Mappin & Webb review
Should you buy your engagement ring or wedding ring from Mappin & Webb?
Mappin & Webb has a rich history, having been founded in 1775. For any business to survive that long it must be doing something right and it has grown to 20-25 stores nationwide.
For more than 240 years, Mappin & Webb has combined expert craftsmanship and attentive service to create special bespoke commissions.
In this Mappin and Webb 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.
If you’d like to jump straight to the ‘value for money’ section and see how choosing one of my recommended retailers could save £3,459.25 compared to Mappin & Webb, click here.
Mappin & Webb ring selection
Mappin & Webb offers a total of 442 ring styles of diamond engagement rings to choose from:
The majority of the engagement ring styles that Mappin & Webb sell are either solitaire or halo settings – two classic styles that have stood the test of time. Solitaire settings are generally a 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.
The large number of ring styles available through Mappin & Webb means that they offer a wide range of diamond shape – more than many other British jewellers. The most common shape they offer is the round brilliant – it’s not only the most popular shape, but it’s also the shape that sparkles the most.
Looking at the precious metals use by Mappin & Webb in their settings, we can see that the most frequently used is platinum.
Platinum 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 Mappin & Webb rings use a platinum setting definitely positions them as a premium jeweller.
Mappin & Webb 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 Mappin & Webb offers, as well as how transparent they are about the quality of the diamonds themselves.
The good news is that once you have chosen your ring style, Mappin & Webb make it easy for you to filter a diamond by diamond colour and clarity in their product category.
The most common colour offered is G, which is a good grade – it looks nice and white, without asking you to overpay for a higher colour grade where there is no visible difference in the diamond. G or H are good colours, above this level and the diamond doesn’t look much whiter, but is much more expensive and below this level and the diamond can look yellow (which most people don’t like)
The majority of the clarity grades offered are SI1, which is lower than I would recommend you choose if you want your diamond to not have any visible flaws.
SI1 Clarity means ‘slightly included’ and sits here on the diamond clarity scale:
SI1 diamonds means that inclusions may be visible to the naked eye, with some having very obvious and very visible inclusions right in the centre of the diamond, like the below:
Not all SI1 diamonds are like this, but the fact that some are means that ever SI1 diamond needs to be carefully examined.
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.
Looking at the product filter and product details that Mappin & Webb show on their website, they do not show any information about “cut” grading. Instead, they show the diamond shape, rather than the cut.
When I asked their customer service about it through live chat, they said; “the detail you are after is unique to each specific ring”, “that level of detail may not apply to that ring” and “the cut grading is in the certificate which is unique to each ring”
Mappin & Webb enclosed the cut grading information on their ring certificate which you can you have after requesting it from their customer service.
The lack of information on cut quality is a significant red flag for Mappin & Webb. Many other jewellers do include diamond cut quality on their websites – some have it as one of the filters on their search tool, which makes it easy to search for ‘ideal’ or ‘excellent’ cut diamonds, which are most likely to sparkle.
Mappin & Webb diamond grading labs
Mappin & Webb used GIA as their grading lab for their rings, you can see this in their product details. GIA are my most-commonly recommended independent laboratory.
This is a huge positive as GIA has some of the strictest standards, so you will be sure that you are getting the quality that you are paying for.
Mappin & Webb service
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.
For more than 240 years in service, Mappin & Webb has combined expert craftsmanship with bespoke service, they have a lifetime Diamond Promise which guarantees they’ll inspect and clean your diamond once a year for the next decade.
They also offer the “Mappin & Webb Care programme” which means that your jewellery has a free annual in-store clean, inspection and a free jewellery cleaner or diamond dazzle stick for diamonds to ensure your jewels sparkle.
One thing which could be improved is that Mappin & Webb only offers 14 days return. This is not very long if you decide that the ring is not right for you.
Looking at reviews on Google, the reviews are split out by individual store. The York store in the UK has a very impressive score of 4.8 from 18 reviews, indicating that people are very pleased with the service they have received from Mappin & Webb.
Mappin & Webb 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.
To see how Mappin & Webb’s value for money compares, we’ll compare it to one of my recommended retailers – Blue Nile.
Blue Nile is an American jeweller who has a manufacturing and distribution centre in Ireland, so buying from them is very similar to buying from a UK-based online retailer.
When comparing, we’ll keep the ring style, diamond clarity, colour, carat as similar as possible. A good way to compare is looking at Solitaire diamond rings as they are simple and timeless, without an ornate setting to make the comparison more complicated.
Looking at Mappin & Webb, the “Silhouette 18ct White Gold 1.00ct Diamond Engagement Ring”, the price of a 1 carat solitaire ring, H colour, I1 Clarity and Round Brilliant shape is £8,500 including all taxes:
This diamond has been graded ‘I1’ for clarity, which is a lower clarity grade than I would recommend.
I1 clarity diamonds have very obvious inclusions that reduce the beauty of the diamond. As we discussed, Mappin & Webb don’t show the “cut” grading information on their product filter and ring specifications, when I ask them cut information for this ring through email, they said that the diamond in this ring has been graded as ‘excellent’ for cut quality.
If we compare Mappin and Webb’s price of £8,500 to an equivalent 18k white gold solitaire ring with a 1 carat diamond, H colour and SI clarity at my recommended retailer, Blue Nile’s price is just £5,040.74
The Blue Nile ring also has an ‘Ideal’ cut diamond, so we know it will sparkle beautifully, They are both graded by GIA – an independent grading lab which has no incentive to bump up the grading score.
One area that the Blue Nile diamond rates higher than the Mappin & Webb diamond is clarity. While the diamond from Mappin & Webb has I1 clarity, Blue Nile don’t even sell diamonds at this grade because it is so low quality, so we can only compare a higher grade – SI1.
So, the price difference between the two is a huge of £3,459.25, even allowing for the higher quality diamond.
This is obviously a significant difference in price! With the £3,459.25 you would save by shopping at Blue Nile instead of Mappin & Webb you could:
- Increase the carat weight of the diamond
- Increase the quality of the diamond
- Spend it on a really special proposal
- Put it towards your wedding cost
Or possibly all of this!
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.
Mappin & Webb review
Value for money
Do we recommend Mappin & Webb?
Mappin & Webb offers a good selection of ring styles, the ability to choose high quality diamonds and very good service both during and after making a purchase. However, the excellent service comes at a price and that is high costs.
The 14 day return policy and lack of information about cut quality on the website are black marks against Mappin & Webb and overall, I would recommend that you visit my recommended retailer to get a higher quality diamond at a lower price instead.
- Huge selection of ring styles
- Easy to filter by clarity and colour
- GIA certified diamonds
- No cut grading information
- Offers low clarity and colour diamonds
- Rings are very expensive