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UK-London Engagement Rings

LucaM

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
10
Hi everyone

I'm looking to bu an engagement ring in the next month or so, and I am wonderng if anyone out here has any recommendation for a good shop in Hatton Garden or in London in general?
I would prefer buying something here as this would give me the chance of return it free of charge for changes and easy free re-sizing.

Based on the reviews online and the fact these two vendors have actual shops in London, I've narrowed it down to:

1- thediamondringcompany (they have really amazing 5.0 stars reviews on google and TrustPilot and very good prices): https://www.thediamondringcompany.co.uk
2- 77 diamonds: https://www.77diamonds.com

Has anyone used these vendors or have any other recommendations?

Should I instead buy online from JamesAllen or Blue nile? The main thing about buying online is obviously the fact that is much more difficult to have it re-sized or changed (it's always good to know that if your girlfriend doesn't like it she can make alterations).

My budget is around 3500£ish and i was thinking of a simple round solitaire (with a tiffany setting feeling but with slightly less knife edge finish) and a triple excellent GIA 0.6-0.7 ct diamond, F-G colour with VS1-VS2 clarity.
I thought having GIA excellent cut diamond would be enough to get a nice stone but I've recently stumbled upon the ideal cut proportions which made everything a bit more overwhelming :lol-2:

Many thanks!
 

Alex T

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 24, 2012
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5,119
Also try Hatton Garden Bespoke. My eternity ring was made there & he's a great guy.

Good luck!
 

Lykame

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
1,345
Beware I'm extremely biased, however I had an extremely bad experience in Hatton Garden and would never buy from there again. I felt ripped off and once I learnt cut was everything I wasn't impressed by the cut of my diamond either even though it was a GIA triple excellent. It has rather jaded me.

That's not to say you can't buy from Hatton Garden but you must must must do your research before you go there or the wool may be pulled over your eyes. I guess that's true of any place but I just feel suspicious.

I ended up going to Durham Rose in London:

This was because they supply a brand of diamond called CBI, which is a super ideal diamond. I love it. The cut is perfect. Their service was excellent. Their custom setting process took more patience but I wanted something that was more complicated than we initially realised.

There's another company in London who also do CBI called Diamond House Jewellery.

I haven't worked with them but have heard good things.

Otherwise I bow to the other recommendations on here as those are clearly worth trying and sound more trustworthy then my experience!
 

RosieR

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
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Feb 3, 2013
Messages
593
I follow “Hancock’s Diamonds” on Instagram. They are in London. Beautiful creations there.
Guy Burton at Hancocks specialises in antique cut diamonds if that’s what the original poster is looking for.
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 7, 2013
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5,942
I went to Simon Wright not far from Hatton Garden to have my mum's MRB set in a bangle, based on the recommendation from @TravelKat, and would recommend him myself.

https://www.sw-jewellery.com/

DK :))
 

dk168

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LucaM

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
10
Beware I'm extremely biased, however I had an extremely bad experience in Hatton Garden and would never buy from there again. I felt ripped off and once I learnt cut was everything I wasn't impressed by the cut of my diamond either even though it was a GIA triple excellent. It has rather jaded me.

That's not to say you can't buy from Hatton Garden but you must must must do your research before you go there or the wool may be pulled over your eyes. I guess that's true of any place but I just feel suspicious.

I ended up going to Durham Rose in London:

This was because they supply a brand of diamond called CBI, which is a super ideal diamond. I love it. The cut is perfect. Their service was excellent. Their custom setting process took more patience but I wanted something that was more complicated than we initially realised.

There's another company in London who also do CBI called Diamond House Jewellery.

I haven't worked with them but have heard good things.

Otherwise I bow to the other recommendations on here as those are clearly worth trying and sound more trustworthy then my experience!
Thanks for the reply, I've asked for a quote now and let's see what they come back with.
At the moment i'm also progressing things with thediamondringcompany as they have like 300 review 5 star review on google and something like 600 5 start on trust pilot; that's what i based my search for a jewellery store in hatton garden as there are too many so i went for the highest rank good review.

