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Is an engagement ring from a mass market store good quality?

November 25th, 2014 | no comments

Every engagement ring store has their niche. For some it is mass producing high volumes of rings to serve the masses, for others it is more about the experience of creating unique custom made engagement rings.

Which engagement ring jewellery store is right for you

Which engagement ring jewellery store is right for you

Which store is right for you?

Ultimately this is something that you can only decide for yourself. Before venturing out on the hunt for the perfect engagement ring, it is important you decide what sort of engagement ring store suits your style and tastes.

Mass market jewellery stores are not really interested in customising engagement rings. It is much easier for them to push you into a one size fits all solution, than create something for you that is individual as you are. Much like getting something out of a vending machine, where it is immediately replaced with an identical copy, chain stores have set lines of jewellery.

Are mass market engagement ring jewellery stores cheaper?

It might actually surprise you to find out that these mass market jewellery chain stores are not as cheap as you might think. The truth is, in this world you get exactly what you pay for. If I wanted to make mass produced diamond engagement rings with low quality diamonds, I could. I just choose not to, because it doesn’t excite me, or fulfil my artistic drive.

Unfortunately some guys have the mistaken impression that just because their local jewellery store has multiple stores in different locations, it must mean that they are good quality. You might even ask yourself “how could they be in business if they weren’t doing something right?” The answer is, they are fulfilling a certain need in the market.

The mistake is to choose this as an option without properly comparing the difference to an engagement ring specialist store.  Choosing an engagement ring is one of life’s significant purchases that is rarely sold or traded. So it is vital to weigh up all the benefits of having a custom made engagement ring, and understanding all the extra benefits you get by going to an engagement ring specialist. The biggest advice I can give you here is to visit an engagement ring specialist to see the difference before you make your final decision.

What can you hope to expect from an engagement ring specialist store?

Jewellery Store Service – A level of service, none like you have ever seen before. Where you are treated as someone who has just began something special – the journey of a lifetime. Something that you will look back on in years to come and remember that time when… If that is something that is important to you, then seeking out an engagement ring specialist is something that should be high on your check list.

Engagement Ring Wow factor – Engagement ring specialists, don’t sell watches or 9ct chains & bracelets. They specialise in creating phenomenal engagement rings. An engagement ring specialist store should not only have an amazing selection of unique engagement rings, but also an impressive collection of loose diamonds for you to look at and compare side by side.

Diamond Experts – If you needed to have a heart operation, you wouldn’t go to a general GP. It’s the same for diamonds. If you want to have a diamond that really pop’s, choose a high performance diamond. What makes one diamond sparkle more than another is something a diamond expert should be able to explain to you. It is extremely reassuring to have someone there who can explain all the subtle differences not just in quality but value as well. To get the most amazing diamond, it is really important to make sure you are only paying for a difference that you can see, and not one that just exists on paper.

An engagement ring is something that you will have for a long time, so it is crucial to make sure you have all the information you need to make the best informed decision. If proposing with an amazing engagement ring is something that is important to you, make sure you invest a little more time to compare all the options. The extra effort you put in now will definitely be worth it, in years to come, when you look down at your engagement ring, and see how happy your fiancée is. If you would like to book an appointment, please email me for a design consultation.

Non Diamond Engagement Rings?

November 25th, 2014 | no comments

Can I use a gemstone in an engagement ring?

This is for the ladies that are considering non diamond engagement rings. Are other stones as hard as a diamond? Non engagement rings - sapphire and ruby ringsA diamond sits on top of the Mohs scale of mineral hardness with a rating of ten. Now, while a sapphire and ruby are only one level lower at nine, they are really nowhere near as hard as a diamond. In fact, a diamond is four times harder than a sapphire. Next of the major gemstones is an emerald on eight, and tanzanite on seven. So if your partner is an avid rock climber or outdoor enthusiast, it might be a safer option to stick with looking at diamond engagement rings, rather than a non diamond engagement rings.

How the ring is worn will affect how long the stone is likely to last. I have seen the most delicate rings that have been worn with such care that, in 10 years’ time, they look like they have hardly been worn. Likewise, sometimes a brand new ring can look like it has been hit with a hammer even after six months. I call this ‘loving your rings hard’. So if your partner or you are like this, then maybe non engagement rings might not be the best option.

No two people are the same, and neither is the way they wear their rings. Imagine if two people were given the exact same car – brand new and perfect in every way. One person drove their car very carefully, never sped up too quickly or braked too hard, and always parked their car with extra care. Contrast this with someone who, with the same car, loved the thrill of acceleration and cornering through a roundabout, and maybe didn’t always look behind them when reversing into a car park. (I’m not going to make any gender jokes about driving here!) One person’s car would still look immaculate; the other car would have worn tyres and brakes, and scratches down the side panels. I think we could hardly blame the car for the different level of wear and tear it has endured. I think most drivers would be aware of how they drive, so it is a good idea to see how she describes herself and how she wears her other jewellery, to see if she ‘loves her rings hard’. If she is a little on the hard side, a diamond is definitely the best option for the long term.

Using a gemstone in non engagement rings

While the hardness of the other precious stones – that is, rubies, sapphires and emeralds – and any of the semiprecious gemstones is nowhere near as hard as a diamond, there are still a few things you can do to incorporate some of your partner’s favourite colour into the engagement ring.

Centre stone

If your partner has her heart set on a coloured gemstone as the main feature for her engagement ring, try to choose a sapphire or ruby. These stones are the best of all the coloured gemstones for wear and tear and because an engagement ring will be worn every day, this is important.

