Advertisement
Boards Golf Society are looking for new members for 2022...read about the society and their planned outings here!
How to add spoiler tags, edit posts, add images etc. How to - a user's guide to the new version of Boards

UPDATED 05/08/11 Engagement Rings - READ POST #1 BEFORE POSTING!!!

  • #1
    Administrators, Business & Finance Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,571 admin Toots


    Hi Folks!

    We've decided to start yet another Engagement Ring thread. Despite the changes to the rules for the previous one (minimum post count or membership time before giving reviews) the thread was still being inundated with spam/shill posts which had to be deleted on a daily basis. In the interest of fairness and to make the rules a bit more 'black and white' we've changed the rules for this thread to ensure that there'll be no ambiguity over whether a poster is making a genuine recommendation regardless of how long they've been a member or how many posts they have.

    The new rules are listed below, please read them carefully before posting. Any post that contravenes the rules will be deleted, and any poster who repeatedly breaks the rules will be banned. Ignorance of the rules/charter is not an excuse, so please make sure you are familiar with them before posting here.

    No Advertising:
    This was always the rule, but I'm just reiterating it here. If you are a jeweler, feel free to post advice about rings/diamonds etc. That advice is most welcome and appreciated :) However, please don't pimp your own store, as doing this can get you banned from the forum or possibly the whole site.

    No Company Names to be Mentioned
    This is as a result of the spam/shill posts that have been problematic in the past. Basically what this thread is for, going forward, is to give/receive advice on the process of buying an engagement ring ie: the 4 Cs, what to watch out for, what kind of ring/stone can you expect to get for €X, buying abroad etc.

    POSTERS ARE NOT TO ASK FOR OR GIVE RECOMMENDATIONS OF SHOPS OR WEBSITES ON THIS THREAD If you wish to find out what others think of a particular shop or website, then start a new thread on the main forum. We would also ask that posters please use the 'Search' function for the store/site they are interested in, as a thread may already exist on the topic an your question could be answered there.

    If you're not sure whether or not something you would like to post would be against the rules, just send a PM to either Faith or Toots* and we'll let you know whether or not you can post it.

    Don't Drag The Thread Off-Topic:
    If you suspect that another poster is shilling or spamming or have some sort of ulterior motive in posting, please do not make any accusations on-thread; use the Report Post button and the moderators will investigate and take whatever action is necessary. Any users who accuse or question the motives of another poster on the thread, despite their best intentions, will receive an infraction.

    Arguments/Debates/Disagreements
    There is always going to be some amount of disagreement between posters on subjects such as conflict diamonds, buying abroad vs buying in Ireland, importance of cut vs clarity etc, however we would ask users not to derail threads with arguments/discussions about these. If you wish to debate an issue with another user please do so via PM, rather than clog up the thread with long arguments.

    That's about it as far as rules go. Please note that this thread is also subject to the Boards.ie sitewide rules, and also the charter of this forum.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    There was a lot of very useful information in the old thread, which it would be a pity to lose, so I've quoted a couple of helpful posts below.
    Fey! wrote: »
    I'm starting this thread to dispell many of the inaccurate posts that I've seen on this forum over the last few months. Hopefully it will be of some use to people who are genuinely looking for assistance.

    Firstly, I am a qualified diamond grader. I trained for this several years ago in the International Gemological Instute (IGI) in Antwerp. I also hold a diploma in Science Studies (Gemmology) from NUIG. I have been working in the jewellery retail industry in Ireland full time for the last 8 years, and for 4 years part time prior to that.

    Diamonds.

    Diamonds are graded by what is commonly refered to as the 4 C's; Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat.

    Cut refers to the shape, proportion and finish of the stone. A badly cut diamond will not refract light properly, making the stone look lifeless.
    Most common cuts include brilliant (round), princess (square), emerald (rectangular), and oval.

    Colour refers to the lack of colour in the stone. It's graded from D at the top of the scale to Z at the bottom. D,E & F are refered to as exceptional white, G,H & I as white, J & K as slightly tinted, and below that as tinted. Colour can be affected by fluorescense, as can value. Fluorescense in a high colour can devalue, and in a low colour up the value. This is all dependent on the level of fluorescense (whether it is light or strong). Colour can only be determined using a special "dialite" light.

