How Would a Peaky Blinder Buy a Diamond Engagement Ring?

how to buy a diamond engagement ringAsk Tom Shelby…

Hard men should not buy (or steal) crap!

Fact: A recent jewellery and engagement study by The Knot revealed most men are about to get ambushed.

According to the study, “The majority of grooms (72%) report facing challenges throughout the ring purchasing journey, most notably not knowing if they were getting a good deal …” And that’s not proper; is it boys? Let’s do something about it now.

If you’re planning to propose, here’s some diamond buying street advice.

But first, for you “true” gangland fans.

What is a Hatton Garden jeweller writing about Peaky Blinders?

It has nothing to do with peddling Peaky Blinder jewellery – far from it.

Put it this way, it has something to do with blood. I don’t mean spilling blood. That’s enough of a hint for now. You’ll find the answer below.

OK, one more clue. It has something to do with Billy Fullerton, the notorious Glasgow razor gangs and a man they dubbed “Scotland’s Elliot Ness” or “The Hammer.”

If you’re sharp enough to work it out, post the answer in the comment box below.

One last thing before we dive in.

If you can’t read, like many gang member’s in the 30’s, maybe the unfortunate lady you’re about to marry, can be kind enough to download, and then read the following guide out loud to you:

“8 Questions a Peaky Blinder Will Ask His Jeweller – Before Headbutting Him”

Now, for the gentleman’s guide to buying a diamond engagement ring: By order of the Peaky Blinders!

1. “On the Street, Reputation is Everything.”

What about your reputation with family, friends, and, more importantly, the woman you are about to marry?

I ask because of a new Chinese invasion.

Almost overnight, China has become the world’s largest jewellery exporter. Most men buying engagement rings won’t know that. It’s not their fault, because there just isn’t enough space on a ring to stamp: “Made in China.” As The Knot’s engagement ring study pointed out, that’s a big problem for all of you grooms.

The market is flooded with Chinese goods that look mighty impressive but, after a closer look, are really subpar.

Think about it. Would Thomas Shelby buy an engagement ring made in China? Never. “Thomas Shelby has a reputation to uphold, that’s why he’s been chosen…” said his onscreen wife, Grace.

In fact, for many reasons, Tommy is a man of principle.

His dark times in the WWI trenches convinced him to buy British. He’d rather fix his bayonet and stare a man straight in the eye to see if the diamond he’s about to buy is genuine. If a jeweller wouldn’t want his own wife to wear the ring, Tommy would be eager to know why.

After all, the last thing you want is your wife excitedly showing off a new diamond, only to find that it changes colour when she washes her hands.

So what should you do to protect your reputation on the engagement ring front?

For starters, Buy British!

2. Forget About Budget; Buy Big or Go Home

Millions of men around the world have searched Google for “cheap engagement rings.”

If you’re one of these culprits, consider the following angle:

Unless you’re investing in a rare 1960 Ferrari 250 GTO, your engagement ring has more of a chance of increasing in value than your family car. A bold statement indeed, so allow me to explain.

You don’t buy an engagement ring every week, so buying quality is important.

Experts agree, “after buying your home, an engagement ring is one of the biggest and most important purchases you’ll ever make…” If that’s the case, should you really shop for the cheapest deal, or should you focus on the big picture?

You’re about to invest in a future heirloom. What you buy now will be critiqued a hundred years from now. Make your great-grandchildren truly proud with a ring that has a chance to increase in value.

If a real man can’t afford an heirloom piece to what best represents his family, he’ll find a way to afford it.

3. Sell your Ducati. Clear out the attic. Sell your Bitcoin. Just raise the cash.

What did Tommy Shelby do to expand the Blinders gambling empire? Well, ask Billy Kimber. Then ask Sabini.

The point is: he pulled out all the stops.

Similarly, short of gun running, put everything you can into this once-in-a-lifetime purchase. You’ll look back while sipping your last bottle of Midleton Dair Ghaelach and never regret investing in quality.

That said, buying your engagement ring as an investment is frowned upon by many in the trade. But hey, they aren’t Peaky Blinders! I’ll take on anyone that says you shouldn’t, at least, consider it. Here are a number of reasons why you’d be an eejit not to:

First off, I’ve had to improve my own negotiating skills when buying rough gemstones direct from the mines. Why?

Because the price of rough stones has soared.

