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Did I do a good purchase?

Herjar

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
3
Hi. I recently went to Hatton Garden in London to purchase an engagement ring. I don't have any particular interest or knowledge in diamonds, but tried to read up a bit since it's so expensive. I only found this site after I was there, and I know people on here would probably recommend to buy online, but I live in a small country with no online shops like that here, and would have to pay shipping, tax etc. if I buy from the US. I also felt I needed to see the ring myself to judge it.

The good part is I live outside the EU so I get the VAT (20%) back when I buy in London.
The downside is I did not have that much time. I spent a whole day there looking in different stores to find the setting my girfriend (and me) would like. I did feel like I should have prepared a bit more.

I found it hard to know if what the sellers there said was true or not, but my instinct was that I would not trust too many of the people who were selling here to give me a fair price. I had a better feeling about the guy I bought from, but he may just be a better seller :)

I ended up purchasing a three stone ring with a round in the middle and pear on the sides.
I saw a ring I really liked in the window, but it was £8000. I told him my budget was £3000 so he found the same ring with a smaller center diamond. He first showed one which I think was ~0.6c and below my budget (~£2800 I think). I thought it looked a bit small compared to the sides, so he found a 0.71c round with I color and SI2, but only with cert from EDR (which I had not heard of).
He told me the GIA is the industry standard and EDR is a local certification, and having a GIA means there is not really any doubt about the quality, but just because it does not have one does not mean it is not a good diamond.

The ring is platinum and the pears was uncertified and about 0.4c in total (does it matter much if the smaller sides are not cert?). He offered me this for £3150, but I haggled down to £3000. I went for a stroll and looked in a few other places to have some time to think.

I went back later and asked if he had a similar diamond with GIA, and he found a 0.72c G color VS2. From my one day looking at diamonds I noticed that I don't always see any difference in the various colors etc that they show, but I could see a difference in these two. The cheaper one looked darker and a bit more yellow. Not a huge difference and I wouldn't have noticed much on it's own, but when comparing them I could see it. I haggled a bit and got the ring for £3550. I will get the VAT back so the price I actually pay will be £2840. They only had it in white gold so I am going back to pick it up in platinum later.

I don't care too much about the perfect color etc. This is a lot of money for me, but I thought since I have no experience it would be worth it to get an official certificate and not get too ripped off. I have only heard of GIA so thought that would be a safer bet. Was it a good idea to go over budget for the GIA diamond for £550 extra? It also had better color and clarity which is part of the extra price.

I felt a bit rushed to make a decision with so much money as I only had one day there and would like some feedback if it is an ok price?
No need to sugar coat it if I got suckered. I'm a big boy.

Also feel free to give your opinion on what you think about the ring. Do you like the setting? Is it an ok proportion between the center and side diamonds? Could I have gone for a smaller center?

I have no doubt that she will say yes (she has been waiting for me to ask), but just would like to know if I made a good financial decision.

I added some photos below. Center diamond is obviously not set yet.

PS. Sorry for the very long post...

img-20160809-wa0001-s.jpg

img-20160809-wa0000s.jpg
 

farrahlyn

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,170
i absolutely LOVE the setting, a round with pear sides is just one of my favorites, it's SO classy. The proportions look really good to me. Sounds like you did the right thing by going with the GIA stone especially considering the differences when you compared the two next to one another.
 

LadyMCh

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 30, 2016
Messages
318
It would help if we knew more about the diamond, like what's included in the GIA report...cut, proportions, etc...
What I can say is that, after you get the VAT back, that would be about $3695 USD.
Here, a GIA G VS2 stone starts at about $2k for a "good" cut. I found uncertified pear side stone settings of similar weight online here for starting at $1300 (but most were higher, like $1500+). So $3300-$3500 to start for a "good" cut 0.7 G VS2 GIA stone.
Considering these items are more expensive in Europe, I would say (especially with the VAT return!), that you did well.
I definitely think it was worth it to upgrade to the GIA certified stone because you KNOW what you bought. The 0.72ct you went with definitely looks to be a better proportion with the side stones than the smaller stone would have.
Great job haggling!

Congratulations on your upcoming engagement! I'm sure your bride to be will be very pleased!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,631
You definitely made the right decision to get a GIA graded stone, but what is the cut grade? We would not recommend less than excellent cut because even that range has much better stones than others. I love the setting if the center was made for a stone that size.
 

Herjar

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
3
Sorry for the late reply. Had a long holiday :) Thank you very much for your help.

