Choosing an engagement ring should be a truly happy and memorable occasion. At our elegant new shop in the prestigious Piccadilly Arcade opposite the Royal Academy in London's West End you will receive the warmest of welcomes and we shall be only too happy to show you our collection of rings.
As a small family business, we delight in offering a highly personal service to design and create a unique ring to your individual specifications. With over thirty years' experience, we have access to the very best quality diamonds and coloured stones and we work closely with the top craftsmen in London.
We are dedicated to making exceptional rings, whether you choose one from our current stock or you commission a bespoke one, and we think you will be pleasantly surprised by your Nigel Milne experience.
Perhaps you have already seen the ring of your dreams in a huge and impersonal Bond Street shop at a stratospheric price or, maybe, we are the first shop you visit and you have no preconceived ideas. We will always rise to the challenge of making your perfect ring within your budget and timescale.
Many couples consider the perfect engagement ring is a simple single diamond, or definitely a plain diamond ring and we shall be delighted to help you choose your perfect stone and design to create a unique ring especially for you.
You might like to increase your options and introduce some colour to your ring. The combination of sapphires and diamonds is hugely popular and very easy to wear, and for some girls' colouring rubies or emeralds can be a stunning alternative. If you do choose an emerald, we will help you select a design that ensures it has suitable protection as emeralds are 'softer' than rubies and sapphires and are, consequently, more prone to wear and fracture.
Of course, you are not limited to 'the big three' coloured stones. Aquamarines are particularly popular for engagement rings and you could also consider pink or green tourmalines, amethysts or even topazes of various beautiful colours.
Perhaps you have already fallen in love with a genuinely 'old' ring, be it Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian or Art Deco. However much you adore it and think it is terribly romantic, the ring will, except in the rarest of cases, have been well worn and loved by others before you and probably resized on various occasions. I am the first to agree that some of the original designs are absolutely stunning, but I would urge you to consider asking us to create an exact replica for you, so that you start your married life with a brand new ring.
From a simple solitaire diamond to a highly individual contemporary design, all our rings are entirely handmade to the most exacting standards by the very top craftsmen here in London. Your Nigel Milne engagement ring will be personal to you and a celebration of your union forever.
Appreciating that your engagement ring might be the first and by far the most expensive piece of jewellery that you have purchased, we will do our utmost to take you simply and clearly through the diamond grading system known as the "four C's", (carat, cut, clarity and colour) and show you what to look for, and what to avoid, in making your choice.
For further information please visit the official GIA website
CHOOSING YOUR DIAMOND
CUT is crucial to the overall look and value of your diamond. There are strict guidelines that diamond cutters must obey to ensure that they achieve the maximum light and fire from the diamond. There are some cutters who will try to retain the maximum weight of a stone by cutting it slightly differently from the prescribed guidelines. This will compromise the brilliance of the stone. A larger diamond with compromised brilliance is worth less than a smaller diamond with top brilliance.
CHOOSING YOUR DIAMOND
CARAT is the term used to inform the exact weight of a stone and is not synonymous with size. The CUT determines the actual visual size of the stone. There are 100 points to a full carat. A stone may be described as 'well spread'. This means that it gives the impression of being, say, a one carat stone, but, due to the manner in which it has been cut from the rough shallow material, may, in fact, only weigh .75 carats.
At this point it is as well to note that diamond prices do not obey a strict ratio of size to value.
Commercially popular sizes, ie. those of exact total weights of one to four carats each do not increase in a steady ratio - they increase by leaps and bounds. However, by keeping below these exact carat multiples, the prices can compare very favourably. For example, a .97 carat diamond will cost appreciably less than a diamond weighing exactly one carat of the same grades.
CLARITY is the measure of purity of a diamond which will affect its overall brilliance and value to a lesser or greater degree accordingly.
This is where apparently meaningless jargon such as 'VVS1' or 'SI2' comes in. Very simple - this is shorthand for saying that a diamond has 'Very, Very Slight Inclusions' or 'Slight Inclusions' of 1st or 2nd degrees. Not hugely scientific and, once you know, it is easy to understand. A flawless diamond is categorised as FL or IF (Internally Flawless).
CHOOSING YOUR DIAMOND
COLOUR is extremely difficult to gauge for the inexperienced buyer. It can also be difficult for two highly experienced professionals to agree, too. That is why an international diamond grading system has been introduced and the certificates produced by the G.I.A. (Gemmological Institute of America) are the benchmark standard. The price difference between the different grades can be enormous and may seem visually incomprehensible to the inexperienced eye.
Unless one is looking at a row of diamonds of graduating colour side by side, it is very difficult to appreciate the subtle differences. The top colour grade is D and the lowest is Z. The colours between D and H are all classified as WHITE.
They will look remarkably similar unless put side by side, so you will have to decide what it is that you really want. If you want to have the purest and highest quality diamond that you can afford, it may well be the smallest, but it could be a D or E colour. F, G and H are all commercially graded as WHITE too and are extremely acceptable.
You may be happy to sacrifice a little colour or clarity to achieve a bigger stone. Here you may start to notice some yellow or a few impurities infiltrating the whiteness and brilliance of the stone. It is very subjective and we will offer you our best advice and guidance to help you make your choice.