Should i stick to having a ideal cut proportion diamond or triple excellent GIA is already enough to have a nice brilliant diamond? At first glance it's not that easy to find ideal cut diamonds in real stores with limited options.
 

Izzy70

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 3, 2018
Messages
54
I would see if you can take a look at the CBI jewellers. I have A Cut Above from Whiteflash, an ideal cut which is a million times better than any stone I could get locally In the Channel Islands.
 

Lykame

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
1,345
Thanks for the reply, I've asked for a quote now and let's see what they come back with.
At the moment i'm also progressing things with thediamondringcompany as they have like 300 review 5 star review on google and something like 600 5 start on trust pilot; that's what i based my search for a jewellery store in hatton garden as there are too many so i went for the highest rank good review.

Should i stick to having a ideal cut proportion diamond or triple excellent GIA is already enough to have a nice brilliant diamond? At first glance it's not that easy to find ideal cut diamonds in real stores with limited options.
I think at least using the best reviews is a wise start, just keep an open mind. Do some reading on this site. Have you an idea of what your engagement ring receiver will want/preferences etc?

I think the majority of people on Pricescope will very much press that cut is the most important thing. I know that has to be balanced against your budget and colour and clarity preferences, but I would still say that cut was the most important. I know that many people have diamonds that they think are beautiful that don't fit into what we would say were the 'correct' proportions. Equally, if you think carefully about proportions you can still have a beautiful diamond without it being a super ideal.

A lot of people on here (including me) will really strongly encourage you to think about a super ideal (and I am about to encourage you too) - but I also recognise there is a balance here, especially in England where it is much more difficult to get easy access to any of the things that are considered important in a diamond hunt - by that I mean ASET images, idealscopes etc. It is possible to get them but a lot of jewellers in Hatton Garden have never heard of such things and will actively discourage you from thinking anything more than 'triple excellent' is enough.There are a lot of dodgy triple excellents.

I used to have a GIA 1.65 carat F SI1 that was triple excellent. Its HCA score was 2.3. Was it a pretty diamond? Yes, sure, it was very pretty and I received a lot of compliments on it. Is there ANY comparison between how beautiful it was and how beautiful the CBI that I have is? No, no there isn't. I went all the way down from an F to a J to get the CBI I wanted and for me cut was everything. Amazing cut helps with face-up colour too. Ultimately that was my priority but not everyone will have the same priorities.

If you're not going to go for a super ideal, you can still get a really beautiful diamond. I would recommend rejecting any stone with an HCA score above 2.0.

I would (in England) really want to go for GIA (AGS is perfect too but harder to come by).

I would really strongly encourage keeping within the following proportions:

Depth 60.5-62.1
Table 55-57
Pavilion 40.6-40.8
Crown 34-34.5 degrees.

That was my quite narrow requirements. I also had slightly more broad numbers, which were not my personal preference but do also work:

Table 54-58
Depth 60-62.3
Crown angle 34-35.0 (up to 35.5 crown can work sometimes with a 40.6 pavilion angle)
34 crown pairs better with 41 pavilion and 35 crown pairs better with 40.6.

Have a think, have a read, and see what you get quoted and what they try and sell you, then you can go from there. We are always happy to help.
 

LucaM

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
10
I think at least using the best reviews is a wise start, just keep an open mind. Do some reading on this site. Have you an idea of what your engagement ring receiver will want/preferences etc?

I think the majority of people on Pricescope will very much press that cut is the most important thing. I know that has to be balanced against your budget and colour and clarity preferences, but I would still say that cut was the most important. I know that many people have diamonds that they think are beautiful that don't fit into what we would say were the 'correct' proportions. Equally, if you think carefully about proportions you can still have a beautiful diamond without it being a super ideal.

