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Diamonds by Design At Diamonds by Design we custom design and create fine jewellery just for you from diamonds, opals, gems and pearls ethically sourced from conflict-free zones. For 28 years our bespoke jewellery, diamond engagement rings has delighted Sydney's discerning buyers.
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Engagement Rings Sydney

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To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.
Marriage Vows

Custom Engagement Rings Sydney

And as the evidence of permanent love, and proof that you are looking forward to a permanent future together, what about the engagement ring? It must be an token that will bring both of you joy and pride and, of course, fit in with your lifestyle — a ring that will wow both your families, and which you will never tire of. An engagement ring is traditionally worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, as the ancient Romans believed that a ‘vein of love’ connected that finger to the heart.

Unless the engagement ring is a beloved family heirloom or you are determined to put it on her finger when you propose and are 99 per cent certain of what she would like, then perhaps the choice and decisions should be shared, even if the budget is not. If you are going to make it a surprise, find out her finger size and ask sister, mother or best friend to measure the internal diameter of a ring she wears, noting which finger that is. For some reason, probably nerves, fingers seem to swell or contract between the engagement and the wedding, so make sure the sizes of the rings are right when worn together.

THINK STRAIGHT

If you go shopping together, decide on the guidelines first to make certain that you don’t start arguing in front of the jeweller as you discuss what is and isn’t possible or over how much you want to spend. Last year in the United States the average price of an engagement ring, according to an article in Forbes magazine, was US$5,000, or about A$6,400. James Packer is said to have spent over A$10 million on Mariah Carey’s 35-carat diamond ring.

Buyer’s Guide: Steps to Buying Engagements Rings in Sydney

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What colour? What style? Conventional or unconventional? An eternity ring or a solitaire? Claws, or bezel-set? Is the ring to be worn all the time or only on special occasions? Would you like to design your own ring? New or antique? Should the wedding ring match the engagement ring? Whom do you both trust enough to buy it from? There are so many important decisions to be made — and so many people who will want to give you the benefit of their advice. Listen to them all, smile sweetly, and then go out and do precisely what you want. This is for you — and the choice and purchase should be a thoroughly joyful and memorable almost stress-free experience.

HISTORY

A Philadelphian copywriter called Frances Gerety who worked for N.W. Ayer came up with the tagline ‘A Diamond Is Forever’ for de Beers just after World War II, in 1947, and the slogan changed the whole diamond industry. Anita Loos had published Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1925, and in 1949 it was made into a Broadway musical for which Carol Channing wrote Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend. Ever since then, engagement rings and diamonds have been associated in everyone’s mind, but before that diamonds had not been widely marketed and were perceived to be an extravagance, although they have been used in engagement rings since the 15th century. Now linked emotionally with eternal, timeless, enduring romance, a tradition had been established, and by 1951 eight out of 10 brides in the United States of America received a diamond engagement ring.

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And what a glorious, sparkling choice of diamonds there is — plus the ‘four Cs’ to refer to for security, as well as the fifth C — a diamond certificate, preferably from the GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, and in Australia GSL and HRD are also widely accepted, but if you use the services of a qualified gemmologist you can save considerably on the cost of a diamond. The quality and value of a diamond are judged by carat, clarity, colour and cut. Carat is weight and there are 100 points to a carat. Clarity measures how a diamond reacts to light and looks at flaws and inclusions. The colour scale goes from colourless to light yellow — beginning with D through to Z, with D to H considered fine white — and then there are all the fancy colours: pink and blue and especially yellow being more sought after than ever. Pink diamonds originated in the Argyle Mine in Kimberley, Western Australia; blue diamonds are mainly from the Cullinan Mine near Pretoria in South Africa, and the first yellow, also known as canary yellow, diamonds came from the Ellendale Mine in Western Australia, but are now mined in South Africa, Russia, India, and Canada. A diamond’s cut provides its sparkle as light travels through the stone. The most popular and wearable cuts are round brilliant cut, marquise, pear-shaped, emerald, oval, heart-shaped, princess, radiant, Asscher and cushion. Diamonds represent truth, perfection and purity and the Diamond Anniversary celebrates 60 years of marriage, the Diamond Jubilee 75 years.

Sydney Engagement Rings: Diamond vs Other Precious Stones

COLOUR STONES

But your engagement ring doesn’t have to be a diamond. The three other precious stones are sapphires, rubies and emeralds:

Blue sapphires, September’s birthstone, have always been regarded as a symbol of the heavens, able to guard innocence, preserve chastity and protect the wearer from snakes. A sapphire is supposed to bring joy and fulfilment, prosperity, inner peace and beauty. The finest sapphires come from Kashmir and the most desirable shade of sapphire blue is cornflower, but there are sapphires in every colour but red, which are rubies — they are both corundum — yellows and pinks and even greens.

