In this article, I will share my experience of buying an engagement ring in Singapore. This is the first in a series of articles about my wedding journey with Raevian.
I had decided that Raevian was the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, and I wanted to buy the best proposal ring for her. This was a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, and I wanted to make sure that she would be happy with the ring design.
Which led to a conundrum for me: how was I going to ensure she like the engagement ring if she did not personally choose the design? But on the other hand, if she chose the ring herself, it would spoil the proposal’s element of surprise.
For weeks, I couldn’t think of how to resolve this catch-22 situation. Finally, I decided that it wasn’t worth keeping the element of surprise at the expense of buying a proposal ring that Raevian didn’t like. She would be stuck with it for the rest of her life.
And so one day, I decided to subtly seek her opinion on this. I will spare you the details of our conversation, but ultimately the conclusion was that we would purchase the engagement ring together. In this way, she could personally choose a design that she likes. As for the proposal, I figured that since Raevian wouldn’t know when, where and how it was going to happen, the surprise factor would still be there.
I felt extremely relieved after the conversation, knowing that I had made the correct decision. Phew!
And so for the next few weeks, we went ring-shopping together. Below is the list of shops we visited. Ultimately, I bought the proposal ring from JannPaul, because we felt that they provided the best service and the best quality diamonds among all the jewellery shops we visited. We didn’t visit every single jewellery shop in Singapore, but you can check out “The Wedding Vow” site for a comprehensive list of shops selling engagement rings in Singapore.
We visited the Cartier boutique at Ngee Ann City Takashimaya. The shop had a very classy feel to it, and all the staff were friendly and professional. This came as a surprise to us because we were dressed quite casually. And there were other mainland Chinese tourists in the shop, presumably with much fatter wallets than us. Despite that, the salesgirl serving us was still very eager and friendly.
However, when we asked for more details about the diamond (the cut specifications, scope images, any inclusions, etc), the Cartier staff seemed unsure. Instead, she kept emphasizing that Cartier diamonds were of “excellent quality” and gushing over how slim Raevian’s fingers looked. Even though we appreciated her friendly service and attitude, we couldn’t be confident about the diamond quality.
And of course, Cartier diamonds cost a bomb. For the same price, I could get a similar quality diamond but at twice the carat size from a private jeweller such as Michael Trio or JannPaul. Personally, I would rather get a good quality diamond than pay a sky-high price for the brand, just so we could flaunt that we had bought a “Cartier” ring.
Lee Hwa Jewellery
Lee Hwa Jewellery is known for its signature “Destinée” series. We visited the branch at Wisma Atria. Upon entering the shop, we were promptly approached by a slightly aggressive salesgirl, who led us to sit in front of a diamond display counter. We were served warm tea. Right from the start, we felt pressured by the salesgirl. It felt like she desperately wanted to close the sale immediately that day, even though we had mentioned that we were still considering our options. We didn’t look at the Destinée diamonds, but were shown some other diamond ranges. These were quite affordable, but the salesgirl seemed more interested in closing the deal than explaining to us the specifications of the diamonds. After about fifteen minutes, when we said that we wanted to leave, she glared at us and kept asking us if “anything was wrong”, and “what were our concerns??”. We got out of the shop in a hurry.
Soo Kee Jewellery
After our slightly distressing experience at Lee Hwa Jewellery, we proceeded to Soo Kee Jewellery which is located right beside. Soo Kee is known for its signature “Brillant Rose” diamond range. The salesgirl was warm and approachable, and we did not feel any pressure to buy at all. We requested to view a Brilliant Rose 0.9 carat diamond. The diamond looked perfect through the Hearts and Arrows (H&A) viewer. I asked for the price and the salesgirl told me coolly that it was about 20k (I can’t remember the exact price). To be honest, I was speechless for a second. I didn’t know that the Brilliant Rose range diamond was so expensive. In fact, I think it cost even more than the Cartier and Tiffany diamonds. I think the salesgirl could tell from my expression that this was definitely out of my budget, so she suggested for us to view other more affordable diamonds. She was very professional and answered our questions patiently. On the whole, we had a good experience here and shortlisted Soo Kee as one of our potential retailers.
Tiffany & Co.
Everyone knows Tiffany & Co. for its popular “Tiffany setting”, which is a copyrighted design. This is basically a simple but elegant diamond setting with 6 prongs. Click here to see how it looks like. We visited the Tiffany & Co. boutique at Ngee Ann City Takashimaya. The staff was professional but she was pretty nonchalant and didn’t really smile. Also, she seemed more interested in serving another lady who was purchasing a 2 carat diamond. After lingering in the shop for a while, we left because no one was really paying attention to us anyways. In addition, I did not want to pay a premium just for the “Tiffany” brand.
Vivo Diamonds is a private jeweller located along Tanjong Pagar Road, where you will also find numerous bridal shops. We went on a Saturday afternoon and there was only one other couple in the shop. We were served by a male salesperson who made us feel pretty uncomfortable throughout the session. After going through a few diamonds of different carat sizes, he asked me coldly: “any questions?”, and then proceeded to look at me blankly. It felt a bit like being singled out in class by your teacher. I asked a few questions about the specifications, and was given curt replies. After that, he asked me again: “any more questions?”. Throughout the fifteen minute session I felt slightly like I was being interrogated. Needless to say, we left the shop quickly.
After the uncomfortable experience at Vivo Diamonds, we walked for a few minutes down the street to another private jeweller, Michael Trio. Over here, our experience was comparatively more pleasant. We were given a brief explanation of diamond specifications, and the salesperson was very eager and enthusiastic. The diamonds were quite affordable too. We initially shortlisted this shop but later decided on JannPaul instead.
This was the private jeweller that we settled on. After visiting so many jewelry shops, JannPaul was the one who made us feel the most assured of our purchase. We were served by Jerome and Casey (on different occasions), and they both provided us with top-notch service. For example, I was a little obsessed over how the diamond would look under different lighting conditions. So I was actually allowed to take the diamond out of the shop to see its sparkle under natural sunlight. And we spent about an hour or more just sitting at the counter to decide on the appropriate carat size to match Raevian’s finger size. Amazingly, they did not pressure us to hurry up at all, and just stood nearby discreetly in case we had any questions. They also answered our tons of questions patiently, both in the shop and over email.
When we first visited the shop (via appointment), Jerome gave us a free education session on diamonds. The appointment lasted about two hours. After that, we corresponded over many emails and went back for another two times before finally deciding to purchase the diamond. Throughout the whole process, Jerome and Casey were extremely patient and professional, even though it wasn’t confirmed that we would definitely be buying the diamond from JannPaul. We only placed a deposit on the last appointment.
Buying an engagement ring is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and I wanted to make sure I got it right. Thanks to JannPaul, not only was the proposal ring I bought perfect, the whole process of choosing the ring with Raevian was extremely enjoyable too. Thank you Jerome and Casey, for giving us the perfect start to our wedding journey.
Read our full review of JannPaul.
This is part of a series of articles where I share about my wedding preparations leading up to the Big Day. Check it out: Evan and Raevian’s Wedding Journey