    Clarity is the amount of inclusion in the stone, or internal marks. These can be black or clear, and are refered to as IF, VVS1-2, VS1-2, SI1-2, P1-2-3, depending on their size and position. A lot of inclusion will block light travelling through the stone, so the stone will be duller if it's bad. Clarity is always rated using a 10x triplet loupe.

    Carat is the physical weight of the stone. 1 carat = 0.2 grams. Prices will jump at the 1/2 and full carat marks, and sometimes at the 1/4 carats. Also, small diamonds aren't "chips"; they often have the same amount of cutting work gone into them as bigger stones.

    Certificates are the "passports" for a gemstone, stating all of the above. There are about 40 companies who certify stones, and of these there are only a handful whose certs are worth the paper they're printed on. A popular myth is that if a stone doesn't have a cert it isn't a diamond. This is rubbish. There are a lot of beautiful stones out there that aren't certified, and a lot of stones where the quality doesn't make the cost of certification viable. Generally, if the salesperson is trained, they can tell you what you need to know by looking at the diamond.

    Conflict diamonds are those whose sale are used to fund wars, and are illegal to trade. The term applies to some diamonds from around 1990 onwards. Don't worry to much about this, as most traders will have letters from their suppliers stating that they are "Conflict Free", who will in turn have letters from their suppliers, and so on up the chain.

    The metals used in diamond set rings are usually gold and platinum. American and Continental setting are often 14kt gold, wilst Ireland and Britain are more inclined toward 18kt. Pure gold is 24kt, which is never, despite popular belief, used to manufacture jewellery, as it is way too soft. 18kt gold is a mixture of 18 parts gold to 6 parts other metals to give it strength and colour. White gold is 18 parts gold and 6 parts of metals such as palladium, which gives it a whiter appearance. However, the predominant colour is still yellow, so the ring is rhodium plated. This plating may need to be redone every couple of years (depending on how good the plating is done, and what kind of wear the ring is getting), and should cost no more than €50. Platinum is a completely different, harder metal, which is also more expensive than gold. 18kt gold rings are sometimes stamped "750", 14kt stamped "585", and platinum "950".

    If you are buying abroad, bear in mind that the difference in price is generally the taxes charged in the country you're buying in. Retailers in Ireland have to pay 21% VAT and tax on their end of year profit. Not so in the likes of Dubai. Also bear in mind that a lot of the cut qualities of stones bought abroad aren't particularly good, and settings are also often not particularly well made. At least when you buy in Ireland, you can go back to the shop you bought it in if you have a problem.

    At the end of the day, talk to the salesperson in the shop you go in to. If they sound like they know what they're talking about, you'll be OK with them. Also, try rings until you see one you like on your hand; don't fill your head with nonsense of the internet or one of your friends wrong information before you go in. Finally, try a wedding band with the engagement ring, as that's the long-term look you're going to have, so you need to know that you can get a band to sit with it and look well.

    I hope that this helps people looking for information. If I think of anything that I may have missed, I'll add it later.

    Best of luck.

    Regards.

    David.
    r3nu4l wrote: »
    Hi Fey,

    I want to ask about grading. According to the GIA, VS1-2 contain inclusions that are impossible to see with the naked eye.

    I was viewing an IGI certified VS1-2 diamond that had inclusions that I could see with my naked eye. They were easily visible under the lens as black inclusions. How does this work? Are the grading criteria different for the IGI and the GIA?

    The jeweller told me that the GIA examine diamonds from all angles while grading while the IGI graded diamonds are graded only from the top-view down. Is that true or a load of old cack? I know you are an IGI grader so please try to be unbiased in your reply.

    I'd be interested to know first of all if that is true, secondly whether the IGI cert for the diamond with visible inclusions was correct and thirdly what the differences are between the grading criteria for these groups.
    Fey! wrote: »
    I don't think that there is a difference in criteria between GIA and IGI.

    To me, if you can see an inclusion with the naked eye it should be a P1 or worse (pique, pronounced PK). Some places refer to these as SI3.

    With the IGI, you inspect the diamonds from all angles, but the rating is based on what you see looking from the table facet (top) down through the diamond. I think, but amn't 100% sure, that the GIA operates in this fashion too.