Red rubies, July’s birthstone, have always been highly prized. The finest are from Burma and pigeon’s blood in colour. In China, a Mandarin’s rank was indicated by the colour of the ruby in his ring, and in India those who gave rubies to honour Krishna were promised reincarnation as emperors. It is a favourite stone of those in power and in love, and is supposed to improve health, motivation and passion.

Emeralds, May’s birthstone, are beryls. They tend to have inclusions and fissures and can be brittle. Nor are they as hard as diamonds, sapphires and rubies, and may chip if they are worn every day for household chores. They were a favourite stone of Aristotle, Cleopatra and Shah Jehan, and are said to protect lovers from unfaithfulness and improve eloquence, eyesight and fertility.

Pearls, the world’s oldest gem, thought by the ancient Greeks to be the tears of the gods, are also too delicate for engagement rings, but there is a Hindu belief that wearing pearls prevents women from crying on their wedding day. Opals, Australia’s beautiful and unique national stone, are soft too and need care — so no washing up, housework, gardening or riding with any of those gems.

Semi-precious stones make fabulous engagement rings too and you can find gems of any colour you might wish for, from amethyst or aquamarine to tanzanite or tourmaline. There are citrines and garnets, peridots and topaz — as well as many wonderful gemstones whose enchanting names you may never have come across until now, such as alexandrite, iolite, labradorite, morganite, moissanite, prasiolite and tsavorite.

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Have a look at your friends’ rings as well as rings in jewellery shops, magazines and catalogues and on the Internet to get your eye in before making a final decision — and try to visit the spectacular Cartier exhibition while it is at the National Gallery in Canberra to look at the finest French craftsmanship of the past. The traditionally famous engagement ring brands are Tiffany, Cartier and Harry Winston — and, of course, de Beers.

The most talked about engagement ring of the moment is certainly Meghan Markle’s. It was designed by Prince Harry, made by Court jeweller Cleave & Company, and features three diamonds set in yellow gold. The centre stone is a cushion-cut diamond from Botswana, mounted between two diamonds that belonged to the Prince’s mother, Princess Diana. Princess Diana’s sapphire and diamond engagement ring was given to Kate Middleton when Prince William proposed to her. Kanye West gave Kim Kardashian a 15-carat, D, flawless cushion-cut diamond when they got engaged and George Clooney gave Amal Alamuddin an ethically mined emerald-cut 7-carat diamond with two tapered baguettes. Marilyn Monroe’s engagement ring from Joe di Maggio was a platinum eternity band with 35 baguette-cut diamonds. José Baston gave Eva Longoria a ruby surrounded by diamonds. Jackie Kennedy’s engagement ring was an emerald and so is Halle Berry’s. Jane Fonda’s from Ted Turner was a white opal from Coober Pedy in South Australia.

Whether you asked her father’s permission, and then went down on bended knees to propose, or whether you have been living together for years and have only suddenly decided to get married, an engagement ring is the tangible proof of commitment — and the icing on the cake. For me it was a Ceylonese cornflower blue round cabochon sapphire flanked by two trilliant-cut diamonds and set in white gold with the date and our initials engraved inside the band — and it was only that and the announcement in the daily newspaper that made me believe I was really going to take such a momentous step.

How to Protect Your Engagement Ring

Some advice though: however much you would like to take off your ring to show a friend, don’t do it. Keep it on your own finger. And never take your rings off when you wash your hands in a public restroom — too many have been left on the side of the basin and disappear forever. Thirdly, when you do take your engagement ring off, never ever wrap it in a tissue.

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Consider insurance to protect your investment. The Jewellers Association of Australia has its own insurance product backed by Chubb Insurance,

If you do wear your engagement ring all the time, then you should clean it every couple of weeks to get rid of any build-up of lotions, hairspray and perfume, and when you do that check the stones and setting. Just soak the ring in a non-abrasive, chemical-free solution of soap and warm water or professional jewellery cleaner, rinse under running water and dry it gently with a lint-free cloth. If necessary use a soft toothbrush to remove the residue. Do not boil it, as some people may suggest. From time to time you may want to have the ring professionally cleaned.

For a unique piece of jewellery from a trustworthy, award-winning professional with many years of experience in the industry, speak to Diamonds by Design today. Diamonds by Design, a Member of the Australian Jewellers Association, has been in business for almost 50 years and is now making bespoke engagement rings for the third generation. Their designers are as happy to create a new ring as to update an old one.

“I wonder by my troth, what thou, and I
Did till we lov’d?”
John Donne

Buyer’s Guide – Engagement Rings by Diamonds by Design