Wedding / Engagement / Diamond Rings

Alright–I’ve made a big decision, and I’m looking for a good place to buy a wedding ring. Never done this before, and I’m looking for a place in Taipei that could give me good value.

Can any of you guys recommend a good place for buying this kind of jewelry? Prefer platinum to gold. Prefer quality diamond vs. size. Any ideas where to start looking?

I opted for quality over size when buying a diamond for a fiancee years ago. Boy was that a mistake. Even with the little jeweler’s lense I could barely make out the internal flaws.

Do you think a woman would rather wave around a big honking rock on her finger with a few invisible imperpections inside or a tiny but pure little stone that her friends will laugh at? And don’t even listen to that crap from the salesmen about “investment grade” diamonds, or the three Cs. The only thing that matters is size.

The sole purpose of the rock is so she can show everyone in the office what a huge stone her man bought for her and they can all coo with jealousy. In fact next time I might go with cubic zirconion. I seriously doubt anyone can tell the difference and you’ll get 5 times the wham for your money. Just my two cents.

I got wedding bands in Tiffany’s. “White gold” (that’s platinum, I think) for NT$17,000.

I bought a nice diamond from an Israeli with an office on the corner of Anhe Rd. and Hsinyi Rd. for NT$85,000 (a real bargain, recently appraised at the equivalent of NT$115,000 – can’t recommend him enough but I don’t know if he’s still around) and got it mounted in a simple platinum ring for a few grand more in a jewellery store above the Body Shop at the corner of Chunghsiao E. Rd. and Dunhua S. Rd.

I can get more details from the wife later if you’re interested.

Splash out! Your fiance will appreciate it. After all, marriage is the kind of thing you only do two or three times in your life.

Oh, and … Congratulations!

I bought my wife’s engagement ring from I guy who had them spread out on a blanket on the side of one of the streets in Ximending back in 1988.

It was a real bargain.

I think I gave it to her at the old A&W Root Beer joint that used to be where Tower Records is over there on the circle at Chung Hua Rd.

We’ve been happily married for 14 years.

Have heard from a Sth African jeweller friend living in Taiwan that the jewel trade here is pretty dodgy. When I was ring hunting he said wait til I go back to Oz, as the risks arent worth it. That said, if you can find a good one let us all know.

A suggesstion would be to try the Community Service Centre people. It has been known that exapt wives know where/how to shop… :slight_smile:

I compared prices with rocks of similar quality in Canada and found Taiwan to be much more expensive. I told my gf (now my wife) that if she could wait a few more months, I would be able to get her a bigger rock. Or we could get one right away if she didn’t mind a smaller one.

She’s holding out for the big one, needless to say.

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I bet she is! :laughing:

Really? My friend just recently married an overseas Taiwanese. Anyway, he bought the ring here in Taipei, a bloody big rock! She had it valued back home in OZ for DOUBLE what he paid here. The jeweler said that diamonds available in asia are much brighter/whiter than that available else where.

I’m getting my boyfriend to save his pennies fast… :laughing:

When I was back in the States, I went to a jewler who told me something interesting (I don’t know if it’s true or not). She said that in Asia most of the gold bought and sold, and used in jewelry, is 24 karat. In the states most of the gold used for engangement rings and wedding bands is 14 karat. She said that 14 K is more durable and will be better able to withstand the nicks and scrapes of daily wear.

I don’t know if this is true, but it may be something to consider if you are looking for bands or engagement rings in Taiwan.

And I don’t know how of if this applies to “white gold.”

Anyway, this is a good thread. Next, I have to start thinking of the dreaded wedding photos–but that’s covered in another thread…

Really? My friend just recently married an overseas Taiwanese. Anyway, he bought the ring here in Taipei, a bloody big rock! She had it valued back home in OZ for DOUBLE what he paid here. The jeweler said that diamonds available in Asia are much brighter/whiter than that available else where.

Yup. That’s pretty much exactly what the Israeli gem merchant here told me, and its what the jeweller in Edinburgh said as well when he appraised the wife’s diamond – both about the gold and the diamonds.
Re: the 24k gold, my mother-in-law bought me one of those huge gold knuckedusters with the jade set in it. Its a joke – the gold is very pure indeed, sure enough, but its so soft I can’t wear it without scratching chunks off it, and its not nearly hard enough to hold the jade in the mount.
This doesn’t hold for “white gold” which isn’t gold at all, but platinum, AFAIK.

Thanks, Sandman. That seems to confrim what the jewler I talked to in the States was going on about.

Right. Thanks for clearing that up. Platnium sounds as if it would a very durable choice for a wedding band or engagement ring.

I went through this whole engagement thing about a year ago. The terms used for gold and platinum seem to defy logic, at least to me.

huang jin (literally: yellow gold) = what most of us think of as gold
bai jin (literally: white gold) = platinum
K jin = white gold

This might not be the proper terms for these metals, but they are the terms that the jewelers will use to describe them. I guess platinum somehow got priority for the “bai jin” term, so they had to come up with “K jin” for white gold. Kind of strange to me.

