Choosing a Diamond Engagement Ring: The Expert Advice

Having grown up in Antwerp, the heart of the diamond world with a father, grandfather and uncles all in the business, and himself having over 30 years experience in buying and selling diamonds around the world, Elie Chodos is an expert when it comes to helping our clients find their perfect stones.

Married to Noble Fine Jewellery’s Founder, Ilana Brandwain (a self-confessed perfectionist who made him propose twice in the terraced rice fields of Bali), here Elie shares his best advice on finding the perfect ring…


Choose Together


“While the tradition may state that the man has to propose with a ring, I am very glad I ignored that advice and decided on the ring together with my wife. Knowing her as I do, I knew she would want to be involved in the process – she’s a perfectionist and made me propose twice as I didn’t get it right the first time round (according to her, my knee was not low enough) – and it is important you both have something that will be worn and enjoyed.”

Perfection Isn’t Everything


“While a flawless diamond is great investment piece on its own, when it comes to engagement rings, the purity of a stone is not as important as the colour and how it is going to be worn. I always recommend a VS1 stone for an engagement ring as they are still beautiful stones and over the years we have developed ways we can work any of the slight imperfections to ensure the overall effect is just as stunning. For example, where you set the claws or how you incorporate side stones or a halo will all help to offset any small inclusions the stone may have.”


Try Colours


“Of course there is nothing quite like a flawless white diamond, however if you were to ask me my favourite colour stone, it would have to be the yellow Zimmi diamond. Fancy colour diamonds are not only unique to work with (especially for engagement rings), they are an incredible investment – especially yellow, pink and blue diamonds which are always on the rise.”


Favourite Cuts


“I like to be a bit different with my choices, so the pear-shaped, oval, cushion and Asscher diamonds are my favourite. Round brilliant cuts are always stunning, but they are also very popular and engagement rings do go through trends. At the moment, most cuts are either round or emerald and many clients are also asking for halos – but remember every ring will be beautiful, so it is okay to be a little bold and brave with your choices.”

Times Change


“When I proposed to Ilana 11 years ago, it was with a princess cut diamond ring which she no longer wears and has replaced it with a round brilliant cut diamond. While the original sits in our safe, I know that there will be a day when she will want to wear it again but trends (and brides) change and grow. It also makes it simpler with two sons, as now there are two rings for them to hopefully pass onto their brides.”

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