Everyone wants the best of their future spouse, and when it comes to an engagement ring, this usually means the clearest stone possible.
As a diamond dealer you learn a lot from people and their take on clarity: how prepared they are to have this natural birthmark in their lives. However, much like relationships, it is not the man who picks the stone that looks perfect on paper that wins, but the man who goes for the stone that fits them the best that will have a lasting and happy marriage.
Let me explain.
Just like there can be a good premier league footballer and a bad premier league footballer, there can be good SI1s, for example, and bad SI1s. A good SI1 is having a small gathering but their new owners are never going to find out, it’s a tiny dirty shoe print on the cream carpet right in the corner of the living room, left by Tom as he came in from the garden. A bad SI1 is Sam throwing up in the middle of the living room, you manage to clean it up but it is definitely going to be noticed by your parents, however both are still graded SI1.
You are staring to see how important it is to actually have a professional look for a stone for you now, instead of blindly following those Wikipedia acronyms you don’t really understand.
Another great way of explaining the internally flawless men away from their deluded search for perfectionism is cost.
Everyone likes to feel like they have got a good deal, especially when buying jewellery. One of the biggest fears couples have when choosing a ring is if they’re getting ripped off, they have no idea of the actual market cost and so they tend to jump when that man in the dodgy shop at the end of the road offers them a diamond with the same specifications as the one you saw up the road but for £500 less. That’s it. They think they have won. They have beaten the system no other couple could navigate. They are VICTORIOUS!
Sadly this could not be further from the truth. This couple has actually just fallen victim to a system designed to hoodwink and confuse. They have bought an SI1, however this SI1 is the puke in the living room in in fact they have done far worse for themselves.
Equally the man who plonks himself down and declares that nothing less than a VVS will do, will get a nasty surprise when the image of his 1ct stone suddenly diminishes to a 0.60ct. You see diamonds are a constant weighing scales, if you go up on one ‘C’ you either have to go down on the other, or up on the silent 5th C: COST.
Here I try to calmly explain that a VS, or even an SI stone would mean a bigger carat weight, that no one (aside from me…god help my boyfriend) will actually look at this stone under a loupe, the inclusion will never be seen and the future bride will likely be much happier with a larger stone.
Some people listen to me and take my advice on board, we begin to compromise and I will show them stones they never thought they could afford.
Others look at me explain but I can see all they hear coming from me is a high pitched buzz, I genuinely may as well be singing the Post Man Pat theme tune. Sadly this is a result of bad trading in the diamond industry, because customers are not confident with their knowledge and maybe don’t trust that as a retailer we aren’t trying to pull the wool over their eyes, they stick firmly to what Google has told them. As a result they leave with the stone that they came for but definitely have passed up better opportunities.
At the end of the day I cannot really blame the customer, as the diamond trade has been built on dodgy foundations but I do wish sometimes I could have just showed them something different.
But does it really matter so long as the customer leaves happy? Probably not.