Choosing the perfect engagement ring

Choosing the perfect engagement ring

Engagement ringby Peter Minkoff

Once you have chosen your partner and decided to commit for the rest of your life, you might think you have made the most difficult decision ever. Although it is the most important decision, it is definitely not the most difficult one. That title belongs to choosing the perfect ring. So, whether you are shopping alone or taking your bride-to-be with you, there are some tips that will make choosing the bespoke ring easier.

Do your research

Before you go shopping for an engagement ring, do your research. Walking into a store full of diamonds in different shapes and sizes can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you are doing it for the first time. That is why it is important to try to learn everything you can about diamonds before you start searching for the perfect ring. Another option would be to get it tailor made for your beloved. The Internet is an amazing source of information, but you already know that since you are reading this article. Start browsing the Web, looking for rings that both you and your fiancée find interesting. Once you gather enough images of all the rings you like, try to see whether they have something in common. If all of the rings you like share a common feature, that is your perfect starting point.

Go for a custom design

Marilyn said it – Diamonds truly are a girl’s best friend! If you really want to find the perfect ring for your fiancée, have it custom made for her. When making a custom engagement ring you need to find a stone and a setting your fiancée will like and have it turned into a perfect ring. Often, you will find rings with beautiful settings or beautiful stones but they will seldom be combined. So, if you want to make sure that your fiancée will wear it with pleasure and pride, better go with a custom design. Engagement rings are very important in Australia, and you can find some of the most beautiful custom engagement rings in Melbourne. Engagement rings are very important in Australia and New Zealand, and here you can find some of the most beautiful custom engagement rings in Melbourne.

Learn the four Cs

The four Cs – color, clarity, cut and carat – are what every man going on a hunt for the perfect engagement ring must learn. The color is referring to the colorlessness of a diamond. Colorless diamonds are the most beautiful and the most valued. If you are looking for a good price you can also opt for a diamond that is not entirely colorless – they are still beautiful but also cost less.

The clarity of a diamond is actually referring to the number of its imperfections. Similar to the color, the most valued ones are flawless diamonds, but you can find nearly flawless diamonds for a good price. These diamonds do have some flaws, but they are not visible to the naked eye.

The cut of a diamond doesn’t refer to its shape, but to the skill with which it was cut and how that affects its sparkle. The greater the skill of the person cutting the diamond – the greater the brilliance.

Carat, on the other hand, is definitely something you have heard of even if you have never looked for a diamond before. It refers to the weight of the diamond. Although it might seem that bigger is better, taste is what matters the most. Think about your fiancée’s style when you are deciding about the size – not every girl likes the same thing.

Choose the shape and the setting

Diamonds come in all kinds of shapes and you should definitely have something in mind before you step inside a store. Consider your fiancée’s style of jewelry when choosing the ring. When choosing the setting think about the metal and the style that will present the stone in the best possible way. Custom diamond engagement ring designers will offer invaluable insight when it comes to that choice.


Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices

Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices

When packing for your honeymoon, sunnies should be somewhere near the top of your packing list. After all, who wants to walk on sparkling white beaches and deal with the glare? In fact, they’re probably handy to have around for outdoor weddings, too …. wouldn’t you rather shield your eyes in designer frames than have every image of yourself squinting?

That said, designer sunglasses often come with a huge price tag … and when you’ve already paid out for your wedding plans and long-dreamed of honeymoon, you don’t want to break the bank on accessories.

We’ve been shopping at Smart Buy Glasses and have been impressed. This year, SmartBuyGlasses celebrates ten years of delivering Expertise, Service and Passion to customers around the world, so they must be doing something right!

We love the broad range they offer, including high end designers such as Gucci, Tom Ford, Nina Ricci, Versace, Burberry and many more! Try their Style Finder to select a pair that you know are going to look fabulous on you!

We’ve had a lengthy trawl through some of their latest designs, and list below just a sprinkling of our favourites. Check out their OPTICAL CENTRE for all the lens information you’ll ever need, shop by PERSONALITY or DESIGNER, and give their VIRTUAL TRY ON a go!



Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices









Dolce & Gabbana

Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices










Marc by Marc Jacobs

Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices










Tom Ford

Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices

Ready to wear jewellery

Ready to wear jewellery

Ready to wear jewellerySing to your senses with Alice Herald’s ready-to-wear jewellery collection

Since the dawn of her career, luxury jewellery designer Alice Herald has been motivated by her environment, and the release of Our Song, Let’s Fly, the founding collection of her new Herald label, is no exception.

