An Interview with Tiffany’s Chief Gemologist!

Recently, ChicagoStyle Weddings was lucky enough to have breakfast at Tiffany’s. We attended Tiffany & Co.’s 130th Anniversary of the Tiffany Setting. Created by the company’s founder, Charles Tiffany, in 1886, the setting was the first of it’s kind. The revolutionary design lifted the diamond “above the band and into the light.” 

 We were lucky enough to get an interview with their Chief Gemologist, Melvyn Kirtley. He gave us some spectacular insight on what’s new and hot in the wedding and engagement jewelry world.

Photo by Nick Harvey

CSW: What trends are you seeing in the world of engagement rings and wedding bands? 
Melvyn Kirtley: Platinum is still the most purchased, but Tiffany has introduced two new settings to freshen up their six-prong setting — one with pave diamonds on the band and prong, and the other is a rose gold band with silver prongs. 

CSW: How have things changed?
MK: Nothing has dramatically changed, but they have expanded in different cultures. It’s true that cultural influences and traditions play a role in the rings people select. For example, in many parts of Asia high-quality diamonds and gold settings are particularly well embraced. I find that customers trust and appreciate our expertise and legacy of quality craftsmanship — so much so that they are willing to try ring styles they may have never considered before.

CSW: Are many couples interested in vintage rings or something new and different?
MK: Most couples are starting their own traditions. If a stone is important they will suggest using it in another way, like with a necklace. A number of our customers are attracted to nontraditional engagement rings such as colored gemstones or band rings. Fortunately, Tiffany offers one of the widest assortments of engagement ring styles to accommodate every couple’s tastes.

CSW: Are smaller stones that are flawless more important than bigger stones with unnoticeable flaws?
MK: The key is to know your customer, the relationship is most important. By knowing your customer you will understand how deep a customer wants to go when picking out this important item. The average couple will visit a store four or five times before they purchase. Building the relationship also leads to working with many generations.

CSW: Are the 4 C’s still the standard?

MK: They have a 5th and that is quality, presence of polish. They look for personality in the diamonds they choose, as the personality can’t be altered. Each is auditioned and some will be rejected.

A special thanks to Mr. Kirtley and the team at Tiffany & Co.

Images courtesy of Tiffany & Co.



By | 2017-01-05T14:35:41+00:00 July 8th, 2016|Blog|
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