The Tale of Two Rings ~ A Proposal Story

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Here at La Bijouterie, we are just as much a sucker for a romantic proposal as the next person, but every once in a great while, a story so romantic and so sweet comes along, it needs to be shared with the world.

Insert Jessica and Mark. It was 2014, and at that time they had been dating for about 5 years. Both were ready to go from girlfriend and boyfriend to engagement.

Jessica had seen a cute little jewelry store on Union Street in the Marina, and decided to do some research to see if this place was worth a visit. She read the Yelp reviews and was very pleased with what she saw. She then told Mark that they should make an appointment to get things moving.

To her delight Mark agreed and before they knew it they were looking at rings and meeting Set the jeweler. They looked at a few different ring styles but there was one in particular that Jessica fell in love with.

Just a minute after trying on this perfect ring, Mark cut their visit short, thanked Set for his time, and mentioned he wanted to do some additional research. Jessica was disappointed that the shopping trip was over so soon, but she simply brushed it off. 

A few weeks later, and no talk of an engagement ring, Jessica was getting ready to go on a trip to Paris with her mom. Mark would be staying in Boston with Jessica's dad.

After a couple days in Paris, Jessica and her mom took a boat tour down the Seine river to enjoy the different sites. Half way through the boat trip, and to Jessica’s surprise, she looked down at her phone and was receiving a call from Mark. Her immediate thought was, "Why would Mark be calling me when he knows I'm on this boat trip with my mom? Could something be wrong with my dad?!"

She picked up the phone and asked “Is everything okay?” Mark then immediately began to profess his love for her: “Jessica, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I love you and I want to know, will you marry me?”

Stunned and convinced her Dad put Mark up to this, she said, “Are you joking? You're proposing to me over the phone?” when her mom yelped, "JESSICA, TURN AROUND!"

There, at the top of the boat was Mark down on one knee. He secretly flown to Paris and had been hiding in the bathroom on the boat the whole time as to not be seen by Jessica or her mom. People on the boat needing to use the restroom actually thought he was a stowaway until he slipped his ticket under the door with the excuse that he was having stomach problems and needed to stay in the restroom.

He then confessed his love for Jessica, and everyone on the boat applauded and began taking pictures! As he went to put the ring on her finger, she noticed it was nothing like the ring they had looked at but she didn’t care. The only problem was the ring didn’t fit - it was too small.

But Mark wasn’t done with the surprises! He said "Oh the ring doesn't fit?" and Jessica said "No, it's a little too small - but I don't care, I'm just happy to be engaged to you." Mark then took another ring out from his pocket, the real ring, opened the box, and said "Let's try this ring, instead"… and it was just like the ring she fell in love with in the store, but even more beautiful than she could have ever imagined! Best of all, it fit perfectly! She couldn’t believe her eyes and thought to herself, how did he pull this off? He then told her he had been meeting with Set on and off for two weeks until the ring was just perfect.

Jessica was both shocked and impressed and knew that after all that planning, coordinating and stress, she was marrying her l'amour vrai (true love). 

 

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About The Diamond Industry

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You’re about to make the biggest purchase of your life, yet wish you could clarify a few questions and clear up a few rumors you have heard about the diamond industry as a whole. Well look no further because we’re debunking some of the common misconceptions in hopes you breathe a sigh of relief.

Myth: Diamond mining is terrible for the environment

Reality: Considering little to no chemicals are used during diamond mining, (which would otherwise be harmful to the staff’s health), diamond mining is generally less harmful to the environment than other types of mining. Additionally, the orebodies used in mining are vertical not horizontal, ultimately affecting less of the surrounding area. Many companies have established protected habitats adjacent to their operations, often times larger than the mining operation itself.

Myth: There is a high chance that you could buy a conflict diamond

Reality: One of the most popularized myths of all is the issue of conflict diamonds — or “blood diamonds”. During the brutal civil wars in Sierra Leone and Angola in the 1990s, the diamond industry has made great strides given what this time unveiled. Since the introduction of the Kimberley Process (KP) certification scheme and the World Diamond Council (WDC) System of Warranties, more than 99.8% of the world’s diamonds are certified conflict-free, with the support of 81 countries.