I called them up and got the report number.
http://www.gia.edu/report-check?reportno=2173700236

It's only a good cut. Wish I knew beforehand I that I should only look for excellent. Can you see a big difference in good and excellent cut?
Not sure how to read all the proportions. I assume the quality of the cut ranges within the grade too. Is it a "good" good cut, or a bad one?

I checked some prices on bluenile, and it seems like there is not a huge difference in price with different cut grades?

I don't think I can change it now either way. I'm going to pick up the ring soonish, and I don't think my girfriend will care much about the cut anyway:)
 

newjourney

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2015
Messages
72
If you absolutely can't return, enjoy it as it was the best you could do based on what you knew under the circumstance.

If you still can, do it as there are other diamonds with better cut proportions. Don't settle because you assume she won't care about cut. Even if she doesn't, you still owe it to her to give what you've now learned to be the most important characteristic of a modern round brilliant -- excellent cut.
 

shaggy1

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
146
I think you did well. The benefit of a GIA certificate is that you know exactly what you have.

We have a preference here for excellent and ideal cut, but you'd have paid a bit more for that.

I love the setting! And you're correct, it's less important to grade the side stones.

Good luck with the proposal.
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,557
HI:

Your ring is beautiful. Please come back with hand pictures!

cheers--Sharon
 

Herjar

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
3
newjourney|1472767194|4072385 said:
If you absolutely can't return, enjoy it as it was the best you could do based on what you knew under the circumstance.

If you still can, do it as there are other diamonds with better cut proportions. Don't settle because you assume she won't care about cut. Even if she doesn't, you still owe it to her to give what you've now learned to be the most important characteristic of a modern round brilliant -- excellent cut.
Well, I haven't asked them if I can return. Would probably be fine I assume, but I'm going back to London now and plan to pick it up at the weekend. We are going on a short holiday from there and I was planning to propose then. If I change the diamond I'll have to delay the proposal maybe 2 months and come back to London at a later time to pick it up (so probably another £200 in flights). Just seems like much work and extra money for something I'm not sure if I'll notice. I have not looked that much at diamonds before, but I did not notice that it was any worse than the other diamonds I was shown (better than some actually). I'll have a look when I see it again and think about it.

I think expensive diamond engagement rings are a very UK/US thing. It's starting to get more popular here, but the tradition is to just use the same plain marriage gold ring as engagement ring too. I wanted to give her a separate engagement ring though and my budget was £3000, but I ended up on £3500. She is not very materialistic so I think she would be happy with a much cheaper ring. I'm not worried that she will not approve of the diamond quality. I think she will be happy that there is a diamond on the ring :)

Thanks for the help everyone. I'll be back with some photos on her finger once she (hopefully) says yes.
 

Rivendell

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
151
Herjar|1473177564|4073694 said:
newjourney|1472767194|4072385 said:
If you absolutely can't return, enjoy it as it was the best you could do based on what you knew under the circumstance.

If you still can, do it as there are other diamonds with better cut proportions. Don't settle because you assume she won't care about cut. Even if she doesn't, you still owe it to her to give what you've now learned to be the most important characteristic of a modern round brilliant -- excellent cut.
Well, I haven't asked them if I can return. Would probably be fine I assume, but I'm going back to London now and plan to pick it up at the weekend. We are going on a short holiday from there and I was planning to propose then. If I change the diamond I'll have to delay the proposal maybe 2 months and come back to London at a later time to pick it up (so probably another £200 in flights). Just seems like much work and extra money for something I'm not sure if I'll notice. I have not looked that much at diamonds before, but I did not notice that it was any worse than the other diamonds I was shown (better than some actually). I'll have a look when I see it again and think about it.

I think expensive diamond engagement rings are a very UK/US thing. It's starting to get more popular here, but the tradition is to just use the same plain marriage gold ring as engagement ring too. I wanted to give her a separate engagement ring though and my budget was £3000, but I ended up on £3500. She is not very materialistic so I think she would be happy with a much cheaper ring. I'm not worried that she will not approve of the diamond quality. I think she will be happy that there is a diamond on the ring :)

Thanks for the help everyone. I'll be back with some photos on her finger once she (hopefully) says yes.[/quo

I'm sure the completed ring will be lovely. I like the setting with the pears. If you love how the diamond looks that's what matters most. Sure it's good to have a certificate to know you got a fair deal and it's essential should you wish to upgrade in the future - again that's more of a US thing.
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Messages
6,350
I think the ring looks beautiful. It is a classic design with a lot of presence. I can tell you put a lot of thought into its purchase.
 

newjourney

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 10, 2015
Messages
72
OP, your proposal alone will trump anything you present to her. You've picked a beautiful setting and I think she'll be thrill. Good luck!
 
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