As restrictions on events like weddings continue to ease in the UK, jewellers can expect a growing interest in wedding jewellery.
Here Professional Jeweller speaks with Guy Burton, director of historic jeweller Hancocks London, to find out what the company is anticipating in the wedding jewellery market this year.
Are you anticipating a boom in wedding jewellery sales as things open back up over the coming weeks and months?
Absolutely yes. There were many lockdown engagements and as those brides-to-be start feeling confident enough to begin organising their special day we expect to see a rise in wedding jewellery to accompany that.
We’ve already seen an increase in interest in tiaras, of which we currently have five. In fact, we sold one just last week.
What is Hancocks London doing to ensure it is customers’ first choice for wedding jewellery?
We are doing what we do best: finding and creating a unique collection of antique, vintage and contemporary jewellery with a focus on old-cut gems, thoughtful and inspired design and exceptional craftsmanship.
We have a beautiful and varied collection of wedding rings alongside which we offer a bespoke service to create a ring that fits exactly alongside a bride’s engagement ring.
From classic and traditional to cool and contemporary we have pendants, earrings and of course tiaras to suit different tastes and budgets.
Not forgetting the gentlemen, we also carry a collection of cufflinks and dress sets that range from refined elegance to colourful whimsy.
We always take care of our existing clients with favourable pricing, services such as tiara hire and complimentary cleaning of their engagement ring prior to the wedding day.
Whether you are looking for something old, something new, something borrowed or something blue – we’ve got you covered!
What is an antique diamond and what makes them unique?
Antique and vintage gems were physically cut and polished by hand and eye in an era before computers and lasers.
The very best cutters were remarkable craftsmen who understood the material and could extract the most amount of life and beauty from the rough using stunning cuts and makes that were not restricted by today’s commercial parameters.
Machine-cut stones somehow don’t hold the same romance. The old ones were stones cut with the highest level of craftsmanship. They were cut solely to enhance their beauty and for the love of the stone — there’s no better sentiment than that.
A wonderful by-product of using these special stones is the fact that they are recycled and the most environmentally responsible source of diamonds.
Why do you work with them?
I love nothing more than going round the world and finding the best old-cut diamonds because each one is completely unique, showcases the cutter’s insane level of skill and the play of light and fire is unparalleled.
You see more unusual and unique cuts which would not make financial sense to cut from rough today.
Why not just buy an antique ring?
When I buy a vintage or antique ring that is in excellent condition then I would sell it as it is; realistically though this rarely happens.
Rings, out of all items of jewellery, get more knocks and wear than anything else and one lifetime of love is often enough.
In my opinion there is only one laboratory in the world that can be taken seriously and that is the GIA.”
I like to make new unique pieces using the diamonds that respectfully nod to the era the diamond was cut in but have an overall modern feel to them.
Having all our rings at Hancocks London completely handmade by the finest British craftsmen is crucial and the only way to showcase these special stones, and all of them are made this way no matter how big or small.
Why is certification important?
All diamonds, old or modern, over perhaps 0.75ct should have a laboratory grading certificate stating its carat weight, colour and clarity amongst other things.
In my opinion there is only one laboratory in the world that can be taken seriously and that is the GIA. This is a lab used for assessing diamonds by the best jewellers in the world.
I often see people with diamonds who get ‘certificates’ from jewellers only to find the colour and clarity they have stated on their own certificate to be two grades down and this drastically impacts on the price.
Machine-cut stones somehow don’t hold the same romance.”
We never sell any diamond without a GIA as I want to ensure our customers feel totally informed about the diamond they are buying.
Saying all that, it is also important to remember that you are buying a diamond and not a piece of paper though, the certificate should only act as peace of mind. This is often forgotten.
What sets Hancocks apart?
Our dedication in sourcing and making the finest jewellery on the block— you can buy a piece straight from our window or design something bespoke with us at your side, for no extra cost.
We are renowned for our old-cut diamonds and source them from select dealers around the world – only a handful meet our quality criteria – and have a reputation for always having an exceptional collection of pieces for people to view.
We regularly get positive feedback from our customers saying that they feel confident and reassured when buying a piece of jewellery from us, being a reputable family firm operating in the heart of Mayfair.