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Getting Engaged!

Getting Engaged!

Old Apr 12th 2011, 5:30 pm
  #1  
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Default Getting Engaged!

Hey,

I'm a Brit expat based in LA, and on the brink of 'popping the question' to my American girlfriend.

Was planning to do it in Europe with a 'token' ring, then pick out the real thing together either in London, Paris or LA. So my question is;

Does anyone have any advice on which of these three cities is the best (and best value for money!) location to buy a diamond ring engagement in?! Am thinking $5k budget wise.

I was going to go with Hatton Gardens in London, does anyone have any experience with getting a ring here? Can you recommend one of the many, many jewellery stores there?!

Cheers!

N.
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Old Apr 12th 2011, 5:55 pm
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Default Re: Getting Engaged!

If I may suggest some things:

- If you are looking in the US avoid the chains (Jared, Kays etc) try and find a local independent who will more likely give you better customer service and perhaps a more unique ring.

- consider the ethics of diamond production, Canadian diamonds and other conflict free sources. Also consider other stones.

- Most importantly, let her choose. However, there is the caveat that if all she seems to care about is the size of the rock beware, love isn't measured in carats.
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Old Apr 12th 2011, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: Getting Engaged!

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
... and perhaps a more unique ring.
Unique means "one of a kind". Something can't be "more unique".

<we now return you to your regularly scheduled forum"

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Old Apr 12th 2011, 8:30 pm
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Default Re: Getting Engaged!

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
Unique means "one of a kind". Something can't be "more unique".

<we now return you to your regularly scheduled forum"

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Hmm good point. I suppose I meant in the sense that the sales drones will always try to present the ring to you as some sort of unique gift as they fish the right size out of the bin of 1000 in the stock room. Whereas an independent store will fish it out of a bin of 10.
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Old Apr 12th 2011, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Getting Engaged!

TMWOT, $5K is a lot to spend on an engagement ring. I have a lovely ring that cost 1/2 that and it is ohh'd and ahh'd over by everyone.

I also was engaged before this and my engagement ring was purchased from an estate sale and was unique and while the diamond was small, you would not find another like it anywhere. Cost under $500.
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Old Apr 12th 2011, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: Getting Engaged!

Los Angeles has a great jewelry district downtown. That's where we got ours and it wasn't 5k
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Old Apr 12th 2011, 8:57 pm
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Default Re: Getting Engaged!

I got mine from a very small jewelry store after trawling the web and stores for months looking for something I wanted I spotted this one on an independent website. When we got to the store it was a grubby looking little place that specialized in diamonds, and watches.

I fell in love with the ring immediately, the guy wanted to show us some diamonds and other designs as he couldn't believe we were going to buy the only 1 we had looked at in his store. It was a real bargain compared to the high street stores, and a very good diamond.

My advise is look in the little independent places you would normally ignore. You might find the perfect stone that you can have set into any design you want.
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Old Apr 12th 2011, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: Getting Engaged!

Although Hatton Garden is great in terms of having loads of choice, because of the exchange rate, your $5k probably won't go as far here as it would in LA. The other benefit to getting it locally is that if they need to order the right size/ alter the ring, or you want something bespoke, it will be easier to sort this with a local supplier than one in London or Paris where you'll only have a limited window of availability.

Good luck with the proposal!
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Old Apr 12th 2011, 9:11 pm
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Default Re: Getting Engaged!

Originally Posted by Nappster View Post
Hey,

I'm a Brit expat based in LA, and on the brink of 'popping the question' to my American girlfriend.

Was planning to do it in Europe with a 'token' ring, then pick out the real thing together either in London, Paris or LA. So my question is;

Does anyone have any advice on which of these three cities is the best (and best value for money!) location to buy a diamond ring engagement in?! Am thinking $5k budget wise.

I was going to go with Hatton Gardens in London, does anyone have any experience with getting a ring here? Can you recommend one of the many, many jewellery stores there?!

Cheers!

N.
We got our ring from Anthony Gray 20 Hatton Gardens - we walked up and down and this place (although looking a little "old") was one of the only places that they gave you all the info (Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat) and price on the tag in the window. Many of the other places had huge diamonds on show that when you went into ask you found out that the clarity was poor for example. In Anthony Gray they weren't pushy and they "sized" the ring in 45 mins as they were closing (we'd walked around all day getting annoyed with pushy staff in the other places!) so its all doable in a day!
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Old Apr 12th 2011, 9:47 pm
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Default Re: Getting Engaged!

Originally Posted by NSBlake View Post
We got our ring from Anthony Gray 20 Hatton Gardens - we walked up and down and this place (although looking a little "old") was one of the only places that they gave you all the info (Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat) and price on the tag in the window. Many of the other places had huge diamonds on show that when you went into ask you found out that the clarity was poor for example. In Anthony Gray they weren't pushy and they "sized" the ring in 45 mins as they were closing (we'd walked around all day getting annoyed with pushy staff in the other places!) so its all doable in a day!
Hey, thanks for all the tips! One more question.. As I'm buying in the UK but residing in the US, can I claim back the VAT when I fly back to the US?!
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Old Apr 12th 2011, 9:52 pm
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Default Re: Getting Engaged!

Originally Posted by Nappster View Post
Hey, thanks for all the tips! One more question.. As I'm buying in the UK but residing in the US, can I claim back the VAT when I fly back to the US?!

No idea on that, sorry - we bought before moving out here. Perhaps if one of you was a US citizen that might work....sure somebody kows on the forum
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Old Apr 12th 2011, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: Getting Engaged!

I assume your girlfriend wants a diamond, and you haven't just bought into DeBeers marketing?

My fiancee didn't want a huge diamond rock, and much preferred the small sapphire ring that we bought together in London
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Old Apr 12th 2011, 9:56 pm
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Default Re: Getting Engaged!

Originally Posted by Nappster View Post
Hey, thanks for all the tips! One more question.. As I'm buying in the UK but residing in the US, can I claim back the VAT when I fly back to the US?!
Only if you buy from a shop that partakes in the VAT refund scheme. Normally it's the large chains like M&S, Debenhams etc because they actually pay the VAT for you.

You should be aware that you are only allowed to bring back goods into the US up to a certain value before declaring the goods for import duty.
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Old Apr 13th 2011, 12:18 am
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Default Re: Getting Engaged!

Pick the rock from anywhere...find a jewelry designer you like to make the setting, cheaper than you think and it really would be unique as opposed to something mass moulded in a chain...or spend the money on something sensible

btw, the missus has a lump of amber for her engagement ring and it gets a lot more compliments than a shiny rock, plus it's her favourite stone.
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Old Apr 13th 2011, 3:21 am
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Default Re: Getting Engaged!

My husband and I picked out my ring together and I paid half for it. It was about £800, and has one large ruby in the centre with a diamond on each side. It is my favourite piece of jewellery in the whole wide world and I loved that I got to pick it out. I have very special memories of going to jewellers when we got engaged.

We also bought my husband an engagement ring, because I wanted to let everyone know he was taken! . His was titanium, in bullet grey.

His fingers are too fat now, so I wear his ring on my right middle finger. It comes in useful when I'm flipping people off.

We were so young... so poor... so happy... so thin...
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