5/20 Real Bride Emma: Adventures in Practical Ring Buying

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In his heart, my fiancé is as much a Broke-Ass Bride as I am. He tried desperately to get me an engagement ring in the usual fashion, and was pretty dismayed by the over-inflated price of diamonds on the high street. But, instead of just accepting those prices and buying a ring he wasn’t happy with, he decided to do things a little differently.

Firstly, the ring he proposed to me with was a “fake.” It was a silver and cubic zirconia ring, that was absolutely beautiful and only cost him £40. Since he was planning to propose at the top of a mountain (see my first blog post) this was pretty sensible. Secondly, it allowed him to put his second bit of the plan into action — take me to a magical place called The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter.

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This place is amazing. I cannot tell enough people about it. If I hear people in the street talking about buying jewelery it is all I can do not to run at them, screaming “GET THEE TO BIRMINGHAM!”

Price aside, there was another reason I loved buying a ring here: I am pretty intimidated by jewelery shops. All the softly spoken sales assistants, surrounded by velvet and shiny glass, make me very nervous.

Enter — Diamond Heaven. Ok, so the name sounds a little, well, cheesy, but the service is exceptional. I have never experienced such pragmatic and honest customer service. We made an appointment in advance, and as soon as we walked in they were ready for us. They asked us “what’s your budget and what do you like?” and then took us to the CASE OF DIAMONDS that fell within our budget and were the shape I like (round cut).

First our sales assistant took us through the different setting options, and showed me some without diamonds in so that I could really see the setting. I tried a few on and found one that I really liked — a “wed fit twist clasp.”

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What happened next was pretty cool — the assistant brought out all the loose diamonds! She showed us certificates for them, and talked us through all the different qualities they had (cut, clarity, color and carat) and I was able to choose between the diamonds in a completely practical way. When I narrowed it down between two diamonds she plonked the loose diamonds into the empty setting I had on my finger, so I could compare them in situ. Amazing.

Then came the best part. Once we’d negotiated a price (and even in this place they were up for haggling. In fact we checked the price they had on their website and they matched it) they then gave us the high street valuation for our insurance company. It was over DOUBLE what we had paid. Seriously, why are more people not doing this?

They even managed to get the ring made for us within an hour — just time enough for us to pop round the corner for a quick cup of tea (thank goodness, it’d been over an hour since I’d had one).

And here’s the end result: My beautiful ring.

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Via – ME!

If you’re in the UK, I can’t recommend this process enough.

AmDram Bride – out.

Emma Watkins
Emma is the Am Dram Bride, hollering all the way from the UK. She is painfully English, and loves crumpets, Earl Grey tea and reading. To balance that out she also loves tequila, cheese, and singing as loudly as possible. You can play along on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.