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Lab created diamonds in the UK


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Hello all,

I have found this amazing forum, learned a lot so far from previous posts and immediately became jealous of the amount of options in the US for lab created diamond rings. I need advice on picking an engagement ring retailer. I would really appreciate advice, recommendation or even a list of UK online retailers who are trustworthy and not overpriced (and I will not interpret this as an advertisements of any kind). I am thinking online retailers are cheaper than going to Hatton gardens... If I order from the US, the return process would just be too panful.

I am happy with lab created diamonds as they are a little cheaper, I just want a ring that is quality, classic, will last me a lifetime and will always look beautiful and not fake. I am into understated bling and love emerald cut so thinking of a platinum band and attach the two designs I am considering.

Thank you all!

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Hi Lisam, welcome to Diamond Review!

Can't really help with the "UK-based retailer" list, but...

1) Pretty much all US-based dealers will ship to the UK, and generally their prices will be lower as overheads tend to be lower in the US

2) Why worry about the return process? Choose a good dealer that you can work with, and you won't need to return anything!

One last note: if you are (rightly!) worried about quality of the metalwork, beware that you generally "get what you pay for" (apart from absurdly over-marketed "designer brands"), much more so than with the diamond. Good quality settings are relatively expensive, because there is a lot of work in them.

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Thank you for your help and time, I really appreciate it. That is interesting re metalwork. I could not care less about the brand. I am after quality so want something that I can leave 'as my inheritance' type thing and my daughter would be happy to wear it. I know diamonds etc depreciate so its not a monetary investment, more of sentimental value that will not disappoint any of the future generations 😄 The reason I am thinking of lab created diamonds is that they are cheaper, but I'd prefer a real diamond (its the European thinking). I found a photo of the ring that I think is more of less perfect size in proportion to the hands/fingers, how many carats do you think this is? 

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Heh - how long is a piece of string? People's hands and fingers vary surprisingly in size. I can tell you that on my wife's hand, "that" would be a 1.00 to 1.20 ct with a reasonably well cut stone. Her ring size is 6¾ / 7 or in UK measures an N / N½. YSSMV (your stone size may vary)

The easiest way to get a "carat size gauge" for your hand is to go to a jeweller and try a few on... they generally don't bite!

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17 minutes ago, Lisam said:

I know diamonds etc depreciate so its not a monetary investment, more of sentimental value that will not disappoint any of the future generations 

You are totally correct to look at it this way - although diamonds in particular are strange objects, monetarily: they don't really depreciate; you have a sharp loss in tradeable value when you buy (30-60% after taxes - and with VAT at 20% it's not trivial), then they tend to 'sit there' and follow the external market. We'll see what happens to that pattern now that synthetics seem to be coming of age...

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for all your replies!

@davidelevi 😊 I suppose you are right! I wear a UK size L, so I am really looking at 1-1.5 carat stone. As I don't like halo or settings that 'enlarge' the look of the stone, the stone setting cannot be miniature and the metalwork has to be really good. No joke - the amount of times I have snagged tights or knitwear with a ring which has poor clasp metalwork! 

How much do you think I will be looking at in terms of price (jut to have a base) and know when something is overvalued or too cheaply priced for both diamond and lab diamond? I just want a clean simple metalwork, nothing fancy and nothing too modern or 'edgy'.

Edited by Lisam
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Now this one really is a piece of string. Elastic, to boot! 😁

A decent plain solitaire setting I would think starts around USD 750/1000 (plus VAT/taxes). A lot depends on design details, material (though now with platinum being much cheaper than gold that difference is less) and method of manufacture. USD 2,500/3,000 will get you something hand-made by an excellent craftsperson. Possibly a bit more in the UK.

For the diamond, there is even more variability, especially if you consider mined as well as synthetic stones.

A 1 carat synthetic of good quality, decent colour, clarity and cut can start around USD 1,500 (plus VAT), getting up to $7,000 for a 1.50 of the best colour, clarity and cut. I'm being deliberately vague in terms of colour, clarity and cut because particularly with synthetics there is a lot of variability on what people call a given colour and clarity. Cut is a mess anyway, since there is practically no good cut evaluation method for emerald cut diamonds.

If you translate this to mined diamonds, you can start somewhere around $3,000 (1.00 GIA H-I / VS2-SI1 with decent cut) all the way to $20,000 for a 1.50 D/VVS with top-level cut (again, vague on cut because there isn't really a scale!)

Not sure this helps... partly because it's a huge range anyway, and partly because you can still get a bad (or good) deal at both ends. "Fair price" in jewellery - and diamonds in particular - depends on tiny, tiny details.

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