Fairy Tale Proposal Takes One Woman by Surprise!
Posted November 19, 2014 by Sharon 0 in Couples

There is nothing more special than a thought-out, well-planned proposal.  Except, of course, a thought-out, well-planned proposal that also occurs in a palace!

From the very beginning, we knew Josh had fantastic taste.  He wanted nothing but the best of diamonds for Lauren’s engagement ring, and the custom design that he picked spoke to a clean, elegant style.  He worked with our sales team to pick the perfect stone, and before long, the ring was complete.  But Josh was just getting started.

Josh took Lauren to Paris, and as though that wasn’t romantic enough, he had a huge surprise planned for her during the trip.  We’ll just let Lauren tell the rest of the story.

“There’s a particular chapter from our recent trip to Europe that would appreciate my perspective – and that’s the first day of our trip and first day in France.

Instead of exploring the romantic streets of Paris, Josh said that he made plans for us to go to dinner with some of the Paris members of the Chaine des Rotisseurs (international food and wine group of which Josh is a member). I thought it was interesting that the Paris chapter was suggesting that we dine in a Paris suburb considering the fine culinary options at hand in the city (required a 45 minute train and a cab ride) but went along with it. As the cab approached our destination we were greeted by a procession of trees and a gorgeous palace on the horizon. I saw clearly why the Chaine would want to have a dinner at this magnificent place.”

 

Approaching the chateau Vaux Le Vicomte.

Approaching the chateau Vaux Le Vicomte.

 

“Some of the palace staff informed us that our dining companions were running late but had arranged for us to get a private tour of the palace as we waited. I found it strange that we had a Chaine photographer follow us down the pathway and into the main palace doors, but figured that they really take their chapter seriously, especially the treatment of their out-of-town guests! Once in the palace our tour guide explained that the palace was named Vaux le Vicomte and that it was Louis XIV’s inspiration for Versailles (used same architect and garden designer).

Each room was more awe inspiring than the next. When we entered into the Hall of the Muses, the most magnificent room yet, the guide excused herself for a minute. As I was admiring the amazing ceiling frescoes and the fact that Voltaire had held private performances for the French royals in that very room, Josh suggested that I sit in one of the throne-like chairs. Naturally I objected (how could I sit on one of these treasures!), so Josh had to find the guide to tell me that it was okay. Even with permission, I sat down nervously, still taking in the splendor of the room and the rare privilege of the experience. My reverie was, however, interrupted as I heard a swift movement and to my amazement saw Josh kneeling before me.”

 

Josh takes a knee in front of his princess.

Josh takes a knee in front of his princess.

 

“My immediate response was to laugh – I thought he was kidding – but I quickly realized that the man I love was actually proposing to me in that most perfect moment. In awe, love and complete shock I said yes.”

“After saying yes, he opened the box to reveal the engagement ring, which, how can I say it, is as extraordinary as the way he proposed.”

 

The ring that took her breath away.

The ring that took her breath away.

“Still on a cloud, I followed Josh and the guide to complete the tour, which included access to the tower which gave us the most breathtaking view of the palace gardens. To conclude the tour, the guide led us into an intimate salon. They served us champagne and hor d’oeuvres and let us spend some time together to let the whole surreal experience sink in.

After about an hour the guide then escorted us to dinner, but not before introducing us to the current owner of the palace who congratulated us and exclaimed that although many weddings had taken place at the Vaux over the last 400 years or so, ours was the first engagement! After a beautiful dinner with some fantastic wine, we walked outside to greet the palace in the evening.”

Josh and Lauren sit down to dinner.

Josh and Lauren sit down to dinner.

 

“The palace steps and grounds were lit with hundreds if not thousands of candles, and we were told that there would be a fireworks show. Inebriated with joy (and likely that champagne and wine recently consumed) I stepped onto a grassy step intending to step down further to find a good seat for the show, only to realize that that step was in fact a very tightly leaved hedge. I then immediately fall (literally) head over heels for my new fiancé leaving one of my heels on the ledge where Josh (and I previously) stood. But for a few minor scratches, I was miraculously unscathed and was ready to have Josh find his way down to join me.

We stood side by side next to that hedge as we watched the skies light up.

As I leaned on my fiancé’s shoulder, still in a dream-like state, I felt so lucky that I found an amazing partner with whom to share an extraordinary reality.”

Since Josh and Lauren are local, we were also lucky enough to meet Josh in person during the process, and we can definitely tell you that Lauren found a keeper!  We wish them all the best and hope to become a lifelong jeweler for them as they build a life together.

 

Another happy couple!

Another happy couple!

 

Do you have a romantic proposal story to share?  Comment below and tell us about it.  And if you want to make one, ask us for help in getting the perfect ring by calling 866-737-0754.

Two Tone Hammered Men’s Wedding Ring in White & Yellow Gold
Posted September 29, 2014 by Sharon 0 in Featured Products

Commemorate your wedding day with a two-tone hammered men’s wedding ring from Brilliance. The wedding band features a hammered finish center in yellow gold and a high-polish milgrain edging in white gold, giving this traditional style a modern twist. Proudly made in the USA, the ring boasts our unique comfort fit and is perfect for the active, yet stylish, groom-to-be.

