Engagement ring design consults move online during Canberra lockdown

Unique Diamonds manager Mia Somerville is still designing and supplying engagement rings during lockdown. Picture: Karleen Minney
Unique Diamonds manager Mia Somerville is still designing and supplying engagement rings during lockdown. Picture: Karleen Minney

In the words of singer Beyoncé Knowles, if you like it then you should put a ring on it - even if you're living in lockdown.

While restaurants and other romantic destinations may be unattainable to pop the big question, business is still going strong for jewellers such as Canberra's Unique Diamonds, albeit with a slight decrease in engagement ring shoppers. The consults that are going ahead, however, have simply moved online or over the phone.

In fact, according to Unique Diamonds manager Mia Somerville offsite engagement ring consultations were not as out of the norm as one might expect.

While movies would have us believe engagement ring shopping was done by one partner, in person, before the question has been asked, Ms Somerville said that's not necessarily the case.

With a long list of interstate customers and others who simply can't find the time to visit the store, Unique Diamonds was already well-versed in the world of email and phone consultations, and have added Zoom to their list of consultation options since the beginning of the pandemic.

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As for the people attending consults - whether it's in-person pre-lockdown or remotely - it's a 50-50 split between individuals and couples.

"There's definitely a lot more women that are getting involved," Ms Somerville said.

"They might be part of the initial process with us to talk about the diamonds and pick out a design they like but then hand it over to their partner and say, 'You deal with it from there'. But we also get just as many couples that do it together as well, the whole process."

Unique Diamonds manager Mia Somerville is still designing and supplying engagement rings during lockdown. Picture: Karleen Minney

Unique Diamonds manager Mia Somerville is still designing and supplying engagement rings during lockdown. Picture: Karleen Minney

The option to click and collect during the pandemic also means the ring won't be the thing holding up someone's proposal. And that applies not only to jewellery purchases but the store's sample rings as well.

"We also have a lot of guys that come in and just take a sample ring. So they propose with a sample ring and then once they're engaged, they come in and do the whole process together, which is a really good option," Ms Somerville said.

"It makes it a lot easier for a lot of guys. It's a big amount of money to spend and they want to make sure that their partner's going to love it. So maybe if they're a little bit pickier then that's a really good option to just to propose with a sample."

Of course, a jeweller doesn't just deal with engagement rings.

Unique Diamonds manager Mia Somerville. Picture: Karleen Minney

Unique Diamonds manager Mia Somerville. Picture: Karleen Minney

While custom orders have decreased during the pandemic, there has been an uptake in some of Unique Diamonds' other offerings.

"We've had a lot of orders of our floating diamond necklace - that's our most popular product at the moment," Ms Somerville said.

"I've also seen a massive increase in wedding band requests as well. I think most of the Zoom appointments I've done are for wedding bands just because a lot of people are getting married in December and over Christmas, and they're worried that they're not going to be able to come into the store in time."

This story Love in lockdown: Engagement ring consults move online first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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