Our Song, Let’s Fly, the first collection in Alice’s Our Song ready-to-wear series, is inspired by the flight of the hummingbird. Perfect in form and weightless in motion, the hummingbird embodies a delicate beauty that is intimately recreated in this intricate collection.

Each carefully-crafted earring, ring and necklace design is a song of light and colour that reflects the vibrancy and grace of this beautiful bird. Created from precious metals and gemstones, each individual piece is drawn by hand and made to order, overseen by Alice herself, to ensure it exudes joyousness and flair.

From tiny white diamonds and black sapphires to vivacious tsavorite and white and yellow golds, Our Song, Let’s Fly is a celebration of intricate design and beautiful craftsmanship, with each stunning piece carefully considered and created to reflect the refined beauty of Alice’s unique designs, and to affect and empower the wearer.

‘I’m really inspired by potential: of my designs, of the gemstones, and how I can affect the wearer and their emotions,’ says Alice, who gets much of her own inspiration from the spectacular lakes, skies and mountains of her hometown of Wanaka in New Zealand’s South Island. ‘There’s something inside that you can’t quite explain, whether it makes you feel warm, or happy – there’s this sense of empowerment that makes you feel slightly different, something that makes you go – “wow”.’

More information can be found here 

Tennis bracelets

Tennis bracelets

Tennis braceletsANYONE FOR TENNIS?


In reality, it was never really meant for playing tennis. It does, however, owe its name and popularity to the former World # 1 tennis player, Chris Evert. While playing a tennis match in 1987, the bracelet fell off her wrist and the game was interrupted so that she could retrieve it. The rest is history.

The diamond tennis bracelet is the ultimate classic jewellery item – a row of diamonds set close to each other and linked with a flexible serpentine-like chain. The chain can be made out of any of the precious metals, namely white gold, yellow gold or platinum.

It is ideally worn loosely around the wrist, hanging gracefully like a drape. Its simplicity and elegance makes it very versatile as an accessory to just about any outfit, from simple everyday wear to a breathtaking wedding dress or evening gown.

The most popular style of tennis bracelet comes with round brilliant cut diamonds set in the classic 4-claw setting. The bezel setting is also fairly common, and equally beautiful. Although less popular, they do come set with an array of fancy shape diamonds, including princess and oval, sometimes even a combination of diamond shapes.

As coloured gemstones have become more fashionable, the tennis bracelet has kept pace, and now often sport blue sapphires, rubies or emeralds. Gemstones can also make it more affordable.


Tiffany & Co for Auckland

Tiffany & Co for Auckland


Tiffany & Co., the internationally renowned jeweller founded in New York in 1837, will open its rst agship store in New Zealand in early November. Located in Britomart, the city’s premier destination for luxury shopping, the store occupies the entire ground oor of Australis House.

Among the collections displayed in store is the Tiffany® Setting, the ultimate engagement ring which has enjoyed universal popularity since its 1886 introduction. The setting is arrayed with other elegant engagement rings and wedding bands handcrafted by Tiffany artisans.

Other collections include fancy coloured diamonds such as Tiffany tiffanyYellow Diamonds, in contemporary settings. In addition, the store showcases the bejewelled masterpieces of Jean Schlumberger, sculptural jewellery of Elsa Peretti and bold creations of Paloma Picasso—Tiffany’s exclusive designers, who are among the most honoured in the world of fashion and jewellery.

Tiffany Icons such as the T Collection by Tiffany Design Director Francesca Am theatrof will also be offered at the Auckland store. This unapologetically modern collection is imbued with the strength of architecture. Wide cuffs and minimal bracelets perfectly contour the wrist. Multiple chains of varied lengths and elegant pendants drape the neckline. Rings stack seamlessly and earrings move with grace. Each sparkling creation is wrapped in the Tiffany Blue Box, emblematic of beauty and excellence throughout the world.

Dreaming of being a snow queen?

Dreaming of being a snow queen?

Dreaming of being a snow queen?This season, jewellery designer Farah Qureshi has been looking under the microscope at flakes of snow, producing decorative pieces that are rounded, cupped forms with geometric patterns. The source of inspiration came from a visit to Greenland.

