Bridal StyleEngagement Rings

The Journey to the Perfect Diamond…

For Maryland Engagement rings, one jeweler goes the extra mile (or 5,000) to discover hand-picked diamonds for her clients…

†Locked in a vault almost 5,000 miles away from home, with nothing but tweezers and her exceptional eyesight, Amie Benson stands among thousands of sparkling diamonds… all ripe for the picking. It’s up to her years of expert skill to select the beauties she will be facetiming and texting to her clients later that evening… 

Does this Sound like your average engagement ring shopping experience?  

Probably not. Usually you’d select one from behind a glass case at your local jewelry store; Not facetime and text with a jeweler who’s just spent hours in a diamond vault selecting stones specifically to your specifications and requests. 

Read on for this exclusive interview as Amie Benson of Nelson Coleman Jewelers, and Kelly Smith of Valley Bride Wedding Guide, talk “next level” diamond selection for Maryland engagement rings…

As told by Kelly Smith: 

I recently had the pleasure of reuniting with my former kindergarten peer, Gemologist, Amie Benson, and I asked her one very important question…

Where do all the pretty diamonds come from?

For so many couples, pretty diamonds simply sit behind a glass case awaiting to be chosen at a local jewelry store; or, often a couple may opt to custom create a ring from scratch. They like a certain stone and want a custom setting, etc.  

Then there’s the couple who wants that VERY specific diamond with another level of personalization. One that brings a certain cut, quality, color and price tag…  

A New Level of Customization

For this client, Amie Benson, certified GIA diamond expert with Nelson Coleman Jewelers, hops on a plane to Antwerp, Belgium – the diamond capital of the world.  
  “Packed into one little street are hundreds of diamond offices and cutting facilities as well as some of the biggest names in independent laboratoriesWhen I’m there, I have the luxury of searching through tens of thousands of diamonds that have just arrived in Antwerp and haven’t yet been allocated to any specific region of the world.  I get the pick of the litter and it’s all at my fingertips.” – Amie Benson 

Traveling Abroad to Discover that Perfect Diamond

While in Antwerp, Amie is locked in a highly secured diamond vault.  Her passport is confiscated as she begins her search for the finest, rarest diamonds on earth.   

I have nothing with me except my exceptional eyesight, tweezers, a loupe and years of experience and training on how to identify diamonds by value, rarity, quality, and performance.”  
Each customer provides her with the size, shape, color, clarity, and cut of their choice.  She also is aware of their budget and attempts to bury herself in diamonds until she finds a few options per customer.   

After a long day of searching, around 11:00pm Antwerp time, Amie contacts her clients in the States to discuss the stones she’s selected for them. Typically, she narrows it down to two, three or four options per customer and over the phone, Facetime, email and/or text messages they decide together on “the one.” 

Visiting the Diamond Back Home…

Once Amie returns to Maryland, she inspects all of her diamonds again in the store.   

“You’d be amazed how different diamonds look in different lighting. I like to make sure I’m still happy with all of my selections.”   

The client then visits Nelson Coleman Jewelers to see their diamond in person and then customize ring settings.  

 “It’s always exciting for them to see the diamonds loose before we set them. I love being a part of this step. I’ve had many phone conversations and emails back and forth confirming that this is their diamond, so it’s really fun to watch it come to life for them.” – Amie 

Some Noteworthy 2019 Diamond Trends 

Amie explains that when it comes to engagement rings, fancy shapes are coming back in a big way. Rounds are always the most popular and have been for decades. It’s a classic look that never goes out of style. It also offers the most light-return (sparkle) of all the diamond shapes.   

Ovals are hot at the moment, but marquise and pear shapes are making a comeback as well. Clearly these different shapes are a bit more fashion forward than their timeless counterparts, the classic solitaire.  

Today many individuals prefer their diamonds to look little different; and while yellow and rose gold settings are on the rise, most still choose white gold or platinum. 

The Moment of Engagement – The Most Beautiful Detail of All… 

Aside from the diamond, the cut, and the settings… it all boils down to that one moment. Amie shares her favorite proposal story after one of her voyages to Belgium: 

From the most recent trip, we had a gentleman who purchased a large, absolutely stunning diamond.  The couple have a young son together, and he had his son walk downstairs with the ring box, hand it to his mother and say “Mommy, will you marry Daddy?”   

Gives me chills just thinking about it.   

Looking to browse or discover Maryland engagement rings?
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