For some rough gems I’ve continually bought over the last ten years for as little as $10-$20 per gram, today can’t be found for anything less than $80-$150 per gram. You do the math. And you’re not the only one with a calculator.

Proactive Investors, reporting on African emerald miner Gemfields, say, “It achieved a ten-fold increase in emerald pricing over the past five years…” The Wall Street Journal added, “Demand Soars for Colored Diamonds… from the start of 2009 to Sept. 30, 2016, the price of pink diamonds has increased nearly 180%… Blue and yellow diamonds are up by around 70% and 90%, respectively…”

Auctioneer Bonhams chipped in too, “In 2004, a 30-carat Sri Lankan sapphire sold at Bonhams London for £11,950. A decade later, a similar Sri Lankan stone, also weighing 30 carats, sold for a staggering £326,500 – an increase of 2,200 percent…”

I can throw many more examples at you, but I’m sure you get the point. Buy the right stone, from the right brand, at the right time, with no gaps in provenance, and one day your engagement ring could have Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams fighting to auction it off to the highest anonymous bidder.

4. Even Gangsters Research Diamonds Before Stealing Them

That said, the 4Cs: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat are often pimped as the holy grail of diamond knowledge.

In truth, they’ll never make you a diamond Einstein. That accolade is reserved for men aware of the importance of knowing what the official certificate doesn’t tell you about the stone.

That’s because a standard certificate only provides basic gemological information about a diamond’s properties.

If you want to know the full story of your future heirloom diamond, go beyond the 4Cs, or you’ll buy a stone with imperfections and impurities that don’t have to be recorded on the certificate. And these are the most important elements that make your diamond standout from the rest.

To buy like a pro, you need to conduct a more thorough analysis of the diamond.

1.) Analyse magnified images of your diamond, because to save weight, the diamond cutter could have been told to hide a nasty surprise under the table facets.

2.) A little-known truth about Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) diamond grading reports is that they only provide average measurements for a diamond’s cut proportions. If you compare two similar diamonds, even minor differences in cut proportions could place the value of both stones miles apart. However, select a diamond based on its Sarin Report, and you will get the stone’s exact measurements. This makes it easy to weed out poorly cut stones.

3.) If a master diamond cutter insists that his stones are critiqued with an ASET tool, what should you request before buying a diamond?

ASET stands for Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool.

An ASET tool is used to evaluate one of the most important elements of a diamond – its light performance in all 58 facets of the stone. Although it’s the only diamond cut grading tool endorsed by the gemological community, most engagement ring diamonds on sale today have never been analysed with this tool. And there are other strict criteria proper jewellers use to analyse diamonds.

This extra due diligence makes all the difference between a dull stone and a diamond that shoots fire when she walks into a room. But such expertise takes time and a degree in gemology to acquire.

I’m assuming that’s time you’d rather spend serenading the pretty little thing you are about to marry, right? The solution?

Go beyond jewellery websites and discussions with inexperienced sales staff. Instead, make friends with the right jeweller. After all, what happened when Thomas Shelby got this wrong by asking the gangster, Alfie Solomons, to pose as his jeweller to the Russians?

His son Charlie got kidnapped.

5. How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off

After an in-flight whiskey at 30,000 feet en route to an African emerald mine, David asked, “Alvin, why do gem dealers become gem dealers?” “Because they’re too scared to become drug dealers!”

If a wise old codger like David, with over 50 years experience in the gem and jewellery trade is right, you’d better watch out, because you’re about to buy an engagement ring from a jeweller that secretly wishes he was Pablo Escobar.

And before you do that, it may be a good idea to arrive armed by seriously considering the two most important C’s: Credentials and Certifications.

Who is this jeweller? Meet him face-to-face. Shake his hand and count your fingers afterwards. If you’ve got a bad feeling about him, run.

How does he operate? Does he buy diamonds from overseas sweatshops (stones cut by teenagers and the elderly)? Does he use cleverly designed mounts to shortchange you on gold/platinum weight? These rings appear metal-heavy but are as light as plastic.

Whatever you do, never buy an uncertified loose stone. And never buy an uncertified pre-made engagement ring. Your stone needs to be certified before it is mounted.

That said, certificates aren’t always going to protect your purchase.

Does your chosen jeweller use a certificate from a “cowboy” laboratory? More and more of these are popping up all over the world, trying to cash in on the rise in demand for certificates. Stick to certificates from the American Gemological Society (AGS) or Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and you will sleep soundly. They provide the highest standard of certification for gemstones.