Two Tone Hammered Milgrain Men's Band 1
Two Tone Hammered Milgrain Men's Band 2

Interested in our other designs? Visit our Men’s Wedding Ring catalog for a range of options and styles.

World’s Greatest Jewelers: Laurence Graff
Posted August 28, 2014 by Sharon 0 in Education

Laurence Graff

(Taken from Society’s Choice Magazine)


Laurence Graff, Master Jeweler

Celebrity hairdresser Harold Leighton pinned the last curl to the crown of the models head as the photographer snapped the first image. The model batted her doe eyes, emphasized with heavy mascara on her lower lashes, as she posed for the next shot. In the wings of the shoot stood diamond cutter Laurence Graff, a pleased smile creeping across his lips. Graff imagined magazine readers flipping through their pages and pausing among the advertisements when they came to this image–his brainchild–of a young girl, hair pinned up in large curls, peeking out under the weight of $1 million worth of precious gem and diamond jewelry.

This iconic 1970’s image, called “Hair & Jewel,” was commissioned by Laurence Graff to promote his jewelry business. It was a daring move, as he was still building his business and diamonds were mainly worn by wealthier, older women as a status symbol–not by provocative sex-kittens, and certainly not worn as a decoration for the hair. Graff explains his concept as “groundbreaking” and “unconventional.” He liked that it broke the traditional, conservative style of modeling jewelry.

Sometimes called the “King of Diamonds” or “The New Harry Winston,” English jeweler Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish family near London in 1938. He left school at age 15 to become an apprentice at a jewelry store, and later partnered with another jeweler, Schindler, to repair rings and create jewelry. Due to the financial situation in England at the time, many people opted to have rings repaired rather than purchase a new one, so the pair had plenty of work. Since Schindler specialized in the repair work, Graff started to design his own jewelry pieces inspired by the “Victoriana” period. He started selling pieces for 2-3 pounds each, and eventually earned credit to buy some diamonds. He incorporated these diamonds into a ring, which he sold for 100 pounds. Each piece earned Graff more money, paving the way for his growing business.

England’s economy made it tough for Graff and Schindler to sustain their business, and eventually they went out of business. Graff said there wasn’t enough business in England, so he traveled the world and started making money by selling jewelry in the Far East. After several years on the road, Graff returned to England to set up shop. In 1960 he founded the Graff Diamonds Company, and by 1962, he had two jewelry shops–one of which was located in Hatton Garden, the center of London’s jewelry trade since medieval times. Graff set himself apart from other designers in 1970, when he released the “Hair & Jewel” advertisement photo. His modern take on jewelry drew the attention of Prince Turki bin Abdul Aziz, who purchased everything in Graff’s shop (including a 14 carat diamond) in a single day! In 1973, Graff became the first jeweler to be presented with the Queens Award to Industry–an award renewed in 1977, 1994, and 2006. Today, Graff has over 40 stores worldwide.

Graff made a huge purchase in 2008 when he bought the Wittelsbach Diamond for 16.4 million pounds–much higher than its 9 million pounds guide price. In 2010, Graff revealed he had three diamond cutters repolish the stone to eliminate chips and improve the stone’s clarity, reducing the diamond’s size from 35.52 carats to 31 carats. The stone was also renamed after the polish, and is now known as the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond. Gemologist Richard W. Wise said the repolish raised the GIA grade of the stone from a “fancy deep grayish blue” to a “fancy deep blue” and raised the clarity from VS2 to IF. As of June 2014, the Wittelsbach-Graff is housed in Gstaad, Switzerland and is worth over 80 million dollars.

Graff celebrated his 60th year in the jewelry business in June 2013, and marked the event by starting his collection of vintage cars and opening 7 news stores in Asia. Additionally, he recreated the “Hair & Jewel” image with a modern twist–the jewels used in the 60th anniversary photograph are worth $500 million. Graff still holds the chairman title of Graff Diamonds International, and his son, Francois, serves as the CEO.

Ruby Accent Gem Engagement Ring in White Gold
Posted August 25, 2014 by Sharon 2 in Featured Products

Add a pop of color when you decide to pop the question with this ruby engagement ring setting. Featuring a round cut, bezel set ruby on each side of your selected center stone, this ring puts a modern twist on a traditional style. Available in either 14 or 18 karat white gold, this ruby-adorned setting’s splash of red will grab everyone’s attention.

Accent Ruby Gemstone Engagement Ring 1
Accent Ruby Gemstone Engagement Ring 2
Accent Ruby Gemstone Engagement Ring 3
Accent Ruby Gemstone Engagement Ring 4

Want more color? Check out our full collection of gemstone engagement rings.

Brilliance Accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Posted August 20, 2014 by Sharon 0 in Brilliance

For the last few weeks we’ve seen a lot of people take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. We wanted a piece of the action so we decided to accept the challenge and take it one step further. How? In the spirit of charity and fun, we challenge all of our followers to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. For every follower that tags us in their video on Facebook (www.facebook.com/brilliancecom), we will donate money to the ALS. Spread the fun and help a great cause!



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