Archive for category Diamonds
Face it my friends, we’re in a recession. No need to panic; the US government is working on it. Ok, so maybe there is a reason to panic…
However, even in challenging times, there are ways to have a breathtaking engagement. Besides, you don’t really have any other options – there is no recession in love.
There are still ways to go about getting engaged in a classy fashion, even when your budget is shrinking like a wool sweater in the dryer.
1) Consider a fancy shaped stone instead of a round one.
2) Now that the price of platinum frequently dips below the price of gold, having a ring set in platinum makes even more sense.
3) Get rid of pavé. A plain look is practical, understated, and classic. You can later have another ring loaded with pave.
4) Consider a colored gemstone as the center stone instead of a diamond.
5) Purchase a smaller center stone and set it with a halo. Today’s halos don’t look like the ones in the disco era in which the halo blended with the center stone. Modern halos elegantly frame the view. A one carat stone with a micro pavé border will elicit the same reaction from her as a much larger stone.
6) Get an elaborate wedding band with more diamonds and a unique design which will be beautiful enough to be drool-worthy for all admirers.
7) Look into diamond simulants such as ASHA, cubic zirconium, or moissanite.
8) Explore our La Petite Collection. These are tiny “engagement rings” meant to be worn as a pendant or charm. They are created exactly as our regular engagement rings (featuring real diamonds, platinum and micro pave settings) except they are the fraction of the cost of an engagement ring.
*****UPDATE***** The Diamond District took our advice! A little over a month after we wrote this post, we saw an MSNBC article about plans to renovate the Diamond District. Links to the article and the official report by NYC authorities is at the end of the post.
Diamond District Today
New York City’s Diamond District is currently a hub for a $24 billion per year industry. It’s embarrassing to walk every morning and see this famous street that looks akin to a landlord dressed like a super.
A huge chunk of the country’s wealth is gathered here. Yet, no one would know this. Walking down 47th Street, one is encountered with massive trucks, hawkers, scattered flyers, and cracked pavements. The sidewalks are so slanted that one would have to wear hiking boots to stay upright. National upscale brand retailers do not dare to show their faces here.
Even though most stores and exchanges on 47th Street proclaim to be selling to the trade only they are in fact retailers. However shopping here has the allure of visiting a Motor Vehicle Bureau in Kazakhstan.
We have to change this.
The Glory Days
The “glory days” of 47th Street were in the 80’s. In those days celebrities, politicians, famous athletes, and socialites visited the Diamond District on a regular basis. On any given day one could see a dozen or so stretched limousines waiting for their owners. Along with Times Square and Wall Street, the Diamond District was considered to be among the most prestigious streets in New York City.
Unfortunately forces of economy and the flight of the manufacturing sector to Asia put a choke hold on many businesses on 47th Street. Many businesses were shut down. This has lead to less funds being available for street maintenance. The Diamond District fell into a permanent state of chaos and disrepair.
A simple plan was conceived by Leon Mege while observing a police officer guarding a dying mouse in the middle of the street. The plan will double the sales and rake in tax revenue that could be useful to maintain our congressmen’s fitness, so pictures they tweet will look good.
The best solution would be to close the street to motor traffic. This will be impossible to achieve given regulatory restrictions and politics involved.
Instead, I propose to convert the street from a three lane to two lane traffic. It could be achieved by alternating days the delivery trucks could park on either side.
This will allow us to extend the sidewalks and renovate the pavement. An increase in foot traffic and comfortable browsing will make more people stop, look at the store windows, enter and buy jewelry.
A new diamond tower is being built on 47th Street, which will revitalize the Diamond District. Therefore, we already have some of the groundwork laid out for us. With this additional improvement, New York City could transform this section of Midtown into a retail powerhouse. Nationally recognized jewelry retailers will find it necessary to open outlets on the street. This in turn will make traditional 47th street vendors eager to stay. This street will become one of the greatest tourist attractions not only in New York City, but in the United States. Tourism equals money.
