Supplying designer engagement rings to over sixty high end stockists in the UK and Eire there is one recurring challenge which I hear from some of the staff; and that is when a customer compares the price of a similar article from a high street jeweller or a budget ecommerce site.

There is always a noticeable price difference and where as some customers understand why this is so, there are some who believe that they are not getting value for money. This article, I hope, goes in some way to help explain the difference.

The explanation is based on the following three words quality, quality and quality! Quality of design, components, goldsmithing and stone setting:
In my business and at many other notable jewellery designers, the attention to detail in the design is exquisite. When designing, I ensure that the piece is balanced and perfected from each and every view. It is not just how the ring appears when on the finger, I encourage the customer to view the piece from every angle – as if it was a sculpture. Being one of the most emotive purchases a couple will ever make, the designer engagement ring deserves the most attention and dedication when being created. CAD software is my preferred method for designing jewellery, more specifically the Gemvision Matrix programme. This gives me total control of the piece in incredible detail.

To match the quality of its creation, the designer engagement ring must have metals of a similar calibre. By this I mean that the golds and platinum must be substantial enough for wear and tear and that they have been created solidly. There are high production jewellery manufacturers who will not be concerned if the metal they use is porous or thin and their products are priced accordingly. A thin or flimsy engagement will spend more time being repaired than on your finger.
And now the most contentious issue – diamonds! This subject has an incredible depth and this is not surprising due to the high value. The main point I would like to discuss is the ‘make’ of the diamond. This refers to how well the stone is cut in its polish, proportion and symmetry. You could have a diamond of the highest colour and clarity but if the make is poor then the stone can appear lifeless and ugly. A designer worth their salt would only use quality makes and naturally these come at a higher cost. The increase in brilliance and life on a well cut stone is definitely worth the investment. This is the difference between many designer jewellers and some high street jewellers and is not known by the majority of the general public. The same goes for purchasing stones with a certification from an online store. Just because a stone has a certificate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a quality piece. There are many stones available online which are certificated stones however on inspection by a professional, they can have undesirable characteristics.

Finally, and briefly, let me tell you what I have learned about goldsmiths and stone setters. There is huge diversity of skill within this industry. There are those that try and accomplish their craft in a short a time as possible and there are those that take their time over the job so as to create the ‘perfect’ look and feel. Be it an engagement ring, eternity ring or cocktail ring, my pieces are created by the most highly skilled craftspersons. They have been selected because of their experience, pride in their work and attention to detail. We are not about churning out piece after piece, we are about striving for perfection in each and every work of art. Naturally, a piece that takes longer to produce by an expert in his or her field will cost more to produce but once again, well worth the investment.

The above comment lightly touches on why designer engagement rings are in a different league to more commercial jewellers. The time and skill involved in designing along with the very high quality components and craftspersons comes at a cost. These are some of the reasons for the price difference from comparing designer to other. If you are a customer who wants quality in every sense then Designer Jewellery is for you.

Andrew Geoghegan

44 Hockley Street



B18 6BH

Tel: +44 (0)121 507 0994

Company number 07258309

ICO Registration No: ZA460029