Tell us a little about your business, Diamonds On Richmond… We founded Diamonds On Richmond in 2008. Many years prior to this, I was gifted a diamond from my grandmother. Fascinated by this diamond being over 100 years old, I embarked on months of research and quickly realised that there are so many facets to diamonds and no two diamonds are the same. Realising there was a gap in the market for the type of service we wanted to provide, my brother Michael and I started business planning. Once all of our t’s were crossed and i’s dotted, Diamonds on Richmond was born.
What sets you apart from other jewellry brands? We take the time to educate people on diamonds, different grades and options to choose from. It’s a very personal, life-long decision, so it’s important to know your diamond. Another thing unique to our business is our proposal ring. This is a beautiful replica engagement ring that is used for the proposal, and then the couple come back to choose their real ring. It doesn’t suit all of our customers, but if you have a partner who you know will want to be involved in the design, the proposal ring is perfect.
What trends are you noticing in engagement, wedding and occasion jewellry? We find a lot of people have a design in mind that they have admired, sometimes for years. White gold or platinum has been the preferred metal; but rose gold has been very popular recently, and we are noticing a move back towards yellow gold. It’s very traditional and has a luxe appeal.
Where do you get inspiration? From the person we are designing the piece for. There is always a story behind why a piece of jewellery is being made. We always make sure our collection and designers are up to date with modern trends, and informed by timeless, classic designs that never date.
Tell us about your design process… We draw inspiration from other designs we have in the store to gain a clear understanding of what is appealing to our client, and then design the piece in CAD (Computer-Aided Drawing). We sometimes have the piece produced in silver for the customer to try on to make sure they are completely happy with the design. Once the customer is happy, we have the ring custom made.
What have been some career highlights to date? Moving to our first commercial space in 2013 and opening our boutique store on Richmond Road in May 2015. It had always been a dream of ours to be more accessible to customers and we are really proud of what we have achieved.
You must hear about a lot of proposals. Do any stick out in particular? We had a client who was from Germany, living in Singapore, who wanted to buy his engagement ring from New Zealand. Alex asked us to custom-make his engagement ring and we stored it in our safe until he was back in New Zealand – this time with the love of his life on a very special holiday! Michael and I delivered it to the lobby of the hotel where they were staying.Alex took one look at the ring and was overjoyed. It was very emotional and we loved being a part of something so special. The icing on the cake was receiving an email from Alex thanking us, along with a photo of him proposing to Sandra in our beautiful country.
Any advice for brides and grooms about to purchase engagement or wedding rings? Do your research, shop around and make sure you feel comfortable with the process. You will remember this purchase for the rest of your life, so you want the whole experience to be memorable and enjoyable.