The material she is working with is ethical silver. Some of the pieces are gold-plated with a mix of silver and black rhodium plating. The pieces will also include some semi precious stones.The key pieces this season will be rings, necklaces and bracelets. The collection will have around eight to ten pieces comprising of stud earrings, along with drop earrings, pendants and other pieces mentioned previously.

Dreaming of being a snow queen?Farah’s upcoming shows include The Society of Designer Craftsmen summer show at the Mall Galleries, The London Design Festival at the JeDeCo Gallery at the Oxo Tower, jewellery show Artisan 6 on Colombia Road (October/November 2016), and a group craft event at the Society of Designer Craftsmen Gallery on Rivington Street (December 2016). Farah will be showing her work at her gallery at JeDeCo Gallery and a larger collection of work at the Artemidorus Gallery in December 2016.

Farah Qureshi was recently chosen as one of The Guardian’s ‘Small Business 100’ (

To find out more about Farah Qureshi and her collections, visit


Engagement Ring Facts

Engagement Ring Facts

Engagement Ring FactsEngagement Ring Facts

1. White Gold and Platinum are the most common metals used for engagement rings. Palladium is becoming more popular, as is Titanium.

2. The most popular diamond shape is the round brilliant cut, closely followed by princess cut.

3. December is the most popular month for engagements. Christmas tops the list for proposals, followed by Valentines and New Year.

4. The average engagement ring used to cost around 2 month’s salary. Nowadays, an average of 3 week’s wages is spent.

5. 38% of people tell their partner what they have spent on the ring while an amazing 3% admit that they exaggerated the real price to their partner.

6. Up to 60% of brides get involved in the process of purchasing an engagement ring, often designing a custom piece. Less than 50% said their rings were exactly what they wanted!

7. Engagement rings are traditionally worn on the left hand following the old tradition that a vein in the fourth finger of the hand, the vena amoris or vein of love, runs directly to the heart. Engagement rings are worn on the left hand in England, USA, France, Canada, Australia and NZ, with countries such as Germany and India wearing the ring on their right hand. In the Hindu tradition, women are given toe rings as a symbol of marriage, called bichiya.

8. Around 70% of grooms-to-be still ask the parents for the bride’s hand in marriage.

9. Around 60% of proposals take place in private, with close to 80% of grooms saying “Will You” on bended knee.

10. It is thought that engagement rings first came from the caveman, who tied cords made of braided grass around his chosen mate’s wrists, ankles, and waist. The modern engagement ring was introduced in the 1400’s by Archduke Maximillian of Austria who gave Mary of Burgundy a gold ring set with a diamond as a token of his love.


Secrets turns 16

Secrets turns 16

Secrets turns 1616 years ago beautiful designer diamond jewellery with stones larger than 1 carat were simply out of reach for more than 90% of women. Being motivated to change this and to be able to offer women an alternative, Secrets Co-Founder and Managing Director, Jane Meredith researched the new technology in Diamond Simulants that was emerging in the late nineties.

‘We were amazed at what we discovered; a stone that looked like a diamond, sparkled like a diamond and had brilliance that would last a lifetime.’ Ms Meredith shared.

Since the creation of Secrets in Noosa in the year 2000 Secrets has grown to become a respected fine and fashion jewellery retail brand around the world. Delivering quality and care to its stores located throughout Australia and online, Secrets has celebrated life’s memorable moments with customers over the years.

Secrets turns 16Ms Meredith shared some highlights and challenging moments managing the business over the years.

‘We started out with a small shop in Bay Village Noosa Heads. I was really unsure how women would react to the concept of state of the art diamond simulants set in high quality fine jewellery designs, because they are manmade stones. Surprisingly over 40% of our market is actually engagement rings.’

Many women were quick to share their discovery of Secrets and the brand grew as a franchised own network in the early days. After the effects of the GFC in 2008 Secrets changed its business strategy to a company owned network and now has a new vision for the future and are preparing for 100 stores by 2025.

Recently Secrets has shared a number of achievements and opportunities from being a finalist in the 2015 Prix De Marie Claire Awards to celebrating collaboration with the official VIP Tour Packages for an evening with Oprah tour in Australia late last year.

To celebrate Secrets Sweet 16th Birthday Secrets participating stores and online will be offering a special offer each day from the first of April to thank their customers for 16 years of loyalty. Ms Meredith invites everyone to visit Secrets Noosa store for a morning tea on Friday April 15, 2016 to celebrate Secrets birthplace.