- Room for information kiosks.
- Plants to make the street lively – diamonds will look better reflecting green foliage rather than yellowish-grey collars of unemployed setters.
- A few benches for those exhausted from deciding between SI1 and SI2 diamonds.
- A few kiosks for water so people will stay on the street and continue shopping.
- Public restrooms.
- Improved security – check points for cars will make any potential getaway impossible.
- Drivers will try to avoid the street, pedestrians will feel safer to cross the street, so both sides are accessible in one stroll
- The area of a several blocks radius from 47th Street will be revitalized, not just one street
- Jumbo screens could be installed at both ends of the street to visually separate the Diamond District from the hectic dynamics of Midtown and bring revenues from advertisement to the district management.
- Only trucks for pick-up and deliveries will be allowed from 9 am to 6 pm. This will ease traffic.
- Sidewalks can be inlaid with a New York City version of the “Hollywood walk of fame” – diamond symbols adorned with names of famous jewelers.
- With increased revenue, buildings will be forced to renovate the dilapidated store fronts into attractive glass and granite edifices.
People will travel to New York just to see the New Diamond District. Retail sales will soar. Increased tax revenues will create a surplus, the likes of which the city has never seen before. So much money will be generated that the city will run out of options to spend them all. Special crews will be dispatched to dig potholes just so another crew will have something to fill. Fruit vendors will wear cashmere uniforms and hot dog sellers will have their carts gold plated. Cops will be patrolling the streets in the cruisers with headlights set with round brilliant diamonds.
A new conference center will have to be constructed in one of the newer skyscrapers just so jewelry competitions and other jewelry-related programming could be broadcast. Of course new 24-hour TV and YouTube news channel, Diamond News, will need to inform everyone of the breaking diamond news (no pun intended). The city will have to extend the monorail from JFK directly to the futuristic Diamond Center transportation hub to be built right underneath the street. This multimode terminal will no doubt be able to receive cabs, trains, helicopters and even small cruise boats. Eventual direct arrivals of bullet trains from Europe and Japan cannot be ruled out. In the distant future spaceships filled with cut and sorted diamonds will travel to galaxies far-far away spreading the word about 4c’s and bestowing benefits of annual checkups and free cleaning on savage aliens.
The only thing we need to make it all come true is to get rid of one lane on one street. Get me the mayor who would implement this change! I’ll even endure seeing his or her underwear in my Twitter feed.
Go to these links (Thankfully they listened!)
Leon Megé is soon joining Hollywood. Having now mastered ultimate heights of jewelry craftsmanship and design, Leon Megé decided to take his career to a new level and enter show business. Check out our latest feature movie release:
What? You never thought of proposing with a lone diamond or other gemstone? You didn’t think of letting her choose the setting? Well, here’s why you should:
1) The element of surprise is a myth. Women are very intuitive, so chances are she already suspects you’ll be proposing soon.
2) You will never know with absolute certainty that she’ll like the same style/setting that you do.
3) To not do so would rob her of the thrilling experience of choosing her own setting, of the process of employing her imagination, of the satisfaction that she received the exact ring she’s dreamed about since she was six years old.
4) It is next to impossible to measure her finger size with complete accuracy without her knowledge.
5) Women usually know more about jewelry than men.
6) If she’s disappointed with the size of the stone, you can always say “It’ll look bigger once it’s set” (it always does).
7) You shift the responsibility of a mistaken design onto her and your future mother-in-law. Thereby, you will spare yourself many sleepless nights.
8) She will appreciate the creativity and innovation on your part (don’t worry we won’t take credit for the idea). Besides, it will be a great engagement story which she’ll be sure to rave to everyone she knows about!
9) You don’t have to wait 1-2 months to propose until your custom made ring is ready (or until you sift through countless designs of stocked rings, with the hope –not certainty- that she’ll like it.)
10) She can easily appraise the stone instantly (as we’re sure your future in-laws will insist on).