    The grading refers to the position and size of the inclusion, as well as whether or not it is black or clear. A small white inclusion close to the girdle may achieve a VVS clarity, whilst a similar sized and positioned black inclusion may be graded as VS. A black inclusion under the table will usually rate an SI if it's small, and P if it's big enough to be seen without the loupe. One of the problems is that after you've inspected a diamond through the loupe and seen something, your eye may zero in on it!

    If I recall correctly, the HRD, GIA and IGI use an arbitrator system; 1 person grades the stone, then another grades it. If the 2 don't match, a third person grades it and majority rules.

    Another problem can be that the inclusion is reflected inside the diamond, or that a small bit of dirt on the back of the stone can be magnified, making it look like an inclusion. Or you can have a reflection from the setting (that's why diamonds are only graded unset - the setting can effect the look of the colour and the clarity, as well as hiding other things; that said, anyone competent in a retailers will know how to allow for this).

    Reading this again, I think I may have just confused things even more!
    r3nu4l wrote: »
    Hi Fey,

    I want to ask about grading. According to the GIA, VS1-2 contain inclusions that are impossible to see with the naked eye.

    I was viewing an IGI certified VS1-2 diamond that had inclusions that I could see with my naked eye. They were easily visible under the lens as black inclusions. How does this work? Are the grading criteria different for the IGI and the GIA?

    The jeweller told me that the GIA examine diamonds from all angles while grading while the IGI graded diamonds are graded only from the top-view down. Is that true or a load of old cack? I know you are an IGI grader so please try to be unbiased in your reply.

    I'd be interested to know first of all if that is true, secondly whether the IGI cert for the diamond with visible inclusions was correct and thirdly what the differences are between the grading criteria for these groups.
    tallaght01 wrote: »
    Presumably jewellers will have the cert available for inspection that shows that their diamonds aren't conflict diamonds?

    I don't think I would buy one unless I could see the cert
    Fey! wrote: »
    Certs don't have any information pertaining to conflict stones; they only who the quality of the stone, not where they come from. Anyone who peddles the tale that they do is talking out of their rear end.

    All diamonds have the same chemical and physical makeup, which means that if you get a 1.50ct D IF RBC Ex Ex Nil diamond from Sierra Leone beside a 1.50ct D IF RBC Ex Ex Nil diamond from Canada, even the best trained expert will not tell which is which.

    Hollywood has a lot to answer for when it comes to myths about diamonds and people telling one stone from another with the naked eye!

    The coverage a jeweller uses to ensure that their stock is conflict free is chain of supply, where they use only trustworthy sources who will gaurantee their stock. There is then an independent organisation to monitor this.

    These are just a few helpful posts from back when the thread was originally started. There are more tips throughout the thread, so I'll post the link to the thread here:

    Engagement Ring - FACTS not fiction

    so that users can read through the whole thing, and 'thank' the posters who contributed, if they wish.

    Please note that the old thread is now locked, so it is no longer possible to post on it.


«13

Comments



  • Went to Antwerp last summer with herself to get the ring. Can't recommend it enough for the money we saved.




  • golfball37 wrote: »
    Went to Antwerp last summer with herself to get the ring. Can't recommend it enough for the money we saved.

    I would`nt have went anywhere else except Antwerp - Straight to the source!!




  • All,
    I was wondiering if you could advise of follow up service, if I purchase an engagement ring on the 'high street' they usually offer a good service of say cleaning the engagemetn ring in the future. I assume this is not an option for Antwerp.
    P.S. My first post on Boards.ie!




  • monty77 wrote: »
    All,
    I was wondiering if you could advise of follow up service if I purchase an engagement ring on the 'high street' they usually offer a good service of say cleaning the engagemetn ring in the future. I assume this is not an option for Antwerp.
    P.S. My first post on Boards.ie!

    Every reputable place in Antwerp provides free follow up service. You use registered mail. We are entitled to free clean every 2 years I think?




  • Before I start, I think the following sites are of great use:
    truthaboutdiamonds

    Final Tip: Never give anyone the max price you're willing to pay. You leave yourself open to paying up for an inferior diamond. Would you tell an Auctioneer or Car Salesman the max you were willing to pay for a house or car up front? Learn about diamonds, find out what you want, then negotiate for the best diamond.