Emeralds are not only softer, but they also tend to be more brittle due to their tendency to have many inclusions. Emeralds are also oiled, which means that you really can’t take them near hot water. So wearing them in the shower is out. Tanzanites are beautiful but probably best kept to a dress ring that isn’t worn every day, because they are even softer than emeralds.

If your partner really has her heart set on the main stone being a coloured gemstone, you might want to consider setting the stone in a bezel or semi-bezel setting to protect the stones edges a little more.

Shoulder stones

Having your diamond as your main stone with supporting coloured shoulder stones is also a great option. It means that the main diamond will bear the brunt of any major knocks she gives it. The shoulder stones in an engagement ring tend to get a lot less scratches and wear and tear. You could either have matching pear-shaped blue sapphire shoulder stones, or the same shaped pink sapphire stones as the centre in a trilogy set (if that is her favourite colour). Alternatively, if it is a single stone in the middle she wants, you could always put some coloured shoulder stones in to the band.

Getting the best out of your coloured gemstones

Gemstones perform very differently to diamonds in settings. If you open the side of the setting and let more light into it, the stone will appear lighter and often have more life to it (sparkle). Likewise, keeping the setting closed will make the stone look darker. This is a good option if the stone you are using is a little on the pale side.

Maintaining after-sale services

With a coloured gemstone engagement ring, it is a good idea to make sure you schedule a few extra trips to the jeweller to have your settings checked and the ring professionally cleaned. The jeweller will also be able to tell you if the wear your ring is getting is consistent with the age of the ring. If you have accidentally damaged or chipped the outside edge of the centre stone, the jeweller can always rotate the stone, so the chip is hidden under the claw.

One thing to bear in mind with a coloured gemstone ring is that, as the years go on, your stones will start to show signs of wear (scratches). When it gets to the point that the wear is detracting from the ring, ask to have the stone taken out and re-polished. If only minor abrading of the facets is required, there shouldn’t be any change to the outside diameter of the stone.

5 Engagement Ring Tips To Rock Her World

November 21st, 2014 | no comments

In my experience when an engagement ring choice has not be met with the intended excitement, it is because it hasn’t been perfectly matched with the lady wearing it, or they didn’t know who to ask for some expert engagement ring tips.

To make sure that your engagement ring is a winner, make sure that you consider these 5 engagement ring tips.

1.     Engagement ring tips – Who the wearer is, and their style

engagement ring tips to nail the proposala.     If I said to you that you could only wear one coloured shirt for the rest of your life. I am sure you would want to spend the time deciding which colour and shape best suited your body. An engagement ring is just like that. Not only will you have it for a very long time but you will also be looking at it every day. So for they guys out there, it is really important to make sure that the ring your design for your partner really reflects her style. Is she a traditional girl, or is the super extra bling ring more her style. Have a look at the jewellery she already wears to get a sense of her style.

2.     Engagement ring tips – Come up with an design to personalise

a.     Almost every design can be personalised to make it unique. Whether it is something as simple as adding a few diamonds into the side of the setting, or something as unique as adding a pink diamond into the base of the ring. Deciding to make her engagement ring as individual as she is, really shows her how much you care about her.

3.     Choose the metal that compliments the skin tone

a.     The obvious one here is to have a look at the jewellery your partner is already wearing. If she has yellow gold earrings bracelets then choosing a yellow gold engagement ring is a pretty safe bet. If this is to be the first significant piece of jewellery that she has every owned, then the next best thing to do is to look at her skin tone.

gold silver choiceWarm: ladies with warm skin tones will usually have fair, peachy or golden undertones to their skin. These tones are usually accompanied by red, brown (with a reddish tint), strawberry blond or golden highlights in their hair colour. The ideal gold colour for a woman with a warm skin tone is yellow gold or rose gold. Always aim to use 18ct gold. As the pure gold content is double that of 9ct, the colour will look richer, and is closer to the colour that we know gold to look like. 9ct has twice as much copper, so has a definite coppery

Cool: cooler skin tones are usually found in ladies with black, olive or ivory skin colours. These women may also have ashy dark brown, white-blonde, or salt and pepper hair colours. For these women, white gold or platinum works well. The contrasting white metal, will really make the engagement ring stand out against her skin colour.

4.     Engagement ring tips – Choose an amazing diamond

engagement tips - diamond selection

engagement tips – find the perfect diamond

a.     Like the centre of a painting, the diamond is the focus point of the engagement ring. There is no point in having a beautiful frame if the picture in the middle is terrible. Always aim to have the best diamond that you can. It is always better to have a slightly smaller diamond of better quality than one that is simply larger. High performance diamonds like the Passion8 “hearts and arrows” diamonds are the brightest diamonds on the market. While they might not sparkle in the dark, I think there is no greater compliment you can give another lady, than complimenting on the way her diamond sparkles.

5.     Engagement ring tips – Sit flush with a straight wedding ring

engagement ring tips -rings that sit flusha.     Almost every engagement ring can be designed to sit flush with a straight wedding ring. It just takes a skilled designer who understands the laws of jewellery and design to angle the wires on the correct angle, so that the wedding ring will sit flush beside the setting. Very few ladies like having a curved wedding band. Some ladies find that a curved wedding ring looks a little odd when you wear it by themselves. It can also create an unusual effect when wearing them together and one of the rings move, creating a gappy effect.

If having a unique diamond engagement ring is something that is important to you, then it is essential to have it designed by a professional jewellery designer with expert engagement ring tips. Someone who takes the time to get to know what the lady who is wearing it is like and what her style is. I will guide you through the process and give you suggestions on how to personalise it for her and make it unique.  If you would like a one in a million engagement ring, please book a consult appointment.