There are so many advantages to proposing with a loose stone! We’d like to share a few true stories about how customers solved their engagement ring headaches with this method of proposal:
Case 1: Customer X [name deleted for protection] purchased an antique cushion cut diamond from our Diamond Concierge®. Sealed in an exquisite box, the stone was suspended between two invisible layers of film. He proposed. She said, “Yes!” (which we guarantee she will when you get your ring designed by Leon Megé. *See fine print).
When they came in to see us the next week to choose the setting, he was in complete shock that his fiancé chose to go with a halo ring over the non-halo. It turns out that when they were looking at rings in the week prior, she passed on all the halos she saw because they looked like cocktail rings, rather than elegant engagement ring designs.
Case 2: Customer Y [name deleted for protection] spent months in despair searching for a ring for his one and only. He’s been to so many jewelry companies that he didn’t see the forest behind the tree. He didn’t realize that any stone looks only as good as the piece of jewelry which holds it. Eventually, he found our company. Alas, he didn’t have any more time to wait for the custom setting to be completed. Reluctantly, he proposed with a loose stone. He was worried that his Chinese ancestry wouldn’t approve of such boldness. After a conversation with our diamond specialist, Mr. Perry Chen (who is also a specialist in Chinese customs and traditions), he was assured that such an action would be acceptable.
When Customer Y, his fiancé, and her mom came in to choose a setting, his fiancé was beaming with happiness. She was ecstatic that she had the opportunity to choose her own ring. As per her mother’s suggestion, she chose a classic three-stone design. Her mother also assured us that it was a perfectly acceptable custom to get engaged with a loose stone.
*Fine print: She must stand on one leg with her left hand to her nose, right leg on her head in order for the guarantee to be valid. Otherwise, we are not responsible.
We extend our congratulations to the British people on the nuptials of the royal couple. We’re very happy for our British friends and express our love for British culture, shoes, and music. We do not express gratitude for British food at this time, however.
Royalty is the new version of a celebrity in modern times. The difference in notoriety of icons such as Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, or Charlie Sheen and Prince Charles is that after Charlie Sheen goes to Bourbon heaven, his children will be wealthy but won’t be celebrities unless they go on a cocaine binge (allegedly). However, Prince Charles’ offspring will have celebredom for generations to come.
Living in the U.S. –the land of the free– we can’t quite grasp for the necessity of freeloaders who stay on the payroll of taxpayers indefinitely. It would make more sense to help victims of the Japan disaster than spend so much money on such an extravagant event at someone else’s expense.
Nonetheless, one positive trend of royalty of any kind coming from activist royals is that they instituted gem stone engagements. Finally, a knight in shining armor stood his ground and tried to slay the Dragon of DeBeers with a magic blue stone.
We applaud the British monarchs who stand tall against the diamond cartel who are shoving crystallized carbon down our throats.
It is perfectly acceptable to get engaged using a classy sapphire or any other natural colored stone. This won’t diminish the amount of love or loyalty two people share with one another.
Of course, it’s always difficult to be a trendsetter. It’s not that simple to persuade someone who’s raised on the diamond engagement ring dogma, that a sapphire is just as majestic. It’s not a sign of stinginess; it’s merely another option.
Regardless, we could imagine a conversation that took place in the Buckingham Palace kitchen circa October, 2010 after Kate Middleton recovered from the Kenyan yellow fever:
Kate Middleton: Sapphire? Sapphire! Where’s the diamond???
Prince William: But darling, a sapphire is a bloody good stone. The ring is almost new. Look at it, it’s brilliant!
Kate Middleton: Brilliant my arse! It’s a hand-me-down. Your mother used to wear it, didn’t she?
Wait a minute… is this heated??? Does it even come with a certificate? What am I going to say when I take it to an appraiser? I always suspected you were cheap but not royally cheap.
Prince William: You silly girl. It takes real class to acknowledge the value of a sapphire. But it’s ok, it will come to you with time.
