Goldsmiths Jewellery review
Should you buy your engagement ring or wedding ring from Goldsmiths?
Originally founded in 1778, Goldsmiths has grown to over 90 stores across the UK, with showrooms everywhere from up in Aberdeen to down on the south coast,
It’s a popular choice for engagement rings, wedding rings and other high quality jewellery.
In this Goldsmiths review, we will primarily examine them from the point of view of buying a diamond engagement ring. However, the findings are equally relevant for any other type of jewellery
Goldsmiths diamond ring selection
Goldsmiths offers a total of 371 styles of diamond engagement ring to choose from:
The rings include a mixture of cluster set diamond rings (where several smaller diamonds are placed close together to give the impression of a larger stone), while other rings have larger centre stones. A cluster of smaller stones generally costs less than one larger diamond, so cluster settings can be a good option for those with a tighter budget.
The majority of the engagement ring styles that Goldsmiths sell are either solitaire or halo settings – two classic styles that have stood the test of time. Solitaire settings are generally less expensive setting than other styles and are great for keeping the focus on the centre stone, while a halo setting can make your ring stone look larger and more impressive.
Looking at the precious metals use by Goldsmiths in their settings, we can see that they offer a wide variety of metals, with 18ct white gold being the most common. 18ct gold is a popular choice for engagement rings due to the high percentage of gold contained, but as gold is soft, it does mean that 18 carat rings can be more prone to damage as they are so malleable.
The second most commonly used metal is Platinum, which is a great choice for engagement rings that are going to be worn every day because of its durability. The flipside of this is that it is more expensive than white gold, so the fact that the majority of Goldsmiths rings use a platinum setting definitely positions them as a premium jeweller.
Goldsmiths also offers a wide variety of diamond shapes, to enable you to choose the one that’s right for you. Elongated shapes like the oval and emerald cut are particularly popular at the moment, so it’s a definite plus that Goldsmiths caters to these. As with most jewellers though, it’s the round brilliant that is the most common shape offered – its classic style is popular for a reason and it is the diamond shape that delivers the most sparkle.
With many choices of settings, a variety of diamond shapes and precious metal used, it’s likely that you’ll be able to find a style that fits what you’re looking for.
Goldsmiths diamond quality
Engagement rings are all about the diamond, and being able to choose a diamond that will sparkle brilliantly will make the difference between a truly stunning engagement ring and one that looks dull and unimpressive.
In this section, we’ll examine the quality of diamonds Goldsmiths offers, as well as how transparent they are about the quality of the diamonds themselves.
Goldsmiths offers a range of carat weights for their engagement rings – all the way from 0.10 to 1.00 carat. The most common carat weight offered is 0.50ct – a nice round number that will look significant on the finger.
Diamond carat weight is one of the biggest determinants of the cost of a ring, and we can see that prices start from around £350 for a 0.2 carat ring:
While the range for a 1 carat solitaire rings is about £3,500 – £11,500:
While carat weight may be the biggest determinant of diamond price, the factor that determines how much a diamond sparkles is diamond ‘cut’. Diamond cut is a measure of how well the diamond has been formed and it is essential that a diamond has good proportions to reflect light, otherwise it will be dull, lifeless and unimpressive.
If a diamond is too tall or too shallow, it won’t reflect much light:
Diamond is too shallow:
Light passes through the diamond and is lost, meaning the diamond looks dull and sparkles less than it should.
Diamond is too deep:
Light is bounced off the bottom facets at the wrong angle and is lost out of the side of the diamond, reducing sparkle.
Excellent / Ideal cut:
Light is reflected off the bottom facets and back through the table to your eye, meaning the diamond sparkles beautifully.
Understanding the cut quality of a diamond is absolutely essential to be able to understand whether it will sparkle. If you don’t know the cut quality then you may very well be wasting your money.
One disappointing feature of Goldsmith’s website is that they don’t include a diamond’s “cut” information in the product information for their diamond. Instead, they just show the diamond shape, rather than the cut grade:
When I ask their about this information in their live chat, they said; “Unfortunately not all product information is available on our specifications”
The lack of information on cut quality is a huge red flag for Goldsmiths. Many other jewellers do include diamond cut quality on their websites – some of which make it one of the filters on their search tool.
Another thing to consider when choosing quality diamond is the clarity.
The majority of the clarity grades offered are I1, which is lower than I would recommend you choose if you want your diamond to not have any visible inclusions or flaws. I1 inclusions are also almost always visible to the naked eye, making them not eye-clean diamonds:
Below is an example of I1 diamond clarity – you can see that there are a large number of easily visible flaws all across the face of the diamond, which make the diamond significantly less desirable.
We don’t recommend choosing an I1 clarity diamond because of the obvious inclusions.
The most common colour offered is I, which I will not recommend because it can look almost completely colourless to the naked eye. I recommend G or H colour – above this level and the diamond doesn’t look much whiter, but is much more expensive, below this level and the diamond can look yellow (which most people don’t like).
Ranking the diamond quality, out of 5, I would award Goldsmiths a 2 stars for as the majority of their diamonds are low clarity and colour, and they also don’t provide diamond cut quality information on their website, which is essential to judge how much a diamond will actually sparkle.
Goldsmiths diamond grading labs
Diamonds are graded on four key factors – carat, colour, clarity and cut – and a host of smaller factors too.
Diamonds which score higher are generally more expensive – an F colour diamond will be pricier than an H colour, if everything also is the same.
