I love solitaires as a choice for an engagement ring, simple, elegant and timeless…
This is a recent one I finished just after Christmas.
I always approach solitaires with the diamond first, it is the most important part of the piece so the stone has to be exceptional. I only use GIA certified diamonds for my pieces and picking the right stone is the hardest part, as most clients want value and size my main job is to find the perfect balance.
The majority of people looking for a diamond engagement ring are familiar with the 4 c’s cut, colour, clarity and carat weight. Armed with this information lots of couples research online and find opinions on different threads but this I have found can (not always) lead to buying a stone I would never even present to someone to view regardless of its 4 c’s.
If I had a euro or a dollar for every diamond I was asked to value which on paper had a respectable set of 4 c’s but I would not sell I would be a very rich man!
An example of this is a stone that came across my desk recently purchased from a large diamond selling website which a client asked me to set. The stone was GIA certified and had an SI1 clarity grade which generally would be ok and within the parameters I work (Flawless – SI2). However as I studied the stone in front of the client and I asked what he thought of the SI in the centre of the table. His response was… what SI.
The stone itself was lovely in every respect, perfectly cut, nice colour extremely clean except for one large black carbon inclusion slap bang in the middle of the table, so obvious the loupe was not needed to view and once it was pointed out he could see it clearly.
Natural diamonds are a magic from nature so I can appreciate an included stone for other reasons. It is not necessarily a fault or a flaw, it is nature. But this gentleman did not know what he was buying and he got what he paid for.
The stone was a “great bargain” for a reason… no one in the trade wanted it. Armed with what he thought was a good range of 4 c’s he bought what was a very expensive diamond and based his buying decision solely on price, the cheapest option within the parameters of colour, cut, carat weight and clarity he was happy with.
After researching on Google and reading lots of threads he assumed buying an SI1 GIA diamond would be perfect. Mine are! But that is because I study hundreds of stones each month, I regularly pass on diamonds with much higher clarity grades even flawless stones as some other element may not be what I like, I select and preselect the finest diamonds for my clients, I know what to look for after almost 20 years of looking through the loupe! Unfortunately this client has no recourse with the site he bought the diamond, again he got what he paid for and was not miss sold anything.
Lots of sites list 1000’s of diamonds with fancy filters which you can slide up and down and select your preferred criteria, in fact I am even thinking of putting one on my site (IDK I may delete later!) but in reality the inventory on most of these sites hasn’t been studied it is simply uploaded from an excel spreadsheet. In fact the majority of these sites have never even seen the diamonds they are selling. Its a numbers game only, impressively one of these sites turns over $500 million dollars a year!
The majority of the diamonds on these sites are diamonds I do not want or would show to any serious client. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this but I take a different approach. I go through each diamond and critique its pros and cons, I study it in different lighting conditions, I think about what design would best emphasise its unique characteristics to find my clients the perfect diamond at the perfect price and then create the perfect engagement ring.
So thats my January rant over I hope you enjoyed it! Wishing you all a fab 2020. As always I am here to advise and create beautiful engagement rings with diamonds I have personally selected and studied, I work with the best in the business in Ireland and globally so do not hesitate to drop me a line if you are looking for a special diamond.
Take a moment to appreciate this GIA SI2 its much nicer than the the GIA SI1 the poor chap in the story above bought! Video below
Private appointments with me can be arranged by email firstname.lastname@example.org or through my instagram
Ronan Campbell is a private jeweller, Diamond & Gemstone specialist at DESIGNYARD Dublin Ireland