Where is the best place to buy an engagement ring?

I will be focusing on London for this blog as I have been a jeweller in London’s Hatton Garden for over 20 years and my father for over 40 years.  So, I have an in-depth knowledge of where the best place is for different tastes, as well as the best value for money when buying an engagement ring.

I have made many bespoke engagement rings over the years, and have come to understand what the obstacles are for making the right decision on buying an engagement ring.  It can seem like a daunting process with lots to learn in order to make the best choice.   I have covered useful knowledge in previous posts, such as the diamond’s 4s, how to buy a diamond, shapes and cuts to help those embarking on the journey of finding the perfect ring.

Here I will share what your options are for each budget and what the positives and pitfalls can be.   Also, how to make sure you are getting the best for whatever you are willing to spend.

Budget: Up to £1,000

The High Street has lots of options, these shops have a high volume of pieces at discounted prices.  The rings are manufactured abroad and the quality of diamonds will be at the lower end.  The cost you will pay will also include everything that goes will large retail stores, such as the shop rent, staff and advertising.

Mid-range

Independent jewellery shops can be found in most areas of London and often specialise in different styles.  They will have a good knowledge of jewellery but often not be the makers themselves.  Hatton Garden has many independent shops and is the jewellery quarter of London, it has historically been the place to visit when looking for an engagement ring.  Again, these shops will charge extra to cover the expenses which go with owning a shop, such as staff, high rent and advertising

Skies the Limit

Tiffany, De Beers, Cartier and Bulgari are some of the big names in high-end jewellery shops.  London’s Bond Street is the place to visit for these big brands.  The mark up is huge as the band is so powerful, however, if you have a limitless budget then they also have many of the highest quality diamonds.

Straight from the maker

This last option is often one many don’t know how to go about, which is to go straight to the jewellery maker themselves and cut out the middle man or shop.  For example, I make engagement rings directly for the client, whether it is a bespoke ring or similar to something they have seen.  By going straight to the maker, you get great quality but without paying for the extras of staff and shop rents.

If you do choose this option, then you can get involved as little or as much in the process; see it being made, get photos sent to you of the process and visit the workshop it is being made in.   Knowledge is still very helpful to have when visiting a jeweller direct, but you can learn a lot along the way.  Pick out the diamond yourself, the type of precious metal and engrave a message on the inside of the ring if you so wish.

My advice would be to research into the jeweller you choose, check out their reviews and if you can be recommended by someone then all the better.

Top Tips: 

  • Go to a jeweller who can create a ring perfect and bespoke to you. They can create a true one-of-a-kind ring that is not limited to the stock held in shops.
  • Make sure they are a member of a well-respected jewellery association, such as the National Association of Jewellers.
  • Ensure the diamond you buy is given with a certificate, such as GIA.
  • Research and read up on diamonds and the 4Cs before you start your search.