  • Advertisement


  • HI,

    I am planning on getting engaged in the summer to my girlfriend of 8 years. Can anyone tell me the average price of a decent engagement ring. I was thinking between €3000 - €5000. Is this about the average price?

    I am thinking about getting a cheapish ring for the proposal and then letting her pick out the ring she actually wants.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers




  • My friend wants to propose to his girlfriend in Italy in a month's time. He's given me the SCARY job of picking out a ring with him for her. He has a fair idea of what she wants but has a budget. 1,500 maximum.

    Can anyone give me any online links that show engagement rings with prices? We've been looking at a few and some don't have the prices at all so there's no point in going searching all the jewelery shops in Dublin if the ring he has in mind isn't in the price range in shops.

    Thanks for any help, the pressure is on! My own ring was so much easier than buying for someone else!

    PS This is the type of ring he wants, a halo diamond engagement ring.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/robbinsbrothersengagementring/5238877108/lightbox/




  • thank you for the post i was preparing for my engagement...:)




  • Getting engaged in the next few weeks and then going to bring herself to Antwerp engagement ring shopping.

    If they don't have the ring ready that day or within a day or two, do you have to go back and collect it or do they post it to you? :confused:

    If anyone can help me that's had experience in Antwerp I'd be very grateful :)




  • I proposed to my girlfriend yesterday and she said yes. :)

    Now, the process of purchasing an engagement ring begins. I haven't a clue about any of this, it's all a bit daunting!


  • Advertisement


  • I would highly recommend people price rings in the North.
    You cannot beat the price for the quality of diamond you get.




  • hi everyone,
    recently got engaged while on hols. my now fiancee said he heard about people get a cheap replaica to wear day to day. any idea's where i might get one ?? do alot of physical work in my job and don't want to get the good one damaged. looked in argos but they weren't really what i was looking for.

    thanks




  • If you do a lot of physical work then it might be a better idea to not wear any ring at all. I've never heard of anyone getting a cheap replica to wear day to day. I know someone who sometimes wears hers on a chain around her neck though.

    M&S usually have some nice rings if you really want to get one.




  • need a blunt answer please, Is €4500 good,average or poor price for an engagement ring? I havnt a clue to be honest. Thanks




  • Is that your budget or what someone is offering to sell you a ring for?

    If it's your budget then that's more than enough to get something really nice. You might find that you find something really nice for less than that also. Usually the stuff in the shop windows can be the pricier stuff so don't be afraid to have a look around a few shops just to see what sort of thing you'll get for your money.




  • need a blunt answer please, Is €4500 good,average or poor price for an engagement ring? I havnt a clue to be honest but going by this forum i'll be onto Seamus. Thanks

    I would also recommend a trip to the North. :)




  • 4500 would probably be a decent bit above average at the moment. I think the average is ~3000. You can get a very nice ring for 4500.




  • I think that's a very generous amount to spend. However, gold has recently rocketed in price, so bear that in mind. Just for my fiancés wedding band, we were quoted 1700 for his alone, only white gold, nothing else, in two jewellers in Cork. That day, gold had risen to 1600$ per ounce.




  • need a blunt answer please, Is €4500 good,average or poor price for an engagement ring? I havnt a clue to be honest. Thanks

    Well, if you're getting 30% below retail as is the claim (see my previous post) that should be a retail ring of approx 5.8K.

    Again, if you follow the links on my post, you'll get some understanding as to what goes into the cost of the ring. If you go over a carat you will have to reduce the quality of the diamond (its cut, colour and clarity i.e how it sparkles). There can be a big difference in price between a 1.0 full carat and an 0.9 carat. Take into account the size of the ring wearer's hands when thinking about the size of the rock.

    If you're willing to spend that kind of money don't just go into someone and tell them you haven't a clue. Do some homework. Otherwise you are easy money.




