IF one were to take the possible, future Mrs Tallpaul to Hatton Garden to choose her engagement ring, how would one choose which one to book an appointment?
This website has a directory, but how do I choose?
I walked up and down the street and saw many, I found them all much of a muchness. Take the future mrs with you and see what she wants in terms of design, then once you've found this, keep looking up and down the street for similar designs. You dont need appointments at any I went into.
Before you go, learna a little about diamond grading and certifications, it'll help you understand the difference in prices.
I ended up becoming a bit of a rock expert and ended up buying a diamond direct and getting the setting seperately. But thats not for everybody.
I had one of the most fun mornings of my life with Vivek at Emdico: http://www.emdico.co.uk/
This was a few years ago, so it may have changed but I called Emdico for an appointment and, since I wanted to choose the ring secretly for my wife, I took a day off work. The door was tricky to find, with just a small buzzer. When I was buzzed in I was in a small dark hallway with just a lift. I went up in the lift and had to press another buzzer to get into reception.
I was then showed into an office with a big leather armchair in front of a dark wood velvet-covered table. Vivek asked what sort of stone I wanted and I gave him a rough idea and budget.
He went into a store room and brough out a small box full of paper envelopes. He picked out about 5 envelopes and, from each, poured about a dozen diamonds onto the tabletop.
He gave me a magnifying glass and I spent about half an hour playing with all the different stones. I chose one, and he then showed me catalogues of bands and fittings and asked me to choose styles and materials.
I chose what I wanted the ring to look like (all included in the price of the stone). He said he's get it made and I should collect it 2 weeks later.
Went back, picked it up, proposed and my now wife loves it.
Felt like James Bond for the day. Highly recommended!
I used Cool Diamonds, you'll have to make an appointment in advance.
I was really pleased with the service and my wife loved the ring.
Again it was and experience in itself which I really enjoyed, very James bond. The guy went through everything with me but do a bit of research before hand on diamonds.
Walk around all of them and haggle hard.
I didn't really like the shops in Hatton Garden tbh. The salespeople acted and sounded like used car salesmen. Expect to hear a lot of the standard sales BS about whatever size/quality of diamond you're interested in being particularly rare at the moment and how lucky you are they've got one in stock and that you should put a deposit down as soon as possible. Whatever style of setting you like will be their personal favourite and your girlfriend is going to have the most beautiful hands they've ever seen etc.
Go and have a look but leave your wallet at home in case you get pressured into doing something you later regret. Take a lot of notes and then compare to what you can get online
This. Prices in Hatton Gardens are negotiable, unless as you say you're taking the potential future Mrs Tallpaul with you and you've booked an appointment, in which case they've got you by the short and curlies - after all, you wouldn't want to appear a cheapskate by haggling in front of her. You can always choose the ring with her but don't commit and go back later without her and negotiate. Then buy her something else with the money you've saved. Or get yourself a new bike.
I used Madison who were very good to deal with, but that was about 7 years ago, so the staff/ company may have changed since then. They designed and made a bespoke wedding ring to fit around an unusually-shaped engagement ring that we already had. I did a deal with them for both of our wedding rings, but I didn't spend time haggling with other retailers. For me the service was as important as the eventual price.
I'd second the comments about reading up on diamond grades (clarity, cut, colour etc) before you go if you haven't already.
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