Today the industry is mostly self-regulated, and various countries have additional layers of government regulation in place. The UK’s Government Diamond Office, for example, works closely with HM Revenue & Customs, the European Commission and civil groups to combat illicit diamonds.

Additionally, there are voluntary and self-regulation systems that are effective in maintaining the diamond pipeline. Like most jewelers, we want to ensure our customers have the confidence to know that our source of supply is conflict-free. Additionally, may jewelers subscribe to the Responsible Jewelery Council, De Beers’ Best Practice Principles, and the Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol.

Myth: The diamond industry is a monopoly, owned by De Beers.

Reality: The good news is no one company has had controlled the market for decades. This myth dates back to the 1980’s when De Beers did indeed control over 90% of the supply chain and was almost wholly responsible for marketing diamonds, having developed its famous “A Diamond Is Forever” slogan in the 1940s. This also led to the perception that De Beers “invented” the diamond engagement ring, when in fact the first was recorded as early as 1477 by Archduke Maximillian of Austria, who commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring on record for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy.

By the 1990s, the market for new mining companies opened, breaking the hold that De Beers and Alrosa had on the industry and ushering in a new wave of diamond discoveries in Angola and Canada, according to Pouroulis.

Today De Beers company share of the diamond market is closer to 35%, while five other companies divide the remaining 65% of diamond share.

Myth: Diamond mining individuals and communities are mistreated and at-risk

Reality: To first understand why this myth is so false, you must first understand how the mining process works and how much diamond mines actually help strengthen a community. The isolated nature of diamond mines means the workforce lives close by and develops a community spirit, which the diamond industry supports by investing in hospitals, schools, training and bursary programs.

For example, 33% of Botswana’s GDP comes from diamond mining, and an estimated five million people globally have access to health care thanks to diamond revenues, according to diamondfacts.org.

Today’s mining is not done by hand but is quite automated with miners moving millions of tons of rocks per year. Miners operating large earth loaders in open pits or underground would never even see a diamond.

Myth: The diamond industry is secretive and closed to outsiders and not to be trusted.  

Reality: This myth simply stems from a place of fear. The high-value nature of diamonds may be to blame for the presumption that the industry is filled with inaccessible people and organizations, more comfortable with secrecy than transparency. The reality is there is a whole spectrum of hard-working people all at different levels of financial success. Just like any business, success in the diamond industry is all dependent on how a business has been built.

It’s not uncommon for society to expect to see businesses reporting on their social activities, financials and stakeholders to increase transparency and trust. This shift in societal expectation has created major changes in the diamond sector for the better - more transparency and more trust.

You might also be pleased to know that diamond retailers such as De Beers are not sitting on stockpiles of diamonds nowadays, but instead build up inventory before making a sale as any retailer would.

Have a question that wasn’t addressed above? Leave us a comment below!

~ LB

A Diamond By Any Other Name Just Isn’t As Sweet

                                                                                  

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Last week I came across a NY Times article that breaks down the elements that actually make a diamond. This short article got me thinking about the difference between man made vs. naturally occurring diamonds, and the confusion around both. Below I’ve shared my thoughts on this.

A man made or lab made diamond is omitting the timelessness and everlasting value a naturally occurring diamond possesses. It takes away the precious scarcity and value that has made today’s diamonds so popular and desired. Although to the naked eye, these so-called diamonds may look similar, they are quite fake and unfortunately do not hold their value. Also, rarely talked about is the fact that these man made “diamonds” actually give off a blue hue.

Imagine years later passing down a lab made stone...one that no longer holds its value due to how common it is to create. Now imagine passing down a family heirloom diamond, one that no matter how old or dusty it becomes, remains timeless. A prized treasure for generations to come. It’s the scarcity and naturally occurring timeless beauty you are purchasing when you seek out a precious diamond gem.

As this article states, “Just as one cannot compare an original painting to a reproduction, one cannot compare a diamond to a manufactured replica”. In order to be called a diamond it must be naturally occurring.

Trends around diamond shape, diamond settings, and gem color may come and go, but the beauty that is of a true diamond is everlasting.

Have questions or comments? Share them them below, we’d love to hear from you.

-LB

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