Diamonds – what can I say – I love them! Who doesn’t?! However, this doesn’t mean I am going to write about them constantly – ‘diamonds’ in my blog name is really a metaphor for everything I love!
But yes, in this post, it’s all about the real McCoy – in the context of engagement rings. No, I’m not getting married, but one of my really good friends is and I was so excited and honoured when she asked me to be a bridesmaid (am I a bridesmaid if I’m already married?). Anyway, clearly I agreed (through an array of happy tears), and my very first task was to accompany the bride-to-be on her first foray into the world of diamond rings!
So our first stop was Bond Street, naturally, to see what the latest trends were. In David Morris, we found our first slightly snooty sales assistant. I was trying to warm to her and asked whether she has any princess cut diamond rings to show us, when she informed me that they didn’t really have much demand for them anymore and they were ‘old school’ (yes, those were her words!). Clearly this perturbed me slightly, as my engagement ring is indeed princess cut and I am sure this didn’t go unnoticed by her.
Still I soldiered on regardless, my pride wounded, but not flattened. However, my friend decided the choice was quite limited and so we left. Hmmm – I was debating whether to remove my ‘ancient and off trend’ ring, but we had already entered the next store – Graaf.
Here we were told by a lovely salesman who had worked there for over 30 years that people come to Graaf to buy a Graaf diamond (really? not a Tiffany one then?!), and they are not as bothered by the cut, clarity, colour or carat. As this was not the case with us, we left!
Feeling somewhat deflated, we decided to re think our strategy in Selfridges over a bottle of champagne and a bite to eat.
Clearly after this we were feeling much better and popped to the ground floor concession of De Beers. This was a much more successful visit, although as I write this, I am now thinking that could have been to do with the alcohol consumption perhaps! Anyway, the sales assistant, Szandra, was rather lovely and w felt much better after this visit. with more ideas of what N wanted in terms of a stone and ring.
Ok so in terms of rings what did we find out? Well I’m sure you all know about the 4 Cs – cut, colour, clarity and carat. Here is a brief guide if you’re a little lost!
If budget is an issue (which it is with most of us), then I do recommend an initial expedition to the jewellers in Bond Street, where you can ask all sorts of questions and get a better understanding of what it is you are looking for. Generally the stores have the most variety of the cuts of stone and will explain how the colour grading works as well as the clarity. The carat is more straightforward – the bigger the carat, the larger the diamond and the more money it costs!
Armed with this information, you can then often find better value in Hatton Gardens where a bespoke ring can be made and you can even source the stones yourself online. Alternatively, you maybe in a position where you find what you love in Bond Street and don’t want to go any further.
Whatever you do, there is such a vast choice in the shops, online or buying direct from the mines themselves, that it is much easier than ever to buy that perfect diamond ring. Happy shopping!