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Engagement Rings














What's hot in jewellery this engagement season

In celebration of ‘engagement season’, EMILY MOBBS seeks advice on the latest market trends and opportunities in the engagement ring sector.

According to marketing gurus, ‘engagement season’ is here!

Engagement season, a term coined in the US (naturally), refers to the period spanning Thanksgiving in November through to Valentine’s Day in February where there’s a spike in the number of marriage proposals.

True, Australians do not celebrate Thanksgiving and cynics might deem engagement season a cheap marketing ploy but what’s the harm in embracing a phenomenon that helps to boost engagement ring sales?

Reports suggest that the festive and New Year period is still a peak time worldwide for people to get down on one knee – it is a sentimental occasion with a focus on family after all. From a practical perspective, it also allows for sufficient time to plan a wedding in either autumn or spring, which are traditionally popular wedding seasons.

In celebration of this exceptionally romantic period, Jeweller is shining a light on the engagement ring sector. The following pages combine the opinions of those working in the sphere with the aim of providing insight on the trends and influences currently dominating the market.

 Introducing the engagement ring panel

Chris Worth
Head of marketing and sales
Worth & Douglas

Darshan Mehta
Director
DSM Pacific

Justin Linney
Creative director
Linneys

Robin Sobel
Managing director
Protea Diamonds


Bling Ring

What is your best-selling engagement ring and why?

Worth & Douglas
Worth & Douglas

Chris Worth: We still do very well with the halos and the classic solitaire. White gold and platinum remain the most commonly asked for metals in these styles. We find if it’s not a classic design that consumers are after, then it’s more their own bespoke design.

Darshan Mehta: Our Galaxy Collection consisting of single halo and double halo diamond engagement rings is our most successful and best-selling range. The offering consists of nine shapes – round, cushion, princess, emerald, pear, oval, trilliant, marquise and heart – available with a 50 point, 70 point or 1-carat GIA-certified centre diamond, along with a valuation certificate.

Right now, round, pearl and oval shapes are the most in demand. Halo engagement rings have always been popular and they will continue to be so because it gives room to create a tailor-made solution as per the buyer’s budget and choice.

Justin Linney: Our best-selling engagement ring is our signature solitaire round brilliant cut design. This classic style enhances the beauty of the round diamond for a simple yet elegant and timeless look. It is a design that we have refined over the years to ensure the proportions are perfect. White gold is by far the most popular metal.

Linneys
Linneys

Robin Sobel: We have three best-selling rings. The first is the illusion baguette ring with a halo design and diamonds running down the band. The second and third feature a double halo ring design with a split band of diamonds – one has a princess cut diamond and the other has a round brilliant cut diamond. The most popular metal is 18-carat white gold.

The reason they are best sellers? Well, the emerald ring is illusion set so it looks like a 1.50-carat stone but in fact has a total weight of 0.50 carats. The other two rings are also made to look larger because they have a double halo of diamonds surrounding the centre stone.

Mounting pressures

What are the main issues currently impacting the engagement ring sector?

Chris Worth: I believe the top three issues that are impacting the industry right now are online loose diamond sales, synthetic diamonds and shoppers wanting more bespoke designs.

Robin Sobel: The internet – consumers are doing their homework but there is so much information out in the market that they are getting very confused. Consumers also believe everything they see on the internet, and that there are plenty of bargains out there. I try to explain that if it’s too cheap there must be something wrong with the stone.

We also try to explain that not every certificate is the same, and that stones vary by up to two colours and two purities, depending on what certificate they get – even GIA certificates are not as accurate as they were five years ago.

Darshan Mehta: Blind online buying of diamonds is the biggest issue that is impacting the engagement ring sector – big time. There are increasingly more cases of mismatch in quality of what is ordered and what is received when diamonds are bought online. Buyers must see what they are buying, and this awareness should be propagated.

Justin Linney: Firstly, people are purchasing engagement rings online without being properly educated. At Linneys we encourage our clients to come into the showroom to view our range of engagement rings and loose diamonds. Our online showroom provides a convenient platform for customers to purchase lower priced items, but for significant pieces, and engagement rings in particular, we encourage our customers to view the collection instore for the full buying experience so we can provide a higher level of service.

