With so many dazzling diamond engagement rings out there, it really can be overwhelming choosing your dream diamond engagement rings. I wanted to speak to one of the top experts in this field, Vashi Dominguez took time out to answer some key questions.
After 2 years of studying for a law degree in his native Tenerife, Vashi Dominguez decided it ‘probably wasn’t for him’. 9 years later, after using the age old ‘cut out the middle men’ principle to build a successful chain of electronics shops on the island, he’s applied the same technique to revolutionise the way people think of and invest in diamonds. Now based in London, this is a man on a very precious mission.
5 Star Weddings: How did you discover your passion for Diamonds and learn to become an expert?
Vashi Dominguez: I’ve always been fascinated by how something so tiny can be worth so much! I’d had success in electronics by sourcing directly from the biggest suppliers myself and passing on the saving to the customer so I was looking for a way to apply this technique to another business. I spent a long time learning to become a diamond expert, and in the closed doors world of diamonds I had to visit over 200 trader’s offices, mostly in diamond-capital Antwerp before one finally cut me a deal.
5 Star Weddings: As well as the famous 4 C’s (Cut, Carat, Clarity & Colour), which other factors should we be aware of when choosing diamonds for jewellery.
Vashi Dominguez: When I’m assessing a stone, I’m looking for it to be very special indeed. As well as the 4 C’s I take into account over 100 factors to ensure the stone truly has magnificent qualities. I select on average only 1 in 10 of the diamonds that come to me for review and my certification has to go far beyond just checking for flaws & imperfections.
5 Star Weddings: What are you top tips for getting the best value for money when choosing a diamond engagement ring?
Vashi Dominguez: It’s easy to be swayed by pushy sales-people and low-lighting. Be aware, as when you buy anything, that luxurious surroundings cost a lot of money for the shop to run. Try to think outside of the box and look at the facts behind the value of diamond jewellery. For instance if you buy a stone that’s slightly under-size to the nearest round carat weighting e.g. 0.9 of a carat, you’ll save up to 30%.
Also don’t underestimate the value of after-care services, at Diamond Manufacturers we offer lifetime warranty as standard, which covers free cleaning, ring re-sizing, adjusting, prong tightening and rhodium plating at any time, completely free of charge.
5 Star Weddings: Which are the most popular styles for diamond engagement rings? Do you predict these to change much in the future?
Vashi Dominguez: Halo engagement rings are particularly increasing in popularity, because they blend a traditional approach with a modern style of setting. People are also making the most of our bespoke ‘create-your-own’ services so they can design a truly unique piece that no-one else could have. There will always be something extra special about being ‘home-made’!
5 Star Weddings: How would you advise couples to choose wedding rings?
Vashi Dominguez: Firstly, decide if you’d like to have matching bands as this will really dictate the type of metals you’ll both choose. For a woman, bear in mind how the band will sit next to the engagement ring. Slightly curved designs are popular to shape around the more enigmatic engagement ring. A wedding band doesn’t have to be boring – those that include diamonds are really popular and less money than you might think.
5 Star Weddings: Diamond Manufacturers offers people a revolutionary way of buying diamonds online, can anyone invest?
Vashi Dominguez: Yes – and now is the time! Diamonds are a great investment because their price continues to increase even when other investments may go down. This is due in part to the steady demand for diamonds and because there’s less than 20 years of supply remaining in the major operating mines. In fact, diamonds are actually a perfect recession-proof investment, but make sure you buy polished rather than uncut pieces.
5 Star Weddings: How do you ensure your diamond engagement rings are ethically sourced?
Vashi Dominguez: We deal directly with the sightholders of the world’s largest diamond mines, so there are literally no middle-men involved. We’re also members of the Stop Blood Diamonds foundation.
5 Star Weddings: After the big day, how should couples best clean their rings?
Vashi Dominguez: As well as careful washing and brushing with a soft bristle, funnily enough leaving a diamond engagement ring to soak in a glass of vodka for a few hours will give its sparkle back and leave a brilliant sheen. Simply rinse it under a warm tap and rub dry with a lint-free cloth!
5 Star Weddings: What makes a 5 Star Wedding?
Vashi Dominguez: In my opinion you have a 5 Star Wedding when both the bride and groom realise their dreams together. As a married man, a tip is to try not to get stressed about the day. It’s one of life’s most special and beautiful moments, and a lot of people spend too much time worrying about everything! Relax, have fun, and enjoy it, because in most cultures a wedding only lasts one day…
You can read more about investing in and buying diamonds at Vashi’s award-winning Guidance Centre diamondmanufacturers.co.uk