A lot of people on here (including me) will really strongly encourage you to think about a super ideal (and I am about to encourage you too) - but I also recognise there is a balance here, especially in England where it is much more difficult to get easy access to any of the things that are considered important in a diamond hunt - by that I mean ASET images, idealscopes etc. It is possible to get them but a lot of jewellers in Hatton Garden have never heard of such things and will actively discourage you from thinking anything more than 'triple excellent' is enough.There are a lot of dodgy triple excellents.

I used to have a GIA 1.65 carat F SI1 that was triple excellent. Its HCA score was 2.3. Was it a pretty diamond? Yes, sure, it was very pretty and I received a lot of compliments on it. Is there ANY comparison between how beautiful it was and how beautiful the CBI that I have is? No, no there isn't. I went all the way down from an F to a J to get the CBI I wanted and for me cut was everything. Amazing cut helps with face-up colour too. Ultimately that was my priority but not everyone will have the same priorities.

If you're not going to go for a super ideal, you can still get a really beautiful diamond. I would recommend rejecting any stone with an HCA score above 2.0.

I would (in England) really want to go for GIA (AGS is perfect too but harder to come by).

I would really strongly encourage keeping within the following proportions:

Depth 60.5-62.1
Table 55-57
Pavilion 40.6-40.8
Crown 34-34.5 degrees.

That was my quite narrow requirements. I also had slightly more broad numbers, which were not my personal preference but do also work:

Table 54-58
Depth 60-62.3
Crown angle 34-35.0 (up to 35.5 crown can work sometimes with a 40.6 pavilion angle)
34 crown pairs better with 41 pavilion and 35 crown pairs better with 40.6.

Have a think, have a read, and see what you get quoted and what they try and sell you, then you can go from there. We are always happy to help.
Thanks for the really good explanation.

I found also Taylor&Hart here in London which seems to have quite a good range of stones: https://taylorandhart.com

I'll have an online consultation tomorrow so let's see what they say.

So I imagine that if i had to choose between F-VS1 with no ideal proportions and a G-VS2 with ideal proportions, for the same budget, I should go for the latter option? Both obviously triple excellent GIA diamonds.

I know that normally here is recommended to not consider anything above 2, but what would be still the higher acceptable HCA score on paper for a not too picky person, kind of like me? Something like 2.5 max?
 

Lykame

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
1,345
Thanks for the really good explanation.

I found also Taylor&Hart here in London which seems to have quite a good range of stones: https://taylorandhart.com

I'll have an online consultation tomorrow so let's see what they say.

So I imagine that if i had to choose between F-VS1 with no ideal proportions and a G-VS2 with ideal proportions, for the same budget, I should go for the latter option? Both obviously triple excellent GIA diamonds.

I know that normally here is recommended to not consider anything above 2, but what would be still the higher acceptable HCA score on paper for a not too picky person, kind of like me? Something like 2.5 max?

You're spot on with the two examples you gave.

I honestly think that even whilst being not too picky, keep the score below 2. There should be plenty of diamonds that manage that. What I found was I would be offered one or max two diamond choices. That's ridiculous, this is a massive purchase, see more! Don't put a deposit on anything until you've thought about it and checked it out here. If you check it out here and you're not so picky, make that really clear because we are good at being picky but that can mean we dissuade against an otherwise perfectly nice stone. But please keep it below 2.

If at some point you do put a deposit down, you need in writing what that means. Is it refundable? Or lost if you change your mind? Only possible to swap to another of their diamonds? Etc. No matter a vendors' good reviews, have a degree of safeguarding of what you do. Once you do have a ring, what's the return policy in writing? Etc.

The next test then I would recommend is being able to see the diamonds with your eyes in more than one lighting environment, not just under their magical spotlighting that could make spit look pretty, but in sunlight, cloudy environments, the shade, standard office lighting (usually the worst lighting).

I know COVID makes this all rather additionally challenging but it's important to get this right. Don't get burnt like I did, it's not worth the pain including financially. :)
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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7,376
Worth a read:


 

LucaM

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
10
You're spot on with the two examples you gave.

