How this Beverly Hills based diamond engagement ring specialist sold a 10ct radiant 3 stone ring to a client during lockdown

Michelle Demaree founder of Beverly Hills based Miss Diamond Ring talks about why diamonds represent a couple's unique love story and why people will continue to "pleasure-hunt" for diamonds
Michelle Demaree, Founder, Miss Diamond Ring
Michelle Demaree, Founder, Miss Diamond Ring

If this pandemic has taught us one thing, it is the fact that life is uncertain and fickle. So, people want to make the most of it. People are not able to go out and celebrate as they usually would, and with people who can afford luxury, they are chanelling it towards buying special, rare and expensive jewellery. According to Michelle purchasing a diamond gives the person the same kind of high exercising and having a good dessert does - it is very satiating.

Michelle sold a 10 ct radiant 3-stone ring to a client from Florida who wanted to impress his girlfriend, who fell in love with a few 7-13 ct stones from the inventory Demaree had put together for the couple exclusively. “My average clientele purchase rings in the 3-10 carat range. Clients see a window of opportunity to propose, especially with the threat of a resurgence of Covid in the Fall, so it seems consumer mentality is Carpe Diem, life is short, love cannot be quarantined - let's do this!” says Michelle. In a chat, Michelle talks about demand, trends, why she believes diamonds are here to stay and how she managed to stay connected with her audience during lockdown:

Could you please talk to us about the kind of trends you are witnessing in terms of diamond engagement ring purchases since covid-19?

My average clientele purchase rings in the 3-10 carat range. In this consumer bracket, I noticed a lull in activity at the beginning of March, a screeching halt in sales toward the end of March, then activity started to pick up in April, sales started to close strong in May and strong again in June as the carrot of normalcy has been dangled in front of the public with restaurants & businesses reopening (in the U.S.). Clients see a window of opportunity to propose, especially with the threat of a resurgence of Covid in the Fall, so it seems consumer mentality is Carpe Diem, life is short, love cannot be quarantined - let's do this!

The spend range has averaged around $50,000 but for the .01%.... spending $100,000 - $500,000 is still not only a no-brainer but something they seem more inclined to do. We are all pleasure seeking people, so those who can, will acquire their "happy things and experiences" from all avenues possible and that includes a sparkling diamond bauble. Around 60% of my calls are for ovals, 20% are for radiants, 10% cushions and the final 10% rounds. The thin, simple solitaire setting trend is strong, I would say around 75% of my calls are for that setting, the remainder are generally 3 stone rings. Halos are old news, but hidden halos on baskets are the latest must-have trend.

Would you say the pockets have become deeper when it comes to spending on an engagement ring considering there has been a substantial decrease in other forms of spending like say a big wedding or a luxurious honeymoon?

I wouldn't say pockets are necessarily deeper. I would say those spending 100k+ or more will spend what they were going to spend, regardless. Those spending $50k-100k will still spend but with more hesitancy and those spending 50k or less have reduced their overall budget by between 10-30% based on a lack of future financial security due to the economy and Covid. Most of my couples have accepted the fact that their wedding date may be rescheduled and it is entirely up in the air but they still want to enjoy their engagement ring since that is a forever piece.

Why will diamonds stay relevant during and after this pandemic is behind us?

Every diamond represents one couple's unique love story. Couples will never stop falling in love and couples will never stop getting engaged. People want to feel happy, they want to feel important, they seek pleasurable experiences and items that create lasting joy and meaning. People will never stop wanting this - ever. Diamonds provide this feeling and experience, because they represent the two most important feelings every human seeks:

  1. The connection felt when falling in love
  2. The feeling of status, importance & ego when being associated with luxury spend

Diamonds do the same thing that exercise, alcohol, drugs, sugar/sweets, sex, luxury spending does - they give people pleasure like dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. If a pandemic threatens to take away each individual's happiness, what does the brain do? It goes treasure hunting for pleasure "pleasure hunting", which is why alcohol sales are up and the rich are still spending and in some cases even more frivolously than before.

 Could you give us an example of a memorable purchase done through your platform during the time of lockdown?

Yes! One was a couple that reached out from Florida, and they had been together for around one year. She fell in love with one of my 7 carat Radiant cut rings and gave her boyfriend my information for him to contact me. We had a call, and then he flew out to Beverly Hills for our appointment. She had since fallen in love with some larger stones so with their input I put together a selection of exceptional 7-13 carat stones.

"Rodeo Drive is a ghost town!" he texted me. Then an hour later, in he strolled, after purchasing her dream Aston Martin Vantage in baby blue. He spent the next hour sharing his life story of coming over from Vietnam with 5 dollars in his pocket, and slowly building his empire. Then meeting his future wife at a club in Vegas when she accidentally sat in his seat. "She introduced herself and the rest was history" he gushed as he pondered the 10 carat vs the 13 carat. "She wants to be in the 10 carat club, but her lucky number is also 13" he said tapping his chin. At that moment she called in via Facetime and we did a fun little showing via video of her options. "I want her to be surprised" he said "so show her the 7-8 carat stones," which I did. We finished the call, and discussed next steps. He flew back home and 2 days later pulled the trigger on a 10 carat Radiant 3 stone ring along with inviting me to their mega yacht wedding (omg!!). I have to say, that he is one of the kindest human beings I have ever met in all of my years, and I let him know that. "I am truly honored to be a part of this process and I thank you for trusting me with this important search," I said. 

How did you stay more connected with your audience and how did you promote your offerings to them during this lockdown?

A daily presence on my Instagram stories was very powerful. I talked about my fears, I talked about what it was like being a single mom with a 6 year old NOT at school while running my business, I talked about the love stories still happening, I talked about real life.

People buy from other people because they like who they are and what they stand for. You will never appeal to everyone, just your 33% tribe that resonates with you, your story and your brand. (The other 33% is indifferent, and the last 33% wont like you no matter what you do). The more authentically you, you are, the more you will connect with your people, and the more they will want to do business with you. Again, people seek connection, they are not buying a product, they are seeking a pleasurable, meaningful experience with their purchase, especially at the luxury level. Being genuine, being myself, and engaging with everyone that reached out was and still is powerful. I recognize that it can feel scary to put yourself out there, but the power of connection transcends all flaws and imperfections. It draws people in because if they know you better, they like you and trust you more and millennials seek connection over perfection, so go in that direction with the mindset of how you can best serve your clients and you will always win.

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