After posting on a lot of your threads,and giving bits of (hopefully!) useful advice,I thought this may be quite an inteeresting one for some of you girls who are actually on the hunt for an engagement ring,and you have come up against a couple of the usual problems, such as your available budget and that elusive perfect style. I thought it would also be helpful as anyone else can add any helpful little pointers too. The overlooked diamonds I'm reffering to are pre-owned,pre-loved or previously enjoyed, as one of my former colleagues very eloquently put it!! Some of you may shy away from this option as you feel that you would,nt like a second hand stone that has celebrated some other couples engagement.A very viable and fair point until it was all brought into sharp focus by a former employer who had a thriving 'previously enjoyed' side of his business.'Its all a question of perception and re-education that keeps beautiful stones in circulation and providing years more enjoyment,after all thats one of the reason that cut diamonds have evolved to what they are now,to be a thing of beauty and celebration to be admired and be a symbol of love' All sounds good so far? It sounds even better when you realise how old diamonds actually are,the youngest carbon dated one is....................65 million years old!!! I then began to appreciate the stones for their indiviual beauty as opposed to thier provenance,after all as a diamond grader with two loose stones in front of me,thats exactly what they are,two diamonds,neither second hand or new comes into grading at that point to make one better than the other,their own individality does that. I'm sure a cutter who has worked on a diamond to release its inherent beauty,would work on a peice of rough the was 2 weeks,2 years or 200 years old without any other thought in mind apart from the job in hand. This thought process is eventually what led me to own a fabulous diamond that I do now.As I started out in the trade as a trainee d/grader I always thought I would want to go for a D flawless of perfect proportions and a carat in size. How time and cash change you! I became a little bored after years of grading all types of diamonds,what was usually on the on the circuit began to lose its wow factor until it was almost mundane!! I then was'nt sure what I would eventually want for myself,something different, colored diamonds of any significant size were way ouy of our price range, I then came across by chance the one I own and love today! Much bigger than I thought we could afford,coming in at 1.74 cts,but the shape and fire caught my eye,its whats called an old European brilliant cut. That was it, I had the setting changed from a very clumsy old fashioned one that was awful to a spectacular degree! Into what its in today,platinum and bagged a stone that at full retail for the same size would come in close to £22k, for a much smaller £4500.00!!!!!!!! I don't care that its pre-owned,I feel it adds to its growing history,and sometimes think about the man who mined it,the man who cut it and the woman who wore it before I did ,and one day when it gets passed onto to my daughter Sophie she may have the setting changed to suit her taste,but I would like to think she often thought of the woman who wore it before her, her Mum.