I honestly think that even whilst being not too picky, keep the score below 2. There should be plenty of diamonds that manage that. What I found was I would be offered one or max two diamond choices. That's ridiculous, this is a massive purchase, see more! Don't put a deposit on anything until you've thought about it and checked it out here. If you check it out here and you're not so picky, make that really clear because we are good at being picky but that can mean we dissuade against an otherwise perfectly nice stone. But please keep it below 2.

If at some point you do put a deposit down, you need in writing what that means. Is it refundable? Or lost if you change your mind? Only possible to swap to another of their diamonds? Etc. No matter a vendors' good reviews, have a degree of safeguarding of what you do. Once you do have a ring, what's the return policy in writing? Etc.

The next test then I would recommend is being able to see the diamonds with your eyes in more than one lighting environment, not just under their magical spotlighting that could make spit look pretty, but in sunlight, cloudy environments, the shade, standard office lighting (usually the worst lighting).

I know COVID makes this all rather additionally challenging but it's important to get this right. Don't get burnt like I did, it's not worth the pain including financially. :)
Yes obviously now going into the shops to check diamonds is not really that easy :confused2:

I'm messing around with blue nile as at least as it is also based in uk which makes it easier.

Would the proportions from the diamond below make it a potential candidate?

1593473926612.png
1593473961476.png

I'll keep you posted with my consultation with Taylor and Hart tomorrow and thediamondringcompany on Wednesday.

Thanks for the help!
 

Lykame

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
1,345
Well done for looking around.

The HCA score for that diamond is 1.4. It's a tiny bit deep. (A single decimal point can make a significant difference). I personally would immediately exclude it but this is what I mean - it may still be a very nice diamond.

It would be worth looking at. Blue Nile have a better grasp of things like ASET and idealscope (because of how they source their diamonds). Ask for them.

As soon as you see any diamond you like on Blue Nile ask for it to be put on hold (I think for a short time that is free although don't quote me, check) otherwise you risk it being poached from right under you.

The next thing I'm going to press you on is the D VS1. Most people if the diamonds are not next to each other would not be able to tell the difference between D VS1 and, for example, F VS2. You would then get bigger for the same money. Some people must get a D for cultural reasons, some people really specifically prefer D, etc - but if there's no strong compelling reason then keep a broader range of what you would accept.

A bit later I'll see if I can find some examples for you.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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Well done for looking around.

The HCA score for that diamond is 1.4. It's a tiny bit deep. (A single decimal point can make a significant difference). I personally would immediately exclude it but this is what I mean - it may still be a very nice diamond.
I am going to disagree with this ;-)

0.1% deeper than the 'PS-recommended' range is not deep in any way - the HCA score of 1.4 is well under 2.0, so the angles will work just fine! :)

When the pavilion angle is around 40.45 degrees (IIRC) then that is borderline in terms of potentially causing a lot of leakage (again, IIRC) so a 0.1 degree difference can definitely cause issues there, but the total depth percentage is a lot more flexible :)


Smaller table, higher crown, shorter LGFs (75%) should all work to create a very fire-y stone! :))
 

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
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Hi @LucaM -

I love the diamond you're looking at. It's at the edge of the range for depth, but still within ideal proportions. In fact, the balance of the stats you have is very nice. VS1 is my preferred clarity. My engagement ring is an F VS2, and I have every intention of upgrading its clarity at some point to a VS1; on occasion, I CAN see the inclusions - especially when I photograph it. So personally, I want a diamond that's clean under more stringent scrutiny. So VS1 is my favorite clarity grade.

