stores in the NW but I like this one

Any more recommendations would be great, thank you :)
 

Austina

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Hi @Hounddog I recently visited an OEC vendor in Hatton Garden and was extremely unimpressed with their offerings.

What I would say, is that although it seems daunting, I had a ring made in the US last year, and it was fine, in fact it exceeded my expectations.

I also had the opportunity of visiting Old World Diamonds in NY in July with @missy, and I would feel totally confident of buying from them sight unseen so to speak. Adam was extremely honest about all the stones he showed me, his videos are very accurate. Although I subsequently didn’t buy from him (because I got the opportunity to buy from a fellow PSer), my ring did originally come from them.
 

missy

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Agree completely with @Austina. Purchasing from Adam at Old World Diamonds is a completely painless process no matter where you live. And Adam is trustworthy and honest and I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase from him again. His inventory is amazing and he is a sweetheart to boot.
 

Hounddog

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Thanks Austina and Missy, that’s really worth knowing. I’ve been tempted to buy from a recommended/ trusted US vendor before but in the end it was all the ‘faff’ with trying to calculate Taxes and import duty etc that made me buy in the UK instead.
That’s really good to know, especially with the US prices generally seeming better and I’d have confidence knowing that it would be from a high calibre PS recommended source. :)

Austina, it’s such a shame you didn’t have any luck with OEC’s here. Re Hatton Garden, London ( Not the highly recommended ‘HG Bespoke Diamond Workshop’, who by the way I’m not related or anything to him, just an appreciative fan).
In general the road/area of Hatton Garden is crammed with so many jewellers shops of varying quality (wanting that famous location) that I must admit when I used to walk around looking in windows I didn’t know who to trust!!
Now I’d definitely go to HGBDW, he’s able to call in whatever you want in Diamonds and other gem stones. Doesn’t have a shop front as he’s a workshop, so you have to make an appointment with him to visit.

I also hate being ‘touted at’ on the pavements in Hatton Garden as you walk by some shops, probably the less quality ones, it makes me not want to even look in their window. ..mini rant over! So I’m not surprised your OEC hunting there wasn’t a good experience Austina.

I’d love an OEC, they’re absolutely gorgeous. I’ll have to look for your ring thread now, it must be beautiful. Thanks for the recommendation of Adam at Old World Diamonds.

Thanks Bludiva, as soon as I saw it I had to have it as my avatar. Unfortunately I don’t know who the artist is (I think I saw it on Pinterest or such like), but the artist obviously knows these dogs very well as he’s caught their character beautifully .

Thank you
 
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Austina

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@Hounddog - I found even paying the VAT/duty still worked out less than buying from here in the UK.

I’m not an expert, but there are plenty of OEC experts here who’d be happy to help in your search.

I really didn’t get it until I saw the beauties that OWD had. There are also a few other companies, Jewels by Grace and Love Affajr Diamonds who have stones and complete rings, who are also reputable.

Honestly, the most stressful part was tracking Bella’s journey and waiting for her arrival :lol:
 

Hounddog

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Hi Austina, that’s really interesting re pricing. I think I’ll have to give it a go when I fall in love with the next US stone or ring.
I do follow Jewels by Grace and Love affair diamonds online, and I’ve been very tempted by some of Graces items, but I’ve always held back due to the travel and taxes etc...mmmmm....very interesting! :love:

Your Bella ‘rings a bell’( pun not intended, sorry!) I think I must have read a thread where the previous owner mentioned her...now I’m going to have to do some lovely PS research.

Unfortunately before I can get an OEC I’m going to have to carry on saving as I’ve got a few stones now waiting to be set....but there’s always another beauty that queue jumps!! Hopefully my Aqua and Trilliants sides will be set by next year.
Thanks Austina :wavey:

Enjoy your Bella
 

KKJohnson

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@Ryancope123 maybe someone can recommend a vendor for you to visit in person
 

LJsapphire

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Following also. I'm near to the Jewellery Quarter and Birmingham although I usually look more for coloured stones and antiques.
 

dk168

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Coppins in Corsham, Wiltshire, has its own bench in their shop.
I used them to replace a MRB side stone approximately 0.2ct and they allowed me to pay by instalments.
I went back to them to have my large EC taken out of its original setting and re-set into its forever setting that was custom made by an eBay vendor based in China.

I have not bought anything from them, however I would recommend them for repair work or reset for certain.

DK :))
 

Hounddog

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Hi LJSapphire, recommendations for coloured stones and Antiques would be good too. I happen to love shopping ‘pre-loved’ as you get much better prices and some great original designs. You have a beautiful ring on your avatar :).

Hi dk168, Thanks for the info about Coppins, it’s great to get some more recommendations.

Hi KKJohnson, I did look at Ryancopes thread but couldn’t really help as I don’t have any recommendations for Birmingham yet, though I did leave a message. Thanks for the ‘nudge’..I hope that’s the correct term.
 
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