What’s more, the brilliant thing about the jewellery industry is that it relies heavily on trust.

If a jeweller goes rogue, the alarm will sound in record time. And as Tommy Shelby will tell you, we have ways of dealing with rogues: “8 Questions a Peaky Blinder Will Ask His Jeweller – Before Headbutting Him”

6. For Best Results – Get the Queen of the Manor Exactly What She Wants

“When he gave me the engagement ring my heart sank…”

Read on to how her man got it horribly wrong.

The web is littered with true stories of men who strangely bought engagement rings they imagined wearing themselves. They seemed to forget that their wives are the ones going to wear the ring forever.

Are these whistle blowing wives unappreciative, or are they allowed to express their true feelings?

While the engagement ring is a big purchase you will make, it should also be something your fiancé absolutely loves having on her hand!

We men need to realise what Thomas Shelby quickly learned:

“In the period after the First World War, women were incredibly powerful in working-class communities,” said Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight. He goes on to tell Radio Times,“While the men were away at war, the workplace – including illegal gambling rackets – had been run perfectly well, if not better, by women…”

Underestimate the input your future wife can have on creating the perfect engagement ring, and your days are numbered:

“When he gave me the engagement ring my heart sank. As far as I can remember, I dreamed of having an oval shaped diamond for my big day, hubby bought a pear shape instead. He went for yellow gold, but I’m allergic to it. Knucklehead? Thankfully, he didn’t mind us taking the ring back and swapping it for platinum… managed to get my oval shaped diamond too, but the special proposal day itself was a disaster…” – Anonymous bride.

How do you buy a ring that she would choose herself? Involve her in the buying process.

How do you do that without sacrificing the element of surprise? Become a private investigator. How do you that?

For starters, test your engagement ring IQ.

You can do it now.

Take Wild Jewellers ring style quiz: “When Real Men Say I Do.” Discover the truth about what your future wife doesn’t want to see in her engagement ring. More importantly, get 13 little-known design secrets of the world’s most personalised engagement rings.

7. Protect Your Investment

If you’re like Tommy Shelby, you’re not a big fan of insurers.

That’s why he hired the pitbull, Arthur Shelby – a proper insurer. “I’m Old Testament!” snarled Arthur. Inspiring Tom Hardy to reply, “That man will murder and maim for you with God on his side.”

Unfortunately, if our wives’ diamond engagement ring goes missing, we’d struggle to enlist Arthur’s enforcer services. Best to stick to tradition.

Your options include getting a replacement insurance policy through your jeweler or adding its value to your home contents insurance.

Whatever method you choose, it’s wise protection.

But to benefit fully, re-evaluate your engagement ring every few years, because an outdated valuation can lead to a huge unnecessary loss.

For example, Kate Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring (originally belonging to Princess Diana) was valued at £28,000 in 1981.

If it was lost today, an insurer would have to sign a cheque for £300,000; all thanks to a recent re-evaluation of the royal ring.

Likewise, keep your valuation updated. Don’t give a greasy insurer any reason to salivate all the way to the bank.

By Order of the Peaky Blinders!

Alright boys, you’ve made it this far.

In conclusion, a word from Tommy himself, “You know, gentlemen, there is hell, and there is another place below hell.” That place is buying an engagement ring your girl says she likes just to avoid offending you.

Follow the above advice, and it won’t go that way for you.

Instead of buying a paving slab, this simple guide will help you to weed out the crap. You’ll invest in a diamond engagement ring that truly reflects your partners personality, so the compliments you both receive are genuine!



PS: Interesting trivia for you gangland fans.

Here’s the reason why a Hatton Garden Jeweller wrote about the Peaky Blinders…

My great grandfather, Sir Percy Sillitoe KBE, dubbed “Scotland’s Eliot Ness” was credited with crushing the notorious Glasgow razor gangs during the 1930’s. (That was before Prime Minister Clement Attlee appointed him as the director general of MI5, Britain’s counter-espionage service).

Portrait of Sir Percy Sillitoe

Photo credit

When papa Percy was interviewed about his questionable gang busting tactics, he replied, “There is only one way to deal with the gangster mentality. You must show that you are not afraid.”

History tells us his strong hand approach worked. Assuming the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I hope this engagement ring buying advice, from inside the belly of the diamond trade, helps you navigate, what is going to be a truly exciting time of your life. “Get it done boyz!”