As for a D color - if you want *really* white,D or E is the way to go. I have ostly F's, but also a significant number of E colored stones (I have a lot of diamonds) and E has a crispness that I like. D - which I tend to avoid for financial reasons - is even whiter still. Can you see the difference between a D and an E? Unlikely. Between a D and an F? Possibly - especially if you're color sensitive. Between a D and a G? Definitely. So if white - and I mean *WHITE* - is what you want, and you can afford a D, and it's for a special occasion - then why not? Remember, a Tiffany style setting is a very unforgiving setting. You have the diamond, the prongs, and the band - that's it. The entire diamond is exposed and the design is minimal, so that diamond needs to be spot on! There's no modifying with setting, disguising flaws with side stones, bezel setting to mitigate for color, or frills and furbelows to distract the eye. In a Tiffany setting that diamond is right out there - so it had best be a good one! So all that to say, I am right there with you on D-F and VS1.

Can I ask what size your girl's finger is? Because when it comes to jewelry, like any accessory, proportion is important for is to look good.

You asked a significant question: "Should I stick to ideal cut or will triple ex be good enough?" Also: " is up to 2.5 good enough for a not very picky person like me?" Let me disabuse your mind of this immediately....

Stay with ideal cut. Get the best cut diamond you can find. You WILL see the difference. They DO perform differently. And this is one of those things where "near enough REALLY ISN'T good enough."

Your HCA score needs to be between 1 and 2 - so your score with your D VS! stone is right in the sweet spot. But remember, the HCA is an ELIMINATION tool - not a selection tool. If it's over 2 - kick it to the curb. But just because it's between 1 and 2 doesn't automatically mean you should buy it.

However, breaking down the stats on the .67ct diamond shows it to be a very nicely balanced stone. One question, tho: I see you said your budget was 3.5k pounds. Is there some reason you're looking at stones almost a thousand pounds below that? A plain solitaire setting is not expensive, so I wondered why you were shooting so far below your limit. It's good to keep to a budget, of course, but an engagement ring isn't really the time or place to be trying to come in markedly under budget. And again - what size is your girl's finger? You want to get her something proportional to her hand.

I assume you're looking at platinum for the setting. Four, six or eight prongs? And pls make sure you get this set by someone who does delicate prong work. I've bought from BN dozens and dozens of times and am a long time customer of theirs. I can tell you right from the get-go - their diamonds can be very beautiful, and their settings can be lovely - especially their solitaires. but their prong work is POOR - very heavy and lumpy. What I do, and have done very successfully for years now, is buy my diamonds through BN, but get them set elsewhere.

I actually spent some time on chat with BN for you this morning, asking them if they offer finer prong work (I know James Allen, for example, will do finer prong work for an extra cost), but the person I spoke to was unable to confirm this, and my experience is that they don't. So I'd suggest buying the diamond and ring separately.

I think where you should be spending your time is asking around to find someone who will do nice, fine claw prongs for you. And what sort of stats are you after for your setting? Would you consider a pre-made setting, like Stuller, for example, who have a lovely solitaire setting, or Vatche, and then bringing the two together?

But - seriously - if you want a top shelf ring with no hassle - would you consider WhiteFlash, who are in the US? Their stones are gorgeous, probably the most highly and often recommended dealer on PriceScope, and they'll set for you, and ship internationally. And they do it a LOT. Completely reliable, gorgeous product - I'm frankly surprised nobody has suggested them to you before now, as they're a great favorite here. If you want a STUNNING diamond, they're the way to go. CBI is also something special, but you'd be working with someone who carries their product, not them directly, so I can't speak to the setting service you'd get. They're also pretty expensive. But again - now is NOT the time to try to save some pennies.

But firstly - tell us your girl's finger size! Because if she's an 8.5 and you're looking at a .67ct stone, I'm going to do my very best to persuade you into a much warmer, larger diamond, so the proportions on her hand are better. if, on the other hand, she's a size 3.5 - go with my blessing!
 
Last edited:

Lykame

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 1, 2018
Messages
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Okay so I found your setting and it's £720 (also I love it, it's beautiful).

Leaves you about £2,800 for the diamond. You could increase your diamond budget a tad by changing metal in your setting, but you then have to think about plating in the future, etc etc.

