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  • FIRST POST
    • Nick Nolan
    • By Nick Nolan 2nd Oct 17, 9:01 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Nick Nolan
    Engagement ring advice - what are the optimal C's?
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 17, 9:01 PM
    Engagement ring advice - what are the optimal C's? 2nd Oct 17 at 9:01 PM
    Hello

    This is my first post here, so I apologise in advance if my question is in any way formulated incorrectly.

    I am looking to get an engagement ring for my long term girlfriend. She is quite petite, so I have decided that I think that the ideal size diamond is not larger than approximately 1.30 carats (perhaps even smaller).

    My question is with regards to the other characteristics, mainly the three remaining C's. I don't have a particular budget in mind and would happily spend a fair amount for the perfect ring, but at the same time I don't feel the need to pay a big premium just to get a certain letter on the certificate.

    I guess my question is: what are the ideal C's if I am prepared to pay a premium for anything that makes the ring look more beautiful, but I feel that it is of less importance to pay extra for what can only be seen by an expert under a microscope.

    Would for example an E colour, VVS2 diamond look to the naked eye very similar to a D colour, Flawless diamond?

    I will of course go into a store and look, but I wanted some unbiased advice first :-)

    Many thanks in advance for any help!!

    Nick N
Page 1
    • paddyandstumpy
    • By paddyandstumpy 2nd Oct 17, 9:08 PM
    • 917 Posts
    • 409 Thanks
    paddyandstumpy
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 9:08 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 9:08 PM
    Personally, I bought a loose diamond from a diamond dealer in Hatton Gardens. Cool Diamonds or something like that if I recall. Great experience.

    They take you through the 4c's, and a lot more. There are other things to take into consideration like table width, top/bottom ratio (or something like that) and fluorescence.

    I wouldn't just focus on the 4 C's.

    Also, avoid any certification that isn't GIA, these have the highest standards of certification.
    • FreddieFrugal
    • By FreddieFrugal 2nd Oct 17, 9:37 PM
    • 1,559 Posts
    • 1,666 Thanks
    FreddieFrugal
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 9:37 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 9:37 PM
    There's no optimal, just buy a ring that looks nice to you and you think your fianc! will like.

    4Cs and all that is meaningless. It's not an investment. Just buy a ring that looks nice.
    Mortgage remaining: £43,140 of £77,000 (2.59% til 04/18)

    Savings target July 17 - £17,960 / £28,000
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 2nd Oct 17, 9:46 PM
    • 2,462 Posts
    • 3,526 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 9:46 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 9:46 PM
    Choose it together. She'll be wearing it for an awfully long time (you hope) - it's extremely important that she likes it. You go into marriage together, as a team - so begin as you mean to go on, and discuss how much you (plural) are prepared to spend on it. If I was spending 4+ figures on anything for anyone, I would want to be absolutely sure that it was exactly what they wanted.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 2nd Oct 17, 11:00 PM
    • 18,583 Posts
    • 47,836 Thanks
    Pollycat
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:00 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:00 PM
    As colour E is only one step down from colour D, I doubt you or your girlfriend would be able to tell the difference. An expert should but they won't be wearing it.

    I too would suggest that you involve your girlfriend in the choice of ring - style, colour (yellow or white gold or platinum) and diamond (if that really is the gemstone that she wants).
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 2nd Oct 17, 11:07 PM
    • 3,203 Posts
    • 8,859 Thanks
    LilElvis
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:07 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:07 PM
    Have you actually looked at how much a diamond ring of that size and quality costs? You're looking at 5 digits.
    • UKTigerlily
    • By UKTigerlily 2nd Oct 17, 11:14 PM
    • 4,338 Posts
    • 5,422 Thanks
    UKTigerlily
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:14 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:14 PM
    There's no optimal, just buy a ring that looks nice to you and you think your fianc! will like.

    4Cs and all that is meaningless. It's not an investment. Just buy a ring that looks nice.
    Originally posted by FreddieFrugal
    This! I wouldn't want a diamond at all, i'd want us to go out together & choose what to get one another. Has she said she wants a diamond ring? I hope you've told her what you'd like!
    • Nick Nolan
    • By Nick Nolan 2nd Oct 17, 11:41 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Nick Nolan
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:41 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:41 PM
    Thank you all for your replies so far, very helpful!

    I don't understand how I can reply to/quote individual measages from my phone, so I am just replying to everything at once here...