Anyone else hear these terms used in this way? I’m hoping my memory hasn’t faded.

sorry folks, but platinum is not gold, it’s platinum. It’s a different element. It’s a much more expensive element, so if Sandman got a ring ro 17,000, it’s gold.

Yes, most gold sold here is the 24 karat variety. That means it’s pure. This pure gold is so soft that you do indeed whack chunks out of it in daily use. Also, diamonds are not set in this pure gold because it’s too soft to hold onto them.

Any gold ring, yellow or white, with a diamond of any quality set in it is alloyed with other metals, usually a good amount of nickle which causes an aleargic reaction is a small number of people. I’m one of those people.

That’s why we opted for platinum with a much smaller diamond (platinum is more expensive than diamonds) so that I’d actually be able to wear my ring. I can wear it, thus I know that that platinum surely isn’t gold.

One other good way to get a larger diamond is to get a color that is not white. White diamonds are the most expensive. I personally prefer very yellow diamonds which are much cheaper, but sometimes you can buy diamonds that only appear yellow against a white background and under a white light. That means that you can’t tell they’re yellow in normal light. A sightly yellow ring still looks great and can be lots cheaper.

If you’re still interested in platinum, de beers in Taiwan does not sell it. You can find a great diamond there. They sell them loose and only sell white or lightly yellow diamonds. I don’t remember the name of the store that sold us my platinum ring, but it was a Japanese place.

Hope this helps. And hope some of your wives don’t read your posts! :wink:

I think most of us are aware that platinum and gold are completely different metals. What we are talking about is the names for these metals in Chinese. If you re-read the posts above, they should make a bit more sense if you read them in this light.

Are you talking about an engagement ring and wedding band

Then you need to split these up into

  1. The diamond
    What type of diamond. D type, cut, clarity, caret etc

  2. the ring
    what type of material do you want your ring made from

I think shop around. There are a variety of diamonds out there, varying in prices and quality, as are there a variety of rings.

Do a little research into diamonds… its not that complicated…

:blush: Yes, well, that does make a little more sense. Actually, those terms are confusing for Taiwanese as well and a “discussion” I had with my husband about the existance of white or silver colored gold was also on my mind when I wrote my first post.

And I re-red Sandman’s post. 17,000 NT for a ring with no diamond is a good platinum price I think.

Sorry, but yes, Platinum is called “white gold” in Chinese and White gold is called “k gin.”

I think there just must have been no word for platinum, or for white gold. Like “jade rice” for corn. There was no “corn” word so they named it after something slightly similar. Anyway, that’s my guess and makes no difference whatsoever. :wink:

I just started another topic about buying gold in Taiwan, not having read this thread. I’ve read somewhere that the 24k gold here is usually bought as more of an investment, since it really isn’t durable enough to be worn daily. I’d like to buy some 24k gold as a keepsake but don’t want to get cheated. Comments at this topic would be appreciated.

I bought a diamond ring for my wife when I was in Canada. My brother the activist said that I should stay away from diamonds with unknown origins, because many diamonds are of African origin and are considered to be “conflict” diamonds, used to finance militias and corrupt regimes, and many diamond companies, including Indian ones, use child labour in sweatshops to process the diamonds. Our diamond - a Polar Bear diamond from Sirius Diamonds has a microscopic polar bear and a serial number engraved on the girdle of the stone, and included certification stating the size, cut, clarity, colour, date minde, date cut of the ring etc. And unlike an “international” certificate shown to me at the Mitsukoshi Department store, this certificate contained no “Taiwan English”. :unamused:

The ring we ended up with was “G” colour, VS1 in terms of clarity, with an ideal cut. It’s very sparkly. It’s a .6 carat diamond, with a platinum ring. The cost was just under 5 thousand CDN dollars, or about $120k NT. My wife is very happy, so I’m happy. :sunglasses:

Jeez, I’d probably be scared as hell I might loose it if I wore something worth 120k NT$ on my hand. :? Besides, I always manage to scratch everything. I actually hit a piece out of the glass of a very nice and probably not cheap (finger) ring watch my sister gave me. If I ever have to wear a wedding band, I’ll probably be tempted to take it off as soon as I get home. Not because I’m allergic but because it feels weird to wear something.

I’ve been wondering: there are loads of jewellery stores around Kungkuan, and all of them display wedding bands and friendships rings for prices up from 8.000 NT$. Would those be worth anything? Or are they made from cheap material? How would I know that one shop is better than the next?

Just wondering …

What’s the custom for rings? Someone told me that Both guys and girls in Taiwan get engagement rings. The girls wear it on the middle finger of the left hand, and they wear the wedding ring on the middle finger of the right hand. Guys are just the opposite. Is this right?