  • Hi, new to Boards and can't find the following...
    the pro's and cons of choosing palladium over platinum for my engagement ring.
    I know it is alot cheaper but someone mentioned to me that it goes alot duller than platinum (almost dirty looking??).Would really appreciate some advice. smile.gif


  • Advertisement


  • AnneJane wrote: »
    Hi, new to Boards and can't find the following...
    the pro's and cons of choosing palladium over platinum for my engagement ring.
    I know it is alot cheaper but someone mentioned to me that it goes alot duller than platinum (almost dirty looking??).Would really appreciate some advice. smile.gif

    Hi annejane, one thing mentioned to us by the jeweller who made my ring, is that palladium isn't technically a precious metal, the way gold or silver are, for example. It's only being used in this way at the moment because it's used for a lot of manufactured goods (catalytic converters, dentists drills) and so, worldwide, it's value is currently quite high, and yet is still cheaper overall because gold and platinum have become so expensive.

    I found that a bit hard to understand until I read that on Wikipedia : "When platinum was declared a strategic government resource during World War II, many jewelry bands were made out of it".




  • why get platinum anyway?

    18c white gold ?




  • 4,500 euro is very good amount, i would go with white gold shows off diamond better than yellow gold.




  • Proposed to my G/F last Oct when i whisked her off to Milan and she said hey ( phew ). We then sourced a jeweller in Israel through a family friend. We took a huge risk on this as there was no real come back.

    We got a marquise engagement ring with pear style diamonds on the band. We paid close to 2500euro and when putting it on house insurance it got valued ( through a jeweller in Ireland ) at an amazing 5500euro:eek:




  • going to pop the question to my g/f of 9 years in NEW YORK this september. was thinking of buying the ring while on the trip. Has anyone got any experiences of new york for ring shopping or would i be better of waiting until i return to ireland

    thanks:):)




  • oh wow, New York! that's a tricky one. We went to an iconic and popular store (name taken out) while in New York, and while it would have been so romantic and fabulous to get the ring there, their prices are just well and truly above the average working person. You may know who I'm talking about...

    Personally I think it's better to get expensive items from a local reputable store, so in case of any issues you can always go back.
    Naturally if you want best value for money, buying abroad may work out cheaper - however in that case I believe someone on a forum before said that if you didn't pay your VAT on return to Ireland the house insurance company may refuse to cover it (but again, that's just what I've heard). Come to think of it, not sure how true that actually is as they only require and evaluation cert in general.

    4500 is more than enough for a ring, as is 1500. It all depends on the style of the ring, the metal and diamond you end up going for. We saw some very pretty 1800's vintage rings in an antique store for 1400 - gold with a .5 diamond. So it doesn't have to cost the earth to get something special.




  • Thomas1981 wrote: »
    4,500 euro is very good amount, i would go with white gold shows off diamond better than yellow gold.
    Hmmm... the choice of white or yellow gold (or any other metal for that matter) is very personal and also can depend on what suits your skin tone. White gold is very popular but it doesn't always suit pale Irish skin :).

    Also, I think its a good idea to buy a "stand in" ring for the proposal and let your wife-to-be choose the ring afterwards. It is the one piece of jewellery she'll wear every day for the rest of her life so it should be something she loves! Its not like she can pretend to like it and wear it a few times then hide it in a drawer :).
    I really would not like someone else choosing a ring for me - even though I think the H2B has good taste and would choose a really nice ring, the chances are it wouldn't be "perfect".




  • I second that, getting to pick the ring can be a really exciting experience as well as appreciated in the long run.

    In terms of white vs yellow gold - you'll find many older gold rings have the setting in a white metal, like platinum. I think that's not only for the lighting of the diamond though but also to secure the diamond as gold is quite a soft metal. That can be a nice compromise on white vs yellow...




  • whacker00 wrote: »
    going to pop the question to my g/f of 9 years in NEW YORK this september. was thinking of buying the ring while on the trip. Has anyone got any experiences of new york for ring shopping or would i be better of waiting until i return to ireland

    thanks:):)

    PM sent


  • Advertisement


  • So the ring is pretty much picked, I now need to sort out the price with the jeweller.

    Budget is in the mid-high 4 figure ballpark.

    With that price range in mind, at what kind of percentage should I be going in under without looking like I'm taking the proverbial? (e.g. would a 6k or 7k list go for 4.5–5.5?)

    I presume he'll give me a "cash price" which I should have a bit of haggle room on?

    Any help much appreciated.


Advertisement