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Diamond And Jewellery Blog | Poggenpoel

Johan Poggenpoel

Recent Posts

The changing face of luxury shopping

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on Oct 7, 2015 1:35:33 PM


On a recent business trip to the picturesque city of Boston I had the morning off and decided to hit the streets. I was amazed at how dead quiet all the stores were. Two hours in I couldn’t keep my curiosity at bay and started talking to shop staff running the higher end stores on Newbury Street. Every single piece of feedback was some variation of “people just prefer buying online these days”. I’m not talking about music and bookstores – they’re long gone. We’re talking high end clothing (Kate Spade, Ermenegildo Zegna, Ralph Lauren), grocers (niche and normal)… even bakeries. Businesses where you would bet your life people would prefer buying in-store. The frustration was obvious as commissioned in-store staff were merely running a showroom for the brand’s online store.

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Topics: Engagement Ring Advice, Custom Engagement Rings

Why Are Mall-Based Jewellers So Expensive?

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on Aug 17, 2015 2:01:00 PM


I’m a big fan of the old(?) saying; you get what you pay for.

Buying the cheapest per se is a sure-fire way to get burnt. Luckily, after a few burns most of us start to grasp the concept of value. This price to quality ratio (value) is an invaluable tool when making purchasing decisions.

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Topics: Engagement Ring Advice, Designer Brands

What's The Difference Between An Engagement Ring And A Wedding Ring?

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on Aug 5, 2015 1:45:00 PM


I just received another iteration of an e-mail that pops up frequently in my inbox:

“I only see engagement rings on your website… do you also sell wedding rings by any chance?”

The short answer would be a simple yes. But it’s trickier than that. Beneath the skin the real question actually differs depending on who’s asking...

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Topics: Engagement Ring Advice, Engagement Ring Design

Why I Proposed Without An Engagement Ring

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on Jul 17, 2015 10:04:00 AM


On the 28th of April 2012 I proposed to my then girlfriend sans any ring of sorts.

All snuggled up next to a hissing camp-fire the perfect moment presented itself without warning. I always thought I’d at least get down on my knee in that moment- but to be honest I was as overwhelmed by the proposal as Mia was. And knee-dropping without a ring is just super weird.

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Topics: Engagement Ring Advice, Proposing

Engagement Ring Shopping Tips From Professional Jewellery Consultants

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on May 27, 2015 4:01:00 PM

A few short nights ago I was stunlocked by a fascinating radio interview with a car salesman discussing car buying myths and tips. First lesson; take the bare amount of extras - they’re completely worthless when you resell the vehicle. Second lesson; when you’re seriously (like, really really) in buyer-mode negotiate prices during the last weekend of the month. Most car dealerships have tough targets to meet and usually only make their targets with last minute sales they push through by offering considerable discounts to end-of-the-month-last-minute-buyers. Be the last deal.  

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Topics: Diamond Buying, Engagement Ring Advice

Engagement Ring Prices - A Guide (2016 Edition)

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on May 18, 2015 12:38:00 PM



The ever weakening South African Rand has caused engagement ring prices to increase quite a bit over the last few years. By “a bit” I mean they have pretty much doubled. Whatever your friend paid 5 years ago – you’ll be paying double that today.

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Topics: Diamond Buying, Engagement Ring Advice, Custom Engagement Rings

Not So Independent Diamond Grading Certificates

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on Mar 27, 2015 9:11:27 AM

Welcome to one of the touchiest subjects in the world of diamonds!

OK - lets do it…

Most engagement ring shoppers are first time diamond buyers with a very limited knowledge of diamonds. Although most buyers insist on only buying “certified diamonds” these days that’s pretty much where the checks and balances end. At the end of the day - everyone just wants a great deal… 

So, a customer buys a diamond ring from a jeweller and rests assured since he received a legitimate looking Post-it™ note sized “independent diamond grading certificate” with his purchase. 