Kate Middleton: Are you calling me a commoner?
Prince William: No, I’m calling you a shrek in a frock!
Russian Emperor Alexander II gave his wife Empress Maria Alexandrovna, a gorgeous sapphire –she didn’t complain.
Kate Middleton: Hers was probably over 250 carats. Mine is only 18! Look at it, it’s an old lady’s ring. I wanted an elegant micro pavé halo. If you really wanted to give me a sapphire you
should have gone with Leon Megé’s ring from http://www.micropave.com.
Prince William: I did call him but he told me that I ask too many questions and blacklisted me!
Kate Middleton: Bloody fool! Why didn’t you just let him do his job? Don’t you love me?
Prince William: But of course! I love you more than Grey Poupon. What if I would get you the lead role on Housewives of Buckingham Palace.
Kate Middleton: (Stunned. After a pause…)
You would? Really? Oh darling, you do love me!
Prince William: So… shall we shag now or shall we shag later?
We were obviously not witness to this conversation, and can’t promise that it actually occurred. However, we are glad that more people will start using sapphires in their engagement rings.
The diamond wasn’t even the standard engagement ring stone until the 19th century. Throughout history sapphires were a preferred stone among royalty. Queen Victoria’s State Crown houses a sapphire which journeyed through the hands of kings and cardinals since 1214. Catherine the Great’s “unidentified lover” presented her with a gorgeous sapphire which she cherished. King Edward VII’s ring to Queen Alexandra didn’t feature a single diamond. It had beryls, emeralds, rubies, topazes, jacinth and emeralds.
We’ve completed a full circle and are now returning to colored gems as center stones for engagement rings. As with most trends in fashion, we look to the past to establish the future. The spectrum of engagement should include all colors of the rainbow, not just diamonds.
China: an affluent and rapidly developing influence in our world will have an impact on just about every industry. Jewelry is no exception. Currently, China’s buying rate of diamonds and gems is growing exponentially; as Asia is growing richer, she is going on a shopping spree.
What does this mean for you? Well, although the US is still a major market for jewelry, the center is shifting toward Asia. This means that with the increasing affluence of Asians, the diamond/jewelry market is getting hot and demand is increasing. However, the supply remains static. Therefore, the price will be increasing for quality gemstones. These will be natural unenhanced quality larger stones such as sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. They will become so scarce that in certain price groups these stones will be simply unavailable.
Diamond prices will certainly also increase due to the high demand from Asia. After all, 1 billion people in China are certainly an elephant on the market that cannot be ignored.
So, dear readers, get the stones while supplies last and you can still afford them.
A few months back, Harry Winston created a new design for a necklace which will set with the Hope Diamond. The design was voted on by the people (out of a choice of three candidates). They of course chose the ugliest design. Why is it ugly you might ask? Well, for those of you that aren’t familiar with my minimalism philosophy, the whole point of a piece of jewelry is to showcase the center stone.
This necklace doesn’t present or enhance the Hope Diamond. It overshadows it and is simply out of style. Take a look at the picture, where is the Hope Diamond? The necklace simply features one of its stones as the Hope Diamond. You don’t see the diamond; you see the necklace. This design would work well for a boulder, but certainly not for a stone with a rich history like the Hope Diamond.
This necklace is currently on display at the Smithsonian. They mask it as a new mounting for the Hope Diamond. However, it was created for mere publicity reasons. What Harry Winston will do now is let it sit at the museum for a while. Then they will remove the Hope Diamond and set it back in its former setting. They will then set another stone in the necklace and attempt to sell it as the Hope Diamond necklace.
Aside from this tacky publicity stunt, this event illustrates perfectly why design shouldn’t be led by committee. Unlike in social life, democracy has no place in art. That is why the best art was created under monarchs and dictators, allowing artists to answer to one person only and not an entire country.
Art is beautiful because it was born in the artist’s mind as a result of influences around him that he interpreted and turned into a creation.