Choosing and buying an engagement ring is a wonderful experience, but it can also be a stressful event for most. Thus, one of the first questions that arises when the time comes to think about engagement, is where to buy the ring in order to get the best deal – locally in Ireland or UK, or abroad.
Some people will advise you to go to New York, South Africa or Dubai in search of your perfect engagement ring, others will try to persuade you to support Irish jewellers… In my opinion, it is wise to do a research online, learn about diamonds, read about other people’s experiences and make your own choice.
I would also like to make things a little bit easier for you and point out some important moments you should think about while making this decision.
First of all, many people think that they can buy diamond jewellery cheaper in the States than in Ireland or UK. This is not always true, because diamonds that sparkle on the counters of American jewellers have been more likely cut in Europe (Belgium or Holland). Naturally, transportation of stones from Europe to the States adds up to the cost of the ring, as it is normally more expensive to fly diamonds to the other side of the ocean than to ship them to Ireland. The other drawback of buying your diamond ring abroad is having to pay customs duty and import VAT on your way back to Ireland or UK. That is why I would recommend you to make simple calculations of all the possible expenses you might encounter when travelling abroad in quest of the perfect ring, and see if you’d get the ‘best deal’ you were hoping for.
Another important point worth noting is reputation of the jeweller. Whether you buy in Ireland or abroad, make sure to buy your diamond jewellery from a well-established company. To my mind, it is always easier to find information about local company than about someone abroad. I would advise you to check for such details as how long they have been in business and if they belong to any trusted association, have a look at their website and read other buyers’ reviews.
Among many dangers of getting diamonds from an unknown seller are fake and uncertified stones, fracture and line filled stones, colour enhanced stones, fake certificates and “Conflict” or “Blood” diamonds.
I strongly advise you to always ask for a diamond authenticity certificate. Certificates give you information on diamond’s cut and quality, and they also serve as a proof of the diamond’s identity and value. Always trust only internationally recognized diamond certificates such as GIA, HRD or IGI. Beware that there are suppliers who make their own certificates. If you are not sure in the authenticity of the certificate, we recommend you to call the issuing body. But the best way to avoid stress and disappointment is to buy from a well-established company.
I hope that these points make sense and they will help you to make the right decision, and your experience of making one of life’s important purchases will be enjoyable and memorable!