Slightly over sorry:

Okay this is causing me pain, I don't like most of the diamonds on Blue Nile within the range I'm looking at.

I don't normally buy into the Astor line, but I really really really really love this one (especially the crown and pavilion angles):

I think it would be stunning. I would probably get that over the D VS1, even though it's carat weight is a touch smaller. Note its width and length are essentially the same so face up it's the same size and because it's nicely cut, it will be sparkly, brilliant (lovely and bright and white), and look a good size. It's cheaper than CBI. Just before posting this I've seen @OoohShiny has posted, I dunno whether he can comment on the above too vs the D VS1.

The best I have found on CBI is:

This is a 0.6 G VS1 and it will be a tiny bit over budget when you count exchange rate and tax (I think your budget would be about $2,250 then plus tax - ish, I'm probably slightly out there, however - but approx). The reason I would go for this one is that a, it's a CBI, and you will have never seen anything like it, and b, they have an amazing upgrade programme.

Someone who I have noticed is consistently excellent at finding lovely Blue Nile diamonds is @mrs-b. If she has time (I know she's super busy and may not have the time) I wonder whether she would be able to have a quick hunt? No problem if she can't however...

I've just noticed she has posted, she always has insightful comments so I'll have a read too. :)
 

Lykame

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Messages
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I am going to disagree with this ;-)

0.1% deeper than the 'PS-recommended' range is not deep in any way - the HCA score of 1.4 is well under 2.0, so the angles will work just fine! :)

When the pavilion angle is around 40.45 degrees (IIRC) then that is borderline in terms of potentially causing a lot of leakage (again, IIRC) so a 0.1 degree difference can definitely cause issues there, but the total depth percentage is a lot more flexible :)


Smaller table, higher crown, shorter LGFs (75%) should all work to create a very fire-y stone! :))
@LucaM definitely trust @OoohShiny over me, I try really hard to give the right advice but it's a difficult area - I get worried about agreeing nicely with a stone that ends up being bad (a long time ago I helped a friend buy a stone, when I knew a lot less, and although it wasn't far off the recommended values I suggested above, the stone was awful. Well okay, it was very firey, but not very brilliant at all, and her preference was brilliance. :( She returned it and has since never bought a new one, so I feel bad about that and it makes me cautious). This is why I like this community, because there are lots of clever people with an array of knowledge who can all help.

@OoohShiny you can disagree with me anytime you like, I respect you immensely. :)
 

Lykame

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Messages
1,345
Hey @mrs-b, nice to see you here. :)

The setting he demonstrated was:

In platinum, this is £720. I think that's why his diamond appears so 'under' budget. Even straightforward platinum solitaire settings are expensive here. I don't know how expensive they are in the USA?

I really love Whiteflash too - the only reason I hadn't suggested it was because he had expressed preference to stay in the UK for servicing needs etc. I understand that - I spent a LONG time looking at Whiteflash before choosing my stone, but the idea of there being an issue once I received it, having to send it back internationally - that was a headache that I just couldn't cope with or wrap my mind around (customs!).

@LucaM I agree totally with the setting issues with Blue Nile - the one my friend received was very blobby-pronged. Not great. Not insurmountable either.

Looking forward to hearing how your digging into other options goes, too.
 

Lykame

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Something that might be nice to do, @LucaM, is buy a very cheap and straightforward solitaire to maximise your budget for the diamond, propose with that and suggest that once you've saved up a bit, you could upgrade the setting at a later date with her input into the design. Some people do that - I know not so commonly over here culturally, but it's something to consider as an option.
 

Lykame

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The same setting in 14k white gold is £314.40.

It would need plating, but that doesn't tend to be too expensive. It would free up a few hundred for the diamond.
 

