When it comes to shopping for the perfect engagement ring, what are the first few things that come to mind? Probably the size of the diamond, price tag and of course which jeweller to get it from. Sure, these are just some of the initial considerations but there’s certainly more that goes behind crafting the perfect ring that embodies your love, personality and promise. Before we get into it, I am in no way a jewellery or diamond expert and this is simply my personal recount and about a to 2-months plus grueling experience of finding the perfect diamond engagement ring.
The hardest decision wasn’t choosing the diamond…
Before popping the most nerve-wrecking question, you have to make the hardest decision. For me, it was not specific to the ring but the jeweller instead. Between deciding from the more accessible commercial jewellers and the lesser knowns, it was the hardest decision for me because there were so many places to browse a selection of rings in Singapore. I of course did my own research prior and made a trip down to several shops. I observed that the more well-known ones in the industry do have a subtle way of handling your requests to see if you are an actual customer or just wasting their time. Some got down straight to business and asked about the type of diamond and cut you were looking for, while a handful were interested to know what my budget was. This entire process of visiting and enquiring took at least 2 weeks.
From my research, I found that like many other guys in Singapore, I was not alone in this engagement diamond ring hunting process. The one local jeweller which I noticed had quite a buzz online and heard about from my friends was JannPaul. There were a number of positive feedback about the service attitude and quality of rings on forums like HardwareZone and bridal magazines. Besides the reviews, I also found that JannPaul had a blog and video guides on YouTube which were quite informative. I decided to make an appointment to “test water”.
I made a trip down to JannPaul, located in Far East Shopping Centre within House of Hung, and from the onset the place was just like any other jewellery store. The only difference was that the store was PACKED! At 6pm in the evening, more than 90% of the seats were taken and I had to wait for about 10 minutes before I was attended to by Casey, who I later found out is one of the co-founders of the brand.
The diamond education is true…
On first impression, I was quite drawn to Casey’s eagerness and honest demeanor to serve me and he was rather patient with my questions. My appointment was almost towards the end of the day and I had a long list of questions and clarifications. For those who know me personally, I am a very skeptical person and never trust fads. I knew about the educational aspect that JannPaul was advocating for and wanted to experience it firsthand. I was thinking to myself that even if I don’t buy anything at all, at least I came here for a free lesson in diamond education!
The best part about my entire session with Casey was that I did not feel pressured at all to buy, nor was he pushy about selling anything to me. He genuinely wanted me to be fully informed and aware before making a decision. This educational aspect is very important for guys like me who have no clue about diamonds and one of my deciding factors for ultimately going ahead with JannPaul.
The 4Cs – Yes, not the 5Cs…
You didn’t read that wrong, we’re not talking about the commonly heard 5Cs of success: Cash, Car, Credit card, Condominium and Country club membership – super cringe to type all of that out. It’s the 4Cs of a diamond: Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat. These are basically the most visual characteristics of a diamond and having this in mind will make the arduous process that much easier. For a full video guide, check out this video here.
Cut: Often regarded as one of the more important ones in the 4Cs, the cut directly impacts the amount of light performance achieved. It has the greatest influence on a diamond’s sparkle.
Colour: This refers to a diamond’s lack of color. The less color, the higher the grade.
Clarity: This refers to the tiny microscopic imperfections on the diamond.
Carat: Not to be confused with carrot or karat (a measure of gold purity). This refers to the weight of a diamond and not the size.
Of course there is the shape and cutting style like round brilliant, cushion, pear or heart, and certification / authentication of your diamond which is a must (most usually GIA certification – Gemological Institute of America).
Selecting the perfect diamond…
Let me just put this out there. There is no perfect diamond. Sorry to burst your bubble. There can be a near perfect one but it’s about finding the right balance and a matter of perspective. Each of the 4Cs are closely intertwined and does change the diamond’s attributes and price quite significantly.
If you ask me, here’s my humble opinion on a good foundation to start with. Just always remember that choosing the right diamond is entirely based on your preference, or your wife-to-be’s preference.
Cut: Go for excellent
Carat: Between 0.4ct to 1ct. Subjective and really depends on your setting and the size of your wife-to-be’s finger.
Colour: Between H to E. You can’t really tell the difference within this range.
Clarity: VS1 and above
Shape & Cutting style: Personal preference, I personally like the classic round.
Here are the scope images of the diamond I selected.
Customisation of your ring…
I went in with a lot of ideas for the customisation of the setting and slowly narrowed down to what was feasible. Most of these ideas for the customisation were about the relationship and what my wife-to-be personally liked. Overall, I suggest not over complicating things too much and keeping it simple yet meaningful.
I opted for an 18k white gold setting, with 4 heart-shaped tip prongs. I also wanted to include a snowflake design on side profile to symbolise Xue Wei’s name “Xue”, as snow in Chinese. I initially thought of having a full snowflake but due to the size, the thinnest possible “stroke” on the snowflake was at 1mm – which appeared really bulky. I also had our special anniversary date of 01/01/14 specially set on the ring with 1 melee diamond on the tubeto each, and 6 diamonds on each side, set in U prongs – making a total of 14 side diamonds.
Here are the 3D-render images of the initial design! It took about a week for the 3D-render to be ready.
Ring Collection Day!
Hooray! After close to 6 weeks of waiting, the ring was finally ready! Here’s the final outcome of the ring!! The collection process was smooth and the ring turned out far better than I expected. Casey went through with me about the GIA certification on the diamond. Make sure you double, triple verify the diamond and that the inscription number matches. I was also glad to know that JannPaul rings include after-sales services like free laser engraving, resizing and replating/repolishing at no extra cost!
I was personally very happy with the services and we decided to get our wedding bands done at JannPaul too!
Our rose gold wedding bands
Thank you JannPaul for the memorable experience and journey. Special thanks to Casey who was extremely patient throughout and for guiding me along the way to designing the perfect diamond engagement ring.
Address: 545 Orchard Road, Far East Shopping Centre, #01-23, Singapore 238882
Contact: +65 6733 2925
With lots of love,
An Affair With Food
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