“All our stars were aligned on the day we got engaged,” beams Mandie Taylor.
Her boyfriend, Adrian Portelli, had taken her for a romantic weekend at the Shangri-La hotel at the Shard, in central London, to celebrate their sixth anniversary of being together.
“As we booked in, the receptionist told us she had a surprise for us. I thought perhaps it was a bottle of wine to welcome us. “We soon discovered they had upgraded us to an enormous suite, which wasn’t part of Adrian’s plan at all! It was an unexpected bonus. “