Weddings are symbolic of new beginnings. In the midst of a cataclysmic event such as this pandemic, celebrating love between two people and the union of families take on an even deeper meaning—hope, a fresh start and a promise of renewal.
Which is why, even with countless weddings being postponed due to social distancing guidelines, many couples are steadfast in their wish to one day be able to gather everyone they love in one place and share in their joy.
The foreseeable future, however, suggests that weddings will be scaled back and more intimate, which isn’t altogether a bad thing if one considers the economics. The expense that’s meant for that grand wedding with 500 guests can now go into, say, building the couple’s future home, or even splurging on the wedding jewelry.
Not to take the romance out of it, but a diamond engagement ring, especially during a crisis, is a store of value, an object of investment—like fine art, only wearable. For many people of marrying age who are astute with finances, that added value could rationalize a luxurious purchase during difficult times.
At Tiffany & Co., the premier source of precious love symbols, couples are carefully guided through the process of choosing the engagement and wedding rings. That process goes beyond the 4Cs of color, clarity, cut and carat weight.
It’s an object to last a lifetime, so couples are advised to think long-term in choosing their jewelry. It must reflect their personality.
Since 1886, Tiffany has been known for diamond engagement and wedding rings. Its innovative six-prong Tiffany Setting, which lifts the diamond to permit more light and maximize its innate brilliance, remains the world’s most popular engagement ring style.
Each ring comes in its signature Tiffany Blue box, the sight of which is said to make a woman’s heart beat 20 times faster.
But different brides, different tastes. Today, there’s also the Lucida, a modern square mixed-cut shape of diamond; the Legacy, a throwback to the opulence of the Edwardian era with a cushion-shaped center stone and handcrafted milgraining; the Novo, a brilliant faceted cushion shape; the Bezet, either round, princess, pear or heart-shaped cut diamond with a traditional bezel setting; Three Stone, which can combine diamonds, sapphires and emeralds; and the Soleste, vari-shaped diamond centers with a halo of diamonds, among many other designs.
If couples so choose, Tiffany can design wedding bands that match the engagement ring. Couples are advised to consider design, value, workmanship and comfort, as well as how their wedding rings would complement other everyday jewelry. Tiffany even has a “ring upgrade program” designed for anniversaries.
In one interview, Tiffany CEO Alessandro Bogliolo said that millennials, the core market of its wedding jewelry today, have a different approach to buying diamonds than the generations before them who fell in love, bought a ring and got married.
Today, he said, young people fall in love, live together, maybe get a pet or have a child, then buy a ring. It doesn’t change the meaning of that ring, he added; it’s still symbolic of love, whether there’s a wedding or not. That’s the beauty of it, he had said.
But it’s also worth noting that millennials also gravitate toward brands that stand for authenticity and sustainability—both hallmarks of Tiffany. In 2019, Tiffany announced its Diamond Source Initiative, which is its commitment to transparency in terms of the provenance of each diamond it sells.
This assures its customers that every diamond sold at Tiffany is guaranteed conflict-free, or not mined in a war zone or not sold to finance a war.
Each Tiffany diamond is laser-etched with a unique serial number. While other jewelers buy precut diamonds, Tiffany buys them raw and cuts them in-house, ensuring they know they’re mined from sources that are respectful to the environment.
“We’ve been at the forefront of sustainability in the industry for many years. It’s a question of responsibility, not just a buzzword,” Philippe Galtie, Tiffany’s executive vice president for global sales, told Lifestyle last year at the opening of the first Tiffany boutique in Manila. “We’re the only ones to guarantee the origin of our diamonds.”
Sure, even the best-laid plans can get derailed. But a priceless diamond on your ring finger may help cushion the blow.
Tiffany & Co. at Greenbelt 4, Makati, is open Mondays to Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tiffany at Rustan’s Makati and Rustan’s Shangri-La will reopen on June 5.