Remember this absolutely stunning real wedding? I've kept in touch with the beautiful Bride Lisa ever since (she is adorable!). Lisa's Husband Jon happens to be a Diamond Merchant who manufactures bespoke jewellery from his shop loated in Hatton Garden ~ the diamond capital of England. I was really inspired by the fact that Jon actually designed his and Lisa's wedding rings and had them handmade especially for the couple.
I got chatting with Jon recently and asked him if he had any 'diamond words of wisdom' for readers of Love My Dress wedding blog. Jon specialises in high end, top quality diamonds, precious stones and bespoke jewellery including Wedding Bands etc. Here's what he had to say…
"The most important piece of information I can give is, buy from a trusted source. Companies advertise ‘cheap goods’, but believe me, a Diamond would only be cheap for one reason; the Quality. Most people have heard of the four C’s (carat, clarity, colour & cut) but how many people would actually recognise the difference between them all? So you need to be confident in the advice you receive and the quality of the stone before purchasing.
I enjoy educating people into choosing the right Diamond for them, seeing clients reactions when they see the final piece and hearing positive feedback about my work. There is nothing more satisfying than a repeat customer or a new client from a recommendation."
What got you into the Diamond business?…"Its a Family Trade. My Father has been a Diamond Polisher for over 40 years since leaving school! He is 1 of only 7 Diamond Polishers remaining in the UK!"
Can you describe the Jon Keith Diamonds experience? What can a client expect?..."My clients can expect a real hands on experience, where they have the chance to actually pick up and compare diamonds of all different sizes, cuts and prices (my wife loves playing with them!) I offer them advice and guidance throughout the whole process and help tailor a design to there budget. Choosing your own diamond is such a special moment."
How can clients purchase your products?…"Due to the nature of my business and all the above information, I offer an appointment only service. Its important to have that personal contact with your client so you can hear exactly what they are after and offer the guidance they need."
Are you seeing any trends emerging for 2010/11 in engagement and wedding rings?…"People are spending less this year! Aside from that, the classics like ‘Brilliant Cut’ and ‘Princess Cut’ are still very popular for Engagement Rings. Wedding bands are so personal each set is different, but I am seeing the Brides to Be asking for more diamonds recently!"
You claim on your website that you can provide diamonds for 50% less than high street prices. How would you assure a client that this doesn't equal lesser quality?…"I don’t always guarantee 50% less than the High St, but as someone in the trade supplying those exact shops, I do guarantee on a ‘like for like’ stone i WILL be cheaper. How could i not be – i supply them! Why purchase from a shop when i offer a more personal experience at a better price?"
What was your own wedding ring like?…"Mine is a 6mm wide platinum court ring set with 2mm wide princess cut stones around the centre. I couldn’t be a Diamond Merchant and have a plain band!"
John and Lisa's actual wedding rings ~ Photography Copyright (c) 2010, Freeman Photographics
Do you have any words of wisdom for the Groom looking for that perfect engagement ring?…"I always recommend going for something classic, as they don’t date! And considering the Wedding Band your Fiance might choose, as this effects the Engagement ring! I recently made an Ascheer cut Engagement ring with round stones on the shank, but when the Bride to be choose her Wedding Band she wanted square baguettes. So we had to take all the round stones out of the eng ring and replace them with matching Square Baguettes!
If the Groom is really unsure what she would want, we offer a service where you buy the actual Diamond and present it to your Bride to Be in a gorgeous velvet box with a viewing window, then you both come as a couple to my office and we discuss the settings etc together. Making sure she gets exactly what she wants!! This has proven quite popular with Brides as they can get involved from such an early stage.(Annabel, i have attached photos of this for the blog!)"
What about any words of advice for the Bride and Groom looking for their perfect wedding rings?..."Again, keep is simple and classic. You will be wearing this piece of jewellery for the rest of your lives! Lots of couples leave the Wedding Bands to the last minute but we think its such an important part of the day! We also recommend choosing something that compliments the Engagement ring so they look right together. Most importantly, don’t follow trends and go with your own individual style."
‘Can you provide a price guide’?..."This is difficult, as everything is handmade so no two pieces are the same. Also, as this business is currency based it fluctuates on a daily basis!"
Jon Keith Diamonds prides itself on its personal service and the little things, like home/office visits that help make the whole procedure of buying a Diamond easier for our clients and a more enjoyable experience! Remember, it should be a fun and exciting time for both of you NOT stressful!
If I were you and I had an enquiry about a diamond, I'd give Jon a call! You could always tie in a visit to Jon with a romantic weekend away in London too
Oh, and by the way, you can see John and wife Lisa's AMAZING Trash the Dress Feature here!