9 tips for choosing the perfect diamond engagement ring from James Sanders of London Diamonds
London Diamonds is an innovative Instagram only diamond jewellery boutique and it’s making massive inroads into the engagement ring market. Here London Diamonds founder and managing director James Sander gives his golden rules for choosing the ideal engagement ring.
When entrepreneur James Sanders ran into a fairly hefty problem buying his wife’s engagement ring, he decided to start a company that does it better.
London Diamonds offers an innovative way to buy engagement rings
James Sanders says:
“I had thought that diamonds were valued due to their quality and therefore it’s possible to work out which is better than another. However, I realised this is far from the case and that consumers are actually paying through the nose for the trappings of a high end boutique. I wanted to find an innovative alternative.”
And London Diamonds was born.
Fewer frills means better value for customers
“We don’t have a physical store to finance, nor do we go in for all of the sales schmoozing that adds extra to the consumer’s purchase,” explains James. “Instead, London Diamonds is on Instagram only and we offer a direct channel of communication with experts, designers.”
The result? The best diamond engagement ring to fit each person’s budget. And while trends are, of course, a part of London Diamonds’ expertise, the emphasis is on bespoke, crafted, special diamond jewellery.
London Diamonds has quickly established itself as a new model of diamond and jewellery sales. Today, it accounts for 1% of the lucrative and thriving engagement ring market in the UK. Naturally, James Sanders is closely eyeing the remaining 99% too.
Expert, bespoke service is key
Because London Diamonds is based on Instagram, there are none of the costs associated with traditional jewellery sales- the showroom, the schmoozing, the champagne… All of which means London Diamonds customers aren’t paying for all of the extra trappings.
Rather, all of their money is going on the jewellery itself. This means the best quality diamonds for their money, and no fears of being ripped off or short changed. As buying an engagement ring is supposed to be an exciting and enjoyable experience, LD have done everything to make it easy.
“We offer a personal, bespoke and expert service,” says James Sanders. “And simply put, we do it in a way that many of the traditional high end boutiques do not. It’s a much more dynamic and innovative approach to such an important buying decision and I hope we’ve found the perfect blend of expertise and service.”
Instagram offers a direct platform for customers
London Diamonds operates through Instagram and is based in London, but according to James, the designers deal directly with customers across 24 countries all around the world.
“The most important thing we do is link people with their perfect engagement ring,” says James. “For most people, this is a once in a lifetime purchase, and we want to give them the best possible diamonds for their budget. But we also want them to have access to high-end designers with truly beautiful pieces on offer.”
This ‘no-pressure’ sales technique is working well for the team at London Diamonds, who are seeing sales growing constantly. By stripping back the snobbery associated with luxury diamonds, LD and James Sanders are opening up the market to many more people.
“People shouldn’t be disappointed because they have a lower budget,” says James. “We’re proof that it is absolutely possible to buy high quality diamonds at most budget levels, and we can help you do just that.”
London Diamonds’ founder James Sanders with his tips for choosing an engagement ring
Buying diamonds isn’t just for experts, those with enormous budgets or investors. James Sanders gives his advice below on what you should be looking out for when choosing a diamond engagement ring, and how not to get ripped off. Always check when the diamond was certified
“It’s honestly essential to check the certification date of the diamond you’re considering buying. This will tell you whether or not the diamond is truly ‘new’ and as such should be at a premium price, or whether it’s second hand and you’re being over-charged. So make sure you check this’’.
Refuse to feel pressured
“Contrary to some sales pitches, diamonds aren’t rare. You will always find another just as beautiful so never feel pressured there and then to buy if you’re not totally sure. This is one of things London Diamonds does so well — we offer the expertise, advice and design know-how and then leave buyers to make their own minds up. We can offer as much or as little assistance as they need.”
Generally speaking, your engagement ring isn’t an investment
“Don’t worry about your chosen engagement ring’s potential investment return. Unless you’re buying a very large, coloured or otherwise special diamond, it isn’t really an investment purchase. It’s a purchase for a specific reason and should make you happy. Diamonds are a difficult asset class to invest in, and the best way to find your ideal ring is to look at it for what it is only.”
Ask for a detailed video
“While certification is vital, don’t buy based solely on a certificate. Ask to see a detailed video so that you can be sure on the quality of the diamond you’ve chosen.”
Don’t feel pushed to spend more than you have
“It’s all too easy to get a bit carried away and end up spending more than you intended on an engagement ring. But it’s much more important to get something that is within your budget to maximise the enjoyment of the ring. For many, a lab grown diamond is a great alternative as they’re more attainable for most people. It won’t make the ring any less beautiful.”
Stick with the classic
“If you’re not sure about a specific design then I would always stay with the classic, clean and simple cut. This is more likely to be appreciated by the recipient and can always be altered in the future if you want to.”
Be wary of a cut grading
“Cut gradings only ever come with round diamonds. If the diamond is any other shape and comes with a cut grading then this has definitely been made up by the retailer for sales purposes. Don’t fall for it.”
“Only round diamonds have a cut grading,” explains James. “If any other shape has a cut grading then it’s been made up by the retailer.”
Size does matter
“While you would be forgiven for assuming that a diamond at a higher carat weight is larger, this isn’t necessarily the case. It’s the dimension rather than weight that determines this.”
Choose a diamond that looks ‘eye clean’
“‘Eye-clean’ is an industry description used for stones that appear clear to the naked eye. That’s what you should look out for when choosing a ring, as it actually matters more than certification in many ways.”
An engagement ring is a personal choice
The personal nature of this kind of purchase is at the heart of everything London Diamonds offers. Adds James: “Choosing a diamond engagement ring is very personal and we’re here to make it easier. Easier to have access to high quality diamonds, excellent designers and the support where you need it.
“Trends come and go, and of course we follow them to an extent, but our ethos is driven by the personal, bespoke rings that fit your criteria. Whatever your budget, taste in diamonds, knowledge of gem stones, London Diamonds can help. Head to the London Diamonds Insta to find out more and to see some of our designs.”