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Topics: Diamond Investing, Diamond Buying, Diamonds

Most Popular Engagement Ring Styles

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on Feb 26, 2015 9:10:02 AM

“What’s popular?” isn’t a question we get bombarded with here at Poggenpoel.com. I’m proud to announce that most guys have figured out that buying a diamond engagement ring is a tad more complex than renting a DVD for Friday date-nights.

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Topics: Engagement Ring Advice, Engagement Ring Design

"Problems With Palladium" - A Fairytale

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on Feb 5, 2015 11:35:35 AM

Why Do Certain Jewellers Badmouth Palladium?

The usual suspects… ignorance, spite and high blood-alcohol levels. 

Jokes aside, there seems to be some bizarre occasional badmouthing of palladium in South Africa by certain jewellers. It’s completely unfounded and I’d like to share my thoughts on it. 

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Topics: Engagement Ring Advice, Palladium

Buying Uncertified Diamonds (A Bad Idea)

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on Jan 26, 2015 1:18:00 PM


Whether you like curves or not, there is one curve you can’t avoid: The Buyer’s Learning Curve. 

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Topics: Diamond Buying

The Most Popular Engagement Ring Designs Of 2014

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on Nov 20, 2014 12:07:31 PM

As another year draws to a close its time for our own little annual award ceremony!

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Designing Your Own Engagement Ring

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on Nov 13, 2014 10:02:00 AM

So you want to go the a la custom route? Good for you!

Custom work in the jewellery trade refers to designs and pieces that your chosen jeweller manufactures on a once-off basis. If it doesn’t come from off-the-shelf stock… it’s custom. There’s very little new and fresh in the world of engagement ring designs, so most custom designs are merely “inspired” by images/photos a customer provides, maybe with a few small changes. Copyright in the jewellery world is close to non-existent (and for very good reason). Designers have been reworking and recycling the same basic themes and ideas for many years. Finding the true source of 99.999% of designs is impossible. So please don’t feel bad about seeing a design online and having it manufactured for yourself. 

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Topics: Engagement Ring Design, Custom Engagement Rings

Two Stunning Diamond Alternatives For Your Engagement Ring

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on Oct 14, 2014 10:16:00 AM

Diamonds aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. We get that. For a wide variety of reasons, many engagement ring shoppers opt for precious gemstones other than diamonds every day. Setting the budget issue aside for a second, many folks (including my wife) genuinely prefer coloured gemstones to diamonds.

Diamonds are still viewed by many as the classic and traditional engagement ring gemstone, but there are strikingly stunning and practical alternatives that should definitely be considered if you aren’t dead-set on a diamond for your engagement ring. Most engagement rings that use gemstones other than diamonds for the main setting still use tiny diamonds as accents on the ring. This creates a stunning contrast that is favoured by many! 

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Topics: Engagement Ring Advice, Diamonds, Gemstones

The Best Time Of Year To Get Engaged

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on Oct 7, 2014 1:00:00 PM

A little known, but super interesting fact is that Facebook reports significant peaks in both breakups AND engagements during the Christmas holidays and around Valentine’s day. What does a simultaneous drastic peak in break-ups and proposals tell you? People seriously reconsider the potential of their relationships during these times. So my dear friends, this Christmas someone’s at serious risk of getting a ring on the finger … or just the finger (goodbye hug). 

Engagement Season isn’t a rumour or just a catchy phrase - any jeweller will tell you that the two months leading up to the Christmas holidays are golden. We see great value in seriously considering the very real “Engagement Season” for your special moment…

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Topics: Proposing

How To Properly Compare Engagement Ring Quotes

Posted by Johan Poggenpoel on Sep 30, 2014 11:33:00 AM

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” - Probably Albert Einstein. 

Although comparing engagement ring quotes is certainly not rocket-science it's generally more complicated than most people make it out to be. The critical information you need to make a proper and informed decision is often omitted from quotes, and unless you know exactly what additional information to ask for you’ll be taking a shot in the dark when accepting a quote. 

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Topics: Engagement Ring Advice