When it comes to diamonds, where we live may have an influence on our opinion of the “ideal” engagement ring.
I sat with Max from Majesty Jewellers in Hatton Garden to discuss the process of diamond cutting and how preferences in cut and style of engagement rings vary from region to region. We know that our individuality can be expressed in what we choose to wear. Diamonds are no exception. They can provide a way for the wearer to give subtle clues about their personality and express their inner beauty.
F: So Max, is there a difference in preferred styles of engagement rings depending on where the wearer lives?
M: Certainly. Women from different backgrounds often prefer different types of engagement rings. The differences can be seen not only from country to country, but also from city to city. Culture is key and plays a vital role when looking into the psychology behind choosing an engagement ring.
F: Before we delve in, can you take me through the process of diamond cutting?
M: The cutting process of a diamond is much more complicated than most people think. An excellently cut diamond is an end product of a fascinating work cycle. Experienced professionals plan ahead to ensure that the resulting stone has the maximum yield with a good colour and clarity. Despite the use of software, this stage can take weeks to get right.
Once the design is final, the rough is passed along a production line of industry experts to be bruted, cut and polished. The cutting process alone can require more than one lapidary to complete, with one cutter working on the table and another polishing the girdle. Each individual who handles the diamond from its rough form to its final state must be highly trained as in this industry there is no room for mistakes.
F: Do you know of any cutting styles that are particularly popular?
M: Lots of consumers aren’t actually aware of the differences in cut, let alone the amount of craftsmanship that goes into creating these beautiful stones. For example, the “Hearts and Arrows” style of cutting produces diamonds with breathtaking fire and brilliance. Buyers in the Caribbean appreciate and understand the work that goes into creating these stones and therefore this particular cut of diamond is very popular there. In contrast, European buyers are less aware of this cut and therefore the demand is less. The same goes for Tolkovsky and Kaplan cut stones.
F: If I wanted to sell a diamond, which market would be my best bet?
M: Selling diamonds is a different task in every market. For example, if you wanted to sell in the UK, you would have to focus on the brand or the story behind the stone. Consumers here are more intersted in the journey that the stone has taken and the basic 4C’s. In the US, there is less emphasis on the story behind the stone and more focus on its stats. Size is crucial and feeds into the “bigger is better” (false belief; that many share), with colour and clarity sometimes taking a back seat.
F: Are there any other interesting observations have you made in regards to choices in style from culture to culture?
M: I’ve found that women in Europe would go for a smaller diamond that is of exceptional quality, and is often something that is cherished dearly by the wearer instead of a showpiece. Interestingly, ladies from Japan tend to go for large cushion cut diamonds to show that they are both elegant and refined. Given that, having spent twenty years helping my clients to understand and choose their favourite cut of diamond, I’ve realised that there may be some hidden messages enclosed in the diamonds each individual chooses.
Despite our need or want for individuality, consumers still tend to buy in similar patterns depending on a large number of variables affecting the market. In the engagement ring industry, it is crucial to be able to both recognise trends (popular styles of cut, shape or colour, for example) and be able to act on them. However the real power comes with the ability to identify the reasons for certain patterns or trends in buying behaviour form market to market.
Every mined diamond is a unique masterpiece of nature. One thing is for sure; the bigger is always rarer! Larger diamonds are (if given all other three aspects are matched from the 4 CS: cut, colour and clarity) more valuable simply because they are found much less frequently in nature than their smaller ‘sisters’. We can safely state that there is definitely more to the generous diamond size than just the wow-effect!
Thanks for the conversation again, Max. You can find Majesty Jewellers in Hatton Garden or on this website.
Written by www.frankassparklers.com
Bespoke diamonds and jewellery Paris-London-Milan
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