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.
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.
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.