    We haven't directly discussed the ring topic, but we have a lot of friends who have gotten engaged recently, so I have been able to get a good idea what she would like from hearing her talk about other people's rings etc.


    One topic that has come up in our friend group is the one of being surprised with a ring that the guy has picked vs. picking out the ring herself, and she has quite clearly indicated that she would want to be surprised rather than pick it out together (she doesn't like to make decisions in general). This is also why I don't want to discuss it with her. I don't think she is expecting this to happen at the moment and I really want it to be a surprise.


    I do know that she prefers fairly simple jewellery, so I think that a solitaire diamond is the way to go (I know she would love a diamond ring).


    Maybe what I could do is buy a ring that I think that she would like, but then book for us to go to the jeweller afterwards to get it sized and also look at alternative settings and other diamonds? I do really want to keep the surprise element, and I think she will really appreciate the effort if I manage to get it right


    Someone mentioned the cost and yes I'm aware.


    Again - many thanks for all your ideas!!
    • StaffieTerrier
    • By StaffieTerrier 3rd Oct 17, 8:42 AM
    • 287 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    StaffieTerrier
    • #9
    • 3rd Oct 17, 8:42 AM
    • #9
    • 3rd Oct 17, 8:42 AM
    Maybe what I could do is buy a ring that I think that she would like, but then book for us to go to the jeweller afterwards to get it sized and also look at alternative settings and other diamonds? I do really want to keep the surprise element, and I think she will really appreciate the effort if I manage to get it right


    Someone mentioned the cost and yes I'm aware.


    Again - many thanks for all your ideas!!
    Originally posted by Nick Nolan
    I'm another person who thinks your girlfriend really needs an input in the ring she's going to be wearing for a long time. My ring is the exact opposite of what my partner thought I liked.

    If you really think it needs to be a surprise, could you ask her friends to find out exactly what she would like and report back to you?
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 3rd Oct 17, 9:19 AM
    • 18,583 Posts
    • 47,836 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Thank you all for your replies so far, very helpful!

    I don't understand how I can reply to/quote individual measages from my phone, so I am just replying to everything at once here...


    We haven't directly discussed the ring topic, but we have a lot of friends who have gotten engaged recently, so I have been able to get a good idea what she would like from hearing her talk about other people's rings etc.


    One topic that has come up in our friend group is the one of being surprised with a ring that the guy has picked vs. picking out the ring herself, and she has quite clearly indicated that she would want to be surprised rather than pick it out together (she doesn't like to make decisions in general). This is also why I don't want to discuss it with her. I don't think she is expecting this to happen at the moment and I really want it to be a surprise.


    I do know that she prefers fairly simple jewellery, so I think that a solitaire diamond is the way to go (I know she would love a diamond ring).


    Maybe what I could do is buy a ring that I think that she would like, but then book for us to go to the jeweller afterwards to get it sized and also look at alternative settings and other diamonds? I do really want to keep the surprise element, and I think she will really appreciate the effort if I manage to get it right


    Someone mentioned the cost and yes I'm aware.


    Again - many thanks for all your ideas!!
    Originally posted by Nick Nolan
    If you're planning to do the bit in bold, make sure that it's actually possible to resize the ring.
    If your girlfriend is petite, it might need making quite a few sizes smaller and that's not always possible depending on the style.

    I hope you'll ensure you're very clear on what the shop will allow you to do about mind-changes after you've chosen and paid.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 3rd Oct 17, 9:45 AM
    • 1,974 Posts
    • 1,275 Thanks
    Robin9
    After my wife and I got engaged we bought a ring between us afterwards. Then we set a date for the wedding 4 months later.


    I can't understand this idea of "we'll get married in 2020"
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 3rd Oct 17, 10:04 AM
    • 3,460 Posts
    • 5,302 Thanks
    Malthusian
    Go into a good jewellers and ask them to show you a selection. You'll know which is the right one.

    Most of the demographic of this forum prefer for the woman to choose her engagement ring, but they aren't representative of the population as a whole, let alone your girlfriend as an individual, so don't be put off. My partner does like making decisions but I bought the ring in secret and proposed with it on a suitable occasion, and she's told me it meant a lot to her.

    Obviously you need to know what she likes and be capable of making a good choice, but if you are, you know you are. It certainly sounds like you are from your posts.
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 3rd Oct 17, 10:16 AM
    • 17,103 Posts
    • 27,802 Thanks
    ringo_24601
    The matter of inclusions/clarity ect are really dependent on the cut.

