And that question comes from a Marketing girl no less! But yes, I do feel the need to question an element of the fine jewellery world that I think unfairly skews peoples’ thinking and budgets sometimes….

Especially when it comes to a lady’s most important piece of fine jewellery – her diamond engagement ring – I do have to wonder why those who can ( and sometimes can’t) afford the big brand names feel such a strong attraction. The context of the question is this – if the two of you know for a fact that you could pay between 25% and 40% less and still get the exact same metal, diamond and style, would you really pay so much more just for the big house brand?

So, one of my areas is branding in fact…what is a brand? It is, amongst other things, a promise to a customer base…a consistent offering of certain values. Yes, all well and good, but what happens when the huge, glamorous and expensive brands rest on their proverbial laurels? That is one thing that the small and independent workshops of a place like Hatton Garden could never afford to do. This is perhaps the crux of my point.

The blog title could also be Bond Street versus Hatton Garden… Most people who buy engagement rings nowadays do a lot of research beforehand, and so you should. You go into all the expensive stores often, try on the beautiful rings and then smile politely while holding your breath when you are told the price. Then

what? Contemplate life for the next year living on a shoestring so that your ring comes in a little turquoise blue packaged box or deep red and gold one? Try this, take the details down of what you like and then look people up in Hatton Garden. You may not get that same ‘regal’ feeling walking into a small quiet suite in Hatton Garden as you do when you walk into one of those amazing emporia on Bond Street or Mount Street but boy, will you get well looked after….

I have often commented on the really great feeling of knowing who exactly made or set your engagement ring. Their willingness to help you get just what you want is unsurpassed. They will explain why a platinum engagement ring is better than white gold or if you really liked Grandma’s style, then they will pull out all the stops to show you the antique style rings and then customise for you.

Put it this way…I can afford the blue and red and yellow etc. but I happen to know that a diamond is a diamond i.e. if it is an E colour one place, then, unless you really fall upon unscrupulous people, it is an E colour in the small independent place too…and so on with the rest of the C’s! A certificate from one of the world recognised labs is enough. End of story….

But hey, who am I to direct anyone’s romantic purchases….you be the judge of where you think you will get ‘best value’…and then hopefully enjoy the ring for the rest of your lives.