It’s important therefore that diamond grading levels can be trusted – you don’t want to pay more for a diamond that has been graded as an F colour but it is actually an H.
This is why independent diamond testing labs are important. An independent testing lab doesn’t have any incentive to say that a diamond is higher quality than it is, as they don’t make any more money if they do. In fact, if they bump up diamond quality grades, it may mean people trust them less, which might mean that people use their service less and then they make less money. Being able to rely on the grading scores from independent labs is a key part of comparing diamonds across retailers – you know that you are comparing like-for-like.
On the other hand, retailers do have an incentive to increase diamond quality scores, as it will mean that they can sell a diamond for a higher price.
For this reason, I recommend that you always look for a diamond which has been graded by an independent authority – my usually recommendation is the GIA because they have the strictest standards, so you will be sure that you are getting the quality that you are paying for.
Goldsmiths doesn’t shown any diamond grading lab or certification information on their website, and weren’t able to provide any more info online – their live chat said:
“I am afraid I would be unable to confirm this however I would advise speaking directly with your nearest store to confirm”
“I am afraid as I do not specialise in this field I would be unable to advise further on this”
This is disappointing as being able to trust a diamond’s specifications through independent analysis is a key part of being comfortable with a diamond purchase. Without it, it’s like buying a second hand car that the dealer is telling you is in great nick, but you can’t verify that it actually is.
Buying an engagement ring is a special purchase, and you want to have confidence that the retailer will not only treat you well during buying your ring, but also that they will stand behind their product after the purchase too.
Goldsmiths has over 90 showrooms in every major town and city from Aberdeen to the south coast, as well as four in Northern Ireland, which means you have the option to visit a store to see a design you like in person and try it on.
A big factor in such a significant purchase as a diamond ring is knowing that you have the ability to return or change it, in case you change your mind. Goldsmiths cater to this, and refunds can be requested within 14 days and exchanged within 30 days from the date of despatch.
They also offer cleaning and repairing your diamond at your home or carried out in their showroom. Looking at reviews on reviews.io, Goldsmiths scores 2.5 from 14 reviews, with 22% of people saying that they recommend Goldsmiths.
It’s always worth taking online reviews with a bit of a pinch of salt, but as an average, 2.5 would indicate that people are not happy with the service they have received from Goldsmiths.
Goldsmiths value for money
Buying a diamond ring is a big commitment – both financially and emotionally. So it’s important that you ensure sure that you are getting good value for money and aren’t spending more than you need to.
After all, if you’re buying an engagement ring, it’s likely that you will have a wedding to pay for soon.
The easiest way to understand whether a retailer offers good value for money is to compare it to others.
The “Brilliant Cut 0.50ct 4 Claw Diamond Solitaire Ring In 9ct White Gold” diamond ring from Goldsmiths is a good ring to compare because it is such a classic and simple design – just the ring setting and a diamond.
A 0.50 carat diamond with solitaire setting in 9ct white gold, with an I2 clarity, J colour, round brilliant shaped diamond is priced at £1,700 including all taxes.
I2 clarity is not a clarity I would usually recommend as flaws will be very visible and will impact the beauty of the diamond. In fact, most of my recommended retailers don’t even sell I2 clarity diamonds as they are too low quality. An I2 clarity stone will have inclusions throughout, for example:
If we try to compare this Goldsmiths ring to my recommended retailer, the closest we can get is:
- 0.50 carat diamond with solitaire setting,
- 14ct white gold (higher quality than the 9carat at Goldsmiths)
- SI1 clarity (two grades higher than the Goldsmiths diamond)
- J colour (the same as Goldsmiths)
The price for the complete ring is £1,088.14 – £612 less than the Goldsmiths diamond.
The Blue Nile ring also has an ‘Ideal’ cut diamond, so we know it will sparkle beautifully, and has been graded by the GIA – an independent grading lab which has no incentive to bump up the grading score.
The extra value that Blue Nile delivers over Goldsmiths here should be obvious – a higher quality diamond at a significantly lower price.
This is obviously a significant difference – you could either save over £600 by buying from Blue Nile, while still getting a higher quality diamond. This is money that could be spent on creating an unforgettable proposal, or be put towards your actual wedding. Or if you did want to spend the same amount as the Goldsmiths ring, you could:
- Increase the diamond cut quality so it sparkles more
- Increase the clarity so that inclusions aren’t visible
- Increase the carat weight so that it looks bigger
The prices at Blue Nile may be different on the day you look – maybe higher, maybe lower – it’s worth clicking through to see today’s prices for exactly what you’re looking for.
Value for money
Do we recommend Goldsmiths?
Goldsmiths offers good service and convenience with more than 90 showrooms in every major town and city from Aberdeen to the south coast, as well as four in Northern Ireland.
However, they do not show the diamond cut and grading lab information on their website – two key pieces of information that help a diamond buyer understand how much a diamond will sparkle and how accurate the specifications of a diamond are.
Goldsmiths also offer low quality clarity and colour diamonds at higher prices than my recommended retailers. In my opinion, the convenience of being able to visit the stores is not worth the extra expense compared to buying from Blue Nile.
While visiting a Goldsmiths store may be a good idea to get an idea of what diamonds look like in real like, I would always recommend cross-checking the diamond against Blue Nile where you are likely to either save significantly, or alternatively can get a larger or higher quality diamond for the same price.
- Large number of shops over UK
- Variety of ring style selection
- Cleaning and repairing services
- No diamond cut quality information
- Offers low quality clarity and colour
- No independent grading
- High price for low quality diamond