What’s your top piece of advice for soon to be weds selecting their rings? When it comes to the jewellery market, you get what you pay for. There are two sides to the market place: one side consists of mass-produced, lightweight imported pieces, the other of individualised, custom-made pieces created with care and attention to detail by a skilled craftsman. New Zealanders are blessed to have a great selection of highly skilled jewellers at their disposal – it pays to make the most of them.
Are diamonds still the most popular engagement stone?
Yes – no doubt about it. However, it pays to keep in mind that not all diamonds are created equal. I discuss value for money with my clients to evoke an understanding that there’s far more to a diamond’s grade – and therefore price –than the four basic parameters you see promoted on the mainstream market.
What’s the most popular style of ring for grooms?
Gone are the days when the groom would settle for a plain gold band. I find most are after something that’s unique and interesting yet still subtle. It means there’s a lot of scope to develop a really individual piece for them, be it a Mokume-gane band with matching cufflinks or a band with an external – or on occasion internal – design feature such as a combination of metal colours or a spectacular stone.
What’s your advice for couples on a budget?
Don’t be under the illusion that custom-made means expensive. A ring’s price often depends on the complexity of the design in question – there are certainly ways to craft a quality, custom-made piece that doesn’t break the bank.
How do you help men who want to select an engagement ring on their own?
I put myself in their shoes and help take the pressure off them by asking fundamental questions about their partner’s style and taste. I then guide them through a series of setting options before changing the conversation to metal colour. However if, after all this, there’s still serious uncertainty about what to do, I offer a win-win situation – I'll give him a memento which he can propose with to show he has put thought into design, then they can return as a couple to finalise the piece. This has worked for many clients – it removes the pressure entirely and means he can focus his attention on the proposal itself