737lizakg

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I haven't used them, but this UK site sells diamonds with AGS reports, as well as Gia, Hrd etc. AGS is not as stringent on color grading but if you wabt a phenomenally well cut stone witjout having to comb through dozens of certs just go for one with and AGS report with excellent cut designation. Their settings are also nice, and relatively well priced.

https://www.qualitydiamonds.co.uk/
 

Lykame

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I haven't used them, but this UK site sells diamonds with AGS reports, as well as Gia, Hrd etc. AGS is not as stringent on color grading but if you wabt a phenomenally well cut stone witjout having to comb through dozens of certs just go for one with and AGS report with excellent cut designation. Their settings are also nice, and relatively well priced.

https://www.qualitydiamonds.co.uk/
Oh hey that's really cool.
 

Lykame

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I've had a quick search on it and I can't find anything in what appears to be his range, although to be honest I don't 100% know what his range is. :)
 

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
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Hey @mrs-b, nice to see you here. :)

The setting he demonstrated was:

In platinum, this is £720. I think that's why his diamond appears so 'under' budget. Even straightforward platinum solitaire settings are expensive here. I don't know how expensive they are in the USA?

I really love Whiteflash too - the only reason I hadn't suggested it was because he had expressed preference to stay in the UK for servicing needs etc. I understand that - I spent a LONG time looking at Whiteflash before choosing my stone, but the idea of there being an issue once I received it, having to send it back internationally - that was a headache that I just couldn't cope with or wrap my mind around (customs!).

@LucaM I agree totally with the setting issues with Blue Nile - the one my friend received was very blobby-pronged. Not great. Not insurmountable either.

Looking forward to hearing how your digging into other options goes, too.
Lykame - just to be clear - I lived in the UK for many years and am also Australian, where diamonds and prices on jewelry tend to be very similar to the UK. I'm very familiar with the Hatton Garden jewelry district and fell foul of them more than once.

I did read the entire thread, and read OP's comments - and still think WF is a better way to go for him. Ongoing issues with solitaires - given that there is no melee or general trickiness in the settings - tend to be limited to re-sizing, which any competent jeweler can do. My opinion would be different for a more complicated setting - and is also affected by my suggestion of WhiteFlash, since their settings will not be as expensive, as you pointed out, as settings in the UK. So perhaps there would then not be as much need to be "under" budget, as you also pointed out. WhiteFlash can also do better prong work, and, while @LucaM can find a great diamond via BN - which is normally my go-to supplier - running around looking for someone who does a certain type of bench work with which the OP may not be at all familiar is way more stress inducing than doing a one-stop-shop situation, even with a jeweler in the US, given that the setting is very uncomplicated.

I would strongly advise against going with a setting which had problems from the get-go - even if they were able to be fixed. Removing a diamond, reshaping the prongs, then resetting the diamond is the sort of risk one would wish to avoid. It's also pretty nerve wracking for someone not familiar with this process or bench work in general. It's going to be a lot easier for Luca is it's right first time. For my money, that would rule out setting with BN.

Just remember, if you do go with AGS, you're looking for 'Ideal' - not 'excellent'. Excellent is AGS's second level grade. You need Ideal - which will show up on the diamond grading report as a 0 (zero). You're looking for 4 lots of 0 - for cut grade - then underneath that for light performance, polish and symmetry. Alternately, you can go with GIA triple ex, but bring any of those stones here so we can check the stats for you, because GIA is not nearly as specific and their parameters for what constitutes excellent can be broad. And again, if this is making you feel as tho the world is spinning under your feet, I'd be putting all this in the hands of an expert and going with WhiteFlash of CBI - where you'll get the best diamonds anyway.

But proportion is everything. If it doesn't look right - what's the point? So again - we need to start with the recipient's finger size.
 

Lykame

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
1,345
Lykame - just to be clear - I lived in the UK for many years and am also Australian, where diamonds and prices on jewelry tend to be very similar to the UK. I'm very familiar with the Hatton Garden jewelry district and fell foul of them more than once.