Protea Diamonds
Protea Diamonds

Secondly, customers are being misinformed through information made available to them online. A lot of people browse the internet for information on diamonds and engagement rings and often this information is not coming from a reliable source. It’s good that customers are researching before buying but sometimes this means they have already made their mind up about the most suitable cut, colour, clarity and carat weight for them before they have even looked at a diamond in real life.

Managing customer expectations regarding the size of the diamond is another issue. As previously mentioned, unfortunately customers often have unrealistic expectations on what they want as an engagement ring. I think this is largely because they are being flooded with images and videos online, particularly on social media, of extremely high value engagement rings.

This is impacting the engagement ring sector as people are comparing themselves to what they constantly see online and the budget for the ring often doesn’t permit the use of a large diamond similar to what’s seen and expected. Regardless of the design, there is just no way you can make a 1.00-carat diamond ring look like a 5.00-carat diamond ring!

The cost of love

Do your sales suggest that the end-consumer is spending more/less/the same on engagement rings this year?

DSM Pacific
DSM Pacific

Robin Sobel: Clients are definitely spending more on engagement rings; however, they are much better informed on quality and pricing so margins are being squeezed. This is why we do a lot of illusion set jewellery; we also hand select diamonds all with GIA certificates.

Chris Worth: Spending more.
 

Darshan Mehta: Yes, I suggest consumer spending on engagement rings has increased compared to the previous year.

Justin Linney: We have noticed people spending more on engagement rings this year. Most people are spending 20 per cent more on rings while others are close to 30 per cent. We believe that there are many things that have influenced this change, one influence being social media. The engagement market is highly influenced by social media and consumers are constantly exposed to larger diamond rings.

Fortune tellers
DSM Pacific
DSM Pacific

What engagement ring designs do you predict will be popular over the next year?

Chris Worth: Halos, solitaires, rose gold, morganite and aquamarine.
 

Robin Sobel: We custom make a lot of jewellery so we are finding fancy shapes are very popular and rings with halos and diamonds down the band. Rose gold is also getting very popular with the eternity bands.

Darshan Mehta: Oval and pear shaped halo rings.
 

Justin Linney: I think the trend towards fancy shapes will continue but round brilliant cuts will always dominate engagement ring designs. Ovals and pears will remain strong as people start to consider styles that don’t feature a halo of diamonds around the central stone and we might see a push towards three stone rings and more classic designs.

Point of difference
Worth & Douglas
Worth & Douglas

What is unique about your engagement ring offering?

Chris Worth: Our rings are made in New Zealand, we offer solid quality shanks, CAD and alterations, matching wedding bands and quick delivery, to name a few.

Robin Sobel: The services we provide. We resize rings on order and offer a five-year guarantee provided a jeweller does not tamper with the product. We also replace any lost small stones provided it is the manufacturer’s fault.

Darshan Mehta: The Galaxy Collection is inspired by the dazzling stars of the galaxy and offers a wide variety of diamond shapes, which allows retailers to personalise the range as per their potential customer’s choice.

Protea Diamonds
Protea Diamonds

Our range is a fully-finished product, meaning retailers save a lot of time. The consistent pricing and supply is the game winner. It’s a ‘ready-to-go’ solution for retailers. They can choose to carry all shapes or a smaller selection.

Justin Linney: At Linneys, we have our designers, workshop, showroom and administration all on site at our Subiaco headquarters in Perth, Western Australia.

When it comes to engagement rings, this is ideal because it allows us to sit down with customers and discuss their ideas to create a unique and personalised piece of jewellery with a fast turn-around time for urgent jobs. We can also monitor the quality to a high degree as all of our team is on site.

 

ENGAGEMENT RING GALLERY

Worth & Douglas
Worth & Douglas
Linneys
Linneys
Protea Diamonds
Protea Diamonds
DSM Pacific
DSM Pacific
DSM Pacific
DSM Pacific
Worth & Douglas
Worth & Douglas





Protea Diamonds
Protea Diamonds



















Wednesday, 23 May, 2018 01:38am
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