When it comes to jewellery, while there are many luxury brand names such as Cartier, Bvlgari and more, Tiffany & Co. is a name on everyone’s lips.
In the recent weeks, there have been many conversations over proposals in Singapore, particularly with this girl proposing to her boyfriend during a football game. For the guys that are looking to propose to their girlfriends with a diamond ring, here are 5 things you should know first before buying a Tiffany & Co. engagement ring.
#1 The Tiffany Blue Box
Your Tiffany jewellery comes in a box in an iconic, distinctive colour known as Tiffany Blue, sometimes also referred to as robin’s-egg blue or forget-me-not blue.
The Tiffany Blue was trademarked by Tiffany in 1998. The Pantone Matching System even created a custom pantone number “1837” for Tiffany Blue, named after the year Tiffany & Co. was founded.
Trademark colours apply within the same industry. This means that other jewellers cannot use the same Tiffany Blue for their products. You can also personalize your Tiffany Blue ring box by embossing it with initials, a monogram or a date.
#2 Quality And Workmanship
How do you know if you are getting what you paid for?
Understanding the 4Cs (colour, clarity, cut and carat weight) is the step to buying an engagement ring. Most diamonds come with a report from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to certify the diamond’s authenticity. The GIA certificate that includes the diamond’s carat weight, as well as the grading for the diamond’s cut, clarity and colour.
However, for Tiffany diamonds, they come with their own Tiffany Diamond Certificate, issued by Tiffany & Co. to certify the authenticity and integrity of Tiffany diamonds. The Tiffany Diamond Certificate is backed by Tiffany’s Full Lifetime Warranty.
#3 A Lifetime Of Service
The size of our fingers could change during different stages of our lives, especially when there is significant weight loss or weight gain. This requires the ring to be resized in order for the owner to wear it.
With time, the ring could also lose its shine and the diamond could become loose in its setting. Your ring requires periodic cleaning and polishing to get it back to its original, shiny state. The prongs might need to be tightened to ensure that the diamond is still secure. The last thing you want is to realize that the centrepiece of your ring, the diamond, has dropped out.
Resizing, cleaning and tightening needs to be done by a professional, a service that costs money. Brand name jewellers like Tiffany & Co. offer customers this complimentary, lifelong service. This means after purchasing your ring from Tiffany & Co., you won’t need to pay for these services done for you in the future.
#4 Markups And Costs
Premium location, premium prices, especially in Singapore.
Located in the heart of Orchard Road, Tiffany & Co has a large two-story store front at Ion Orchard, a prime location along Singapore’s famous shopping street. Besides Ion Orchard, Tiffany & Co. also has 6 other branches in Singapore at locations such as Marina Bay Sands, Sentosa and Changi Airport.
As a large global brand, Tiffany & Co. has the financial flex to spend on marketing, advertising and branding. In 2017, marketing costs were about 7.6% of Tiffany’s 2017 sales, which is a whopping $319 million.
Smaller, custom jewellers on the other hand, pay for rental at more affordable locations such as heartland malls and industrial estates. They also do not have the scale to carry out such extensive marketing. For many jewellers, these cost-savings are then passed on to consumers.
#5 Commitment To Sustainability
Tiffany & Co. are committed to the sustainability of our natural environment. They source the majority of their rough diamonds and metals directly from mines they know and from recycled sources. Tiffany & Co. also believe in investing in the local communities that they operate in. This is done through means such as local hiring, fair wage practices and training and development at their workshops around the world. Tiffany & Co. also manufacture the majority of their products themselves, cutting and polishing diamonds at their own workshops.
Besides ensuring that their diamonds are sourced ethically and responsibly, they are also focused on ensuring that their famous Blue Boxes are made with paper from sustainable sources and recycled materials.
Read Also: Are Diamonds Worth Overpaying For?
With these factors, it’s easy to see why Tiffany & Co. rings come with a hefty price tag. However, there is only supply with demand. There are still many consumers that would choose to purchase an engagement ring from a luxury jeweller that is known all over the world. From the moment you take that Tiffany blue box out of your pocket, everyone would already know it’s a ring from the one and only Tiffany & Co.
Buying An Engagement Ring From Tiffany & Co.
There are perks to purchasing jewellery from luxury brand names like Tiffany & Co. You enjoy top class service the moment you walk through the doors (you won’t even need to lift your hand to open the door). Many of these branded jewellery stores also offer a lifetime of post-purchase service.
With their long history, these luxury brands have built a name for themselves. This contributes towards their branding as a reputable, luxurious jeweller, giving consumers more assurance on the quality of their products and the trustworthiness of the company.
However, buying a ring from Tiffany & Co. comes at a high cost. Not only are you paying for something that is already expensive in nature, you are also paying for additional costs such as the rental, marketing, branding, certification, sustainability and service.
While these factors are some of the reasons behind the high price Tiffany & Co. charges for their jewellery, there are many other brand-name jewellers that offer similar value propositions.
What Are Tiffany & Co. Alternatives?
Thereare also custom jewellers and other smaller jewellers present in the industry that are able to offer customers greater value for money.
While brand-names come with trust, service and authenticity, many of these custom jewellers provide diamonds with the same GIA certificate as the big boys. Some of these custom jewellers also provide services such as engraving and complimentary resizing or polishing (though some might charge one off fees to get the job done).
In recent years, synthetic, man-made, lab-grown diamonds have become more commonly accepted. According to Crystal Market Research, the global synthetic diamond market is forecast to grow to $28.6 billion by 2023 from around $15 billion in 2014. Even the market leader in the diamond industry De Beers have launched their own launch its own laboratory-grown diamonds through their Lightbox jewellery brand.
With the naked eye, it’s difficult to differentiate synthetic from real diamonds. Not only are these synthetic diamonds cheaper, they are also becoming more accessible. You can now find these synthetic diamonds in Singapore through stores such as Orro, Gordon Max and IUIGA.
Keep in mind that purchasing an engagement ring is the start of a next phase of your journey. It is also the start of many other expenses that you would need to incur leading up to your actual wedding.
Listen to our podcast, where we have in-depth discussions on finance topics that matter to you.