The wedding industry has been hit especially hard by the pandemic, thwarted by lockdowns and guest limitations. While the number of weddings in Hong Kong may dropped 40 percent year-on-year between January and September 2020, according to a survey published by The Standard , the pandemic has not stopped anyone from popping the question.
Ryder Diamonds, based in Hong Kong, experienced a 30 percent increase in the number of clients looking for engagement rings and to propose between September to December compared to 2019. Couples are choosing to solidify their bond sooner due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, in an effort to resume to some form of normality.
“Couples have been investing in timeless, value for money jewellery items that speak true to them as a couple, rather than on events and clothing. Many couples have been
separated for extended periods of time and want to enrich their wedding experience by building the perfect ring that symbolises the strength of their relationship, now more so than ever,” said Sally Ryder, Founder of Ryder Diamonds.
Love has still found a way to prevail, and Ryder Diamonds has compiled a list of quarantine engagements that prove just that.
Emily and Hing
Diamond newbie and romantic, Hing, worked closely with Ryder Diamonds to create the ultimate classic ring for Emily, bearing in mind that she loves cushion-cut diamonds. Working closely with Sakura Tomita, Designer at Ryder Diamonds, Hing learned insightful tips on how to buy smart when it comes to diamonds, with a great deal of focus on fine tuning design elements to create an impeccable setting-to-diamond ratio. With tapered baguette side stones paired with a classic centre stone, the piece was a harmonious blend of their aesthetics as a couple. “In our first meeting, Saki really took her time to answer every question, something that you would not achieve buying on the high street or online. At no point did I feel pressured into getting something I didn’t want, but in fact felt completely understood, as they made what was in my head a reality,” said Hing.
Anita and Ricky
After attending a private diamond masterclass at Ryder Diamonds, Ricky decided to work with Sakura Tomita to create a piece that truly expressed his love and their relationship. “Throughout the process, I wanted to make some minor amendments to the design that paid tribute to a moment my then-girlfriend had recently reminded me of. We were wandering around Kowloon, and she being poor with directions said I’ll have to help her find the way, to which I turned to her and said, always. This resonated with her deeply, and I wanted to include this in the piece by adding a ‘compass’ element to it,” said Ricky. The Ryder Diamonds in-house workshop was able to incorporate the compass element by adding a halo and marquee combination.
Helen and Lok
After being proposed to with a plastic ring from Tao Bao in the middle of the ocean, Helen and her fiancé worked with Sally Ryder to create a one-of-a-kind engagement ring, making their union official. “Couples are more often than not coming in to select a ring together, as many have been separated for extended periods of time, and want to build on their wedding experience as a couple,” said Sally Ryder. Ryder Diamonds puts design first, and is a core competency of the brand. From the minute an individual walks in, it is pertinent to understand their exact preferences to be able to propose a plethora of unique design options for the couple to choose from and customise. “As the single most important piece of jewellery I have ever owned and will wear for a lifetime, I needed to work with someone who was invested in creating it, especially with my very specific design requirements; a curved band to cradle the diamonds,” said Helen.
A diamond is the ultimate way to mark an engagement and solidify a commitment. When it comes to love, each couple has their own unique story. Similarly, diamonds are unique with no two exactly the same, and the extreme conditions under which they are created means a natural diamond can almost reflect the way your heart feels.
Ryder takes it one step further, with creating impeccable, timeless pieces that speak true to these love stories through design. Unlike other jewellers with ready-made stock, Ryder starts each piece with a consultation about how to buy smart with the right choice of diamond grade. Then the fun part begins, where designs are imagined and styled with the client’s vision and guided by Ryder’s signature settings. Once the gems are chosen, the design is hand-drawn with a to-scale sketch, to ensure that it syncs with their visual expectations. Though-out the crafting process, the client is invited to see their visions come to life in their onsite workshop. The behind the scenes access is a special experience which gives one a true sense of ownership to their one-of-a-kind piece of art. A process that cannot be replicated or purchased off a shelf, but rather enriches the proposal experience.