Laura Damiani: A Generation Of Jewellers
Laura Damiani, director of operations and marketing at Damiani Jewellers, discusses jewellery trends, success and why diamonds might be in her blood.
As a family-owned business in its third generation, Damiani Jewellers is founded on exceptional customer service, quality products and stories that warm the heart. For Laura Damiani, who’s been working full-time for the business since 2015, it’s also founded on memories.
She recalls running around the store when she was younger, just tall enough to look over the counter at clients, watching as her grandfather helped them achieve joy at finding the perfect piece. She also recalls sitting at the supplier dinners her grandparents would host, looking at the rows of diamonds that would come out after the food. “I grew up in it, so it’s something I’m very comfortable in,” she says. “Maybe it’s in my blood.”
Today, Damiani Jewellers still runs as a family business, selling engagement rings, wedding bands, diamonds and luxury timepieces. While Damiani sees grandparents bringing in their grandchildren to create lasting moments, she’s continued honing her knowledge, pursuing a diploma in gemology at the world-renowned Gemological Institute of America.
Spending her days surrounded by clients and beautiful stones, she also gets an insider look at the trends driving the industry. When it comes to jewellery, she talks of chandelier earrings having a moment. “They’re showstoppers,” she says, “And we’re seeing them at red-carpet events like the Oscars, Grammy Awards and Met Gala.” She also talks about the popularity of tennis necklaces. “They’re dainty, and you can wear them every day. They’re a great starting point for a layered look.”
This fall, as Damiani Jewellers celebrates its 65th anniversary, the company will be hosting its VIP clients for a Track Day with TAG Heuer & Policaro Group. Th is exclusive racing event will help raise money for Sick Kids Hospital. Damiani will also be offering its Damiani lab-grown-diamond signature pendant that contains a 0.65 carat lab-grown diamond.
Here, Damiani shares some insight on what to look for throughout the engagement process, a few hot trends and her passion for all things jewellery.
Q: How would you approach hinting to your significant other that you’d like to get engaged?
A: I believe that a direct and honest conversation is the best way to go about this. You can remind your partner how happy you are in the relationship and discuss your life goals. If this is too much pressure, maybe going on a romantic getaway will help your partner realize how amazing it is to spend so much time together. Also, enlisting the help of a friend or family member, or talking about weddings or rings, in general, can drop a big hint!
Q: How can you indirectly influence which style ring you will receive without being a part of the process directly?
A: Usually when your partner is ready to propose, he/she will ask family and friends for some advice. Let your friends and family know which ring and diamond shape you like so they can pass the information on when the time comes.
Q: What is the average price of an engagement ring in 2022? Do you advise sticking to the three-month-salary rule?
A: On average, our prices are between $5,000 and $15,000 CAD. Our sales associates can show your partner many different rings and work within the person’s budget. Th e three-month-salary rule is recommended, but, at the end of the day, it is whatever they feel comfortable spending! Th e ring that they first purchase represents where they are at that point of their life.
“To me, success means being passionate in what you do and trying your best. It also means being able to give back and make a difference in the lives of our community”
Q: Can both partners contribute to purchasing a ring?
A: Of course! Nowadays, anything works. A lot more couples are coming in together to choose the ring so their partner can be a part of the decision. And, if the couple feels more comfortable making the purchase together, we are happy to split it for them. Usually, in my experience, one partner purchases the ring as a symbol of their love and commitment. A lot of our customers are traditional in that way.
Q: What has been the craziest engagement story related to a ring purchased from Damiani Jewellers?
A: I have heard such wonderful engagement stories over the years. Th e craziest would be the proposal that happened right at our store! Th e gentleman came in with his girlfriend, had her pick out any ring she wanted, and then he got down on one knee in the store! He said that he didn’t want to wait any longer. Our team was ready to toast the lovely couple and got it all on camera. It was quite an event!
Q: If someone is looking to upgrade their ring after X number of years, what would be the first steps in doing so, and what do you see is typically/commonly requested?
A: If you are looking to upgrade your ring, the first step would be to look online at some ideas of what you like. Go check out our website, damianijewellers.com, for products and trends. The most important step would be to come visit our store in person to speak with a sales associate at your convenience. Our sales associates have been trained and have worked with diamonds for many years; some have over 30 years of experience in the trade. They will be happy to guide you through this important transition. We know there is sentimental value in your ring, so we try to make this process smooth and give you the best information. I see a lot of people coming in to upgrade their semi-mount into something modern. We help them choose the style that suits them and their diamond, and get it set in-house as soon as possible, complimentary. Also, many people upgrade their diamond by choosing something bigger or a different shape. Many people do not want to part with their first diamond, which symbolizes the beginning of their marriage, thus they opt to keep it and sometimes make a pendant so it’s always close to their heart.
Q: Can you share a bit about lab-grown diamonds? What are the pros and cons of natural and lab-grown diamonds?
A: Lab-grown diamonds (or synthetic diamonds) have the same chemical composition (crystallized carbon), durability, beauty and sparkle of naturally mined diamonds. The difference lies in their origin. Lab-grown diamonds are manufactured by or people in a high-tech factory. They did not form naturally in the Earth over billions of years. Because they are manufactured, they are less rare, so they cost less. You get more for your dollar — more carat weight, better clarity and colour!
Pros: the same physical, chemical and optical properties of natural diamonds; cost less; environmentally friendly (no mining).
Cons: do not hold their value like natural diamonds do; because they are so new on the market, we do not know if prices will drop as production gets more efficient/cheaper.
Q: What is your personal favourite piece of jewellery that you own and why?
A: My favourite piece of jewellery … very difficult to say. If I had to pick one, it would have to be my diamond tennis bracelet. It is a classic piece in my collection that really goes with anything! I can stack it and dress it up or down. It also was a gift for my 25th birthday from my parents, a memorable moment in my life.
Q: What is the definition of success to you?
A: To me, success means being passionate in what you do and trying your best. It also means being able to give back and make a difference in the lives of our community. It is important to stay grounded and be grateful for your family and support system, love and good health.
INTERVIEW BY ESTELLE ZENTIL