I did read the entire thread, and read OP's comments - and still think WF is a better way to go for him. Ongoing issues with solitaires - given that there is no melee or general trickiness in the settings - tend to be limited to re-sizing, which any competent jeweler can do. My opinion would be different for a more complicated setting - and is also affected by my suggestion of WhiteFlash, since their settings will not be as expensive, as you pointed out, as settings in the UK. So perhaps there would then not be as much need to be "under" budget, as you also pointed out. WhiteFlash can also do better prong work, and, while @LucaM can find a great diamond via BN - which is normally my go-to supplier - running around looking for someone who does a certain type of bench work with which the OP may not be at all familiar is way more stress inducing than doing a one-stop-shop situation, even with a jeweler in the US, given that the setting is very uncomplicated.

I would strongly advise against going with a setting which had problems from the get-go - even if they were able to be fixed. Removing a diamond, reshaping the prongs, then resetting the diamond is the sort of risk one would wish to avoid. It's also pretty nerve wracking for someone not familiar with this process or bench work in general. It's going to be a lot easier for Luca is it's right first time. For my money, that would rule out setting with BN.

Just remember, if you do go with AGS, you're looking for 'Ideal' - not 'excellent'. Excellent is AGS's second level grade. You need Ideal - which will show up on the diamond grading report as a 0 (zero). You're looking for 4 lots of 0 - for cut grade - then underneath that for light performance, polish and symmetry. Alternately, you can go with GIA triple ex, but bring any of those stones here so we can check the stats for you, because GIA is not nearly as specific and their parameters for what constitutes excellent can be broad. And again, if this is making you feel as tho the world is spinning under your feet, I'd be putting all this in the hands of an expert and going with WhiteFlash of CBI - where you'll get the best diamonds anyway.

But proportion is everything. If it doesn't look right - what's the point? So again - we need to start with the recipient's finger size.
@LucaM, @mrs-b makes excellent points. She's extremely experienced and well worth listening to.

@mrs-b, I was aware you are Australian and via the UK into America (and surely many other adventures to boot!). :)

I agree getting the setting right first time is a much better idea, it's certainly why I didn't go the solitaire route first because to me it was wasted money, I was just trying to provide options and ideas for him to consider. I love Whiteflash. I agree getting a diamond separately and then trying to set it somewhere else is a pain in the arse and that Whiteflash do great work, and they have a huge array of stock settings to choose from, which further reduces international risk.

I'm confused by your ring size comment. Whilst proportion is so important, I've seen loads of larger fingered ladies and men rock stones in this size category. Perhaps the setting might be different. Unless he drops colour and potentially clarity (which he may or may not be willing to do) he's not going to get much bigger with his budget, but I'm sure he's still going to get her an engagement ring, so there's every point? Probably I've misunderstood your meaning.

We definitely need to know more from him to help him further for sure. :)
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
7,376
@LucaM definitely trust @OoohShiny over me, I try really hard to give the right advice but it's a difficult area - I get worried about agreeing nicely with a stone that ends up being bad (a long time ago I helped a friend buy a stone, when I knew a lot less, and although it wasn't far off the recommended values I suggested above, the stone was awful. Well okay, it was very firey, but not very brilliant at all, and her preference was brilliance. :( She returned it and has since never bought a new one, so I feel bad about that and it makes me cautious). This is why I like this community, because there are lots of clever people with an array of knowledge who can all help.

@OoohShiny you can disagree with me anytime you like, I respect you immensely. :)
You are far too kind :oops: :)

This thread is worth a read re: higher crowns/deeper pavilion combinations - which I take to also interpret as being relevant to slightly deeper diamonds with such combos!
 

Lykame

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
1,345
You are far too kind :oops: :)

This thread is worth a read re: higher crowns/deeper pavilion combinations - which I take to also interpret as being relevant to slightly deeper diamonds with such combos!
Just honest!

Thank you for the very interesting thread, I've started reading it! I've seen some of the themes discussed before (which helps with my understanding!!!) but it's not a thread I've seen before, so thank you!
 
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