    Some shapes have more internal reflections, and need less clarity to sparkle. Some inclusions are in positions that are more obvious and visible.

    I went for the 'propose with a cheap CZ 'fake' ring' and then took her to Hatton Garden to pick something out. I'm not putting down £5000 on an engagement ring if she's not absolutely in love with it .. and she quite enjoyed the shopping trip!

    Don't forget - you can definitely haggle in a lot of these shops. Awkward silence is your friend!
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 3rd Oct 17, 11:40 AM
    • 2,653 Posts
    • 27,522 Thanks
    CRANKY40
    I had mine made from a loose diamond too. I told the late MrC I wanted a solitaire (less to go wrong) and I wanted it to be tough as I break things a lot.... He chose the diamond and he made me a platinum ring (he was a trained goldsmith which helped ) and he borrowed a "bench" in his friend's jewellery shop to make it.

    The materials for my ring cost £650 (don't ask, he was doing a different much better paid job at the time and I told him to do what he wanted). The valuation when it was finished was £1950 so there is quite a markup on jewellers prices. It might be worth investigating what it would cost to have a ring made....MrC borrowed one of my rings that fitted me for the sizing....just a hint there. A ring that your girlfriend wears on her other hand will probably come up slightly larger, but it will be close.
    • Loft Boy
    • By Loft Boy 3rd Oct 17, 11:46 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    Loft Boy
    I got engaged in New York.


    I went to H Samuel and bought a £40 quid ring. The reasons for this were two fold. One if id spent what we spent on the 'actual engagement ring ' I guarantee my luggage would have gone AWOL. Secondly I think jewellery is a really personal thing


    So I proposed with the cheap ring which she wore for a month or so until we got back. We then went and picked something together. The cheap ring is in her jewellery box and she loves it as it was the ring I proposed with even though in all honesty its not that great. Unless you are super confident and know exactly what she wants this could be the way to go. Good luck!!
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 3rd Oct 17, 12:45 PM
    • 1,360 Posts
    • 1,380 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    I think the most important factor is the sentiment behind the ring. When a ring is on, its almost impossible to know if its real, how much it cost etc. I'd focus on what your girlfriend would like. Does she prefer rose gold, white gold or yellow gold? How about the shape of the ring? Round or square etc. Thin or thick band?
    I was recently complimented on a nice ring I was wearing. What I didn't say is my 10 year old daughter bought it for me for £1.99 from Claire's!
    Good luck.
    • takman
    • By takman 3rd Oct 17, 12:55 PM
    • 2,900 Posts
    • 2,412 Thanks
    takman
    I guess my question is: what are the ideal C's if I am prepared to pay a premium for anything that makes the ring look more beautiful, but I feel that it is of less importance to pay extra for what can only be seen by an expert under a microscope.
    Originally posted by Nick Nolan
    This is an important thing to remember when shopping for jewelry and is the main reason why i think diamond rings are a big waste of money. You can get rings that look just as good for a fraction of the cost just because they are not real diamonds.

    I would go as far as saying you should never need to spend more than £100 at the very most on a ring.
    • NineDeuce
    • By NineDeuce 3rd Oct 17, 1:04 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 480 Thanks
    NineDeuce
    Get a cheap one, same goes for the marriage (although she could say no). Spend the money on something practical, like towards a house deposit or a dog.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 3rd Oct 17, 1:36 PM
    • 1,063 Posts
    • 1,134 Thanks
    badmemory
    Ignore what she says about a friend's ring. She is hardly going to say what an awful ring that is, is she? Diamonds don't suit everybody either. If this is a ring she is actually going to wear (& not one she is going to say how beautiful & stick it in a drawer) she needs to have some input.
    • martinsurrey
    • By martinsurrey 3rd Oct 17, 3:39 PM
    • 3,225 Posts
    • 3,927 Thanks
    martinsurrey
    When I was shopping, I found cut to be the most important C

    BUT the most important thing was to see the actual stone!

    You're right that the differences between a VVS2 and a VS2 could be unnoticeable, but if the inclusion is near the surface on the table in the VVS2 it could look worse than the VS2 if its inclusions are near the girdle.

    one thing that doesn't change, is the refractive index of diamond, that determines the ideal cut for each stone shape to get the most sparkle, I went for Excellent (GIA graded) and let some room on colour and size to keep the budget, and then picked the one that looked best.

    all the best.

    after I had finished researching and purchasing I felt I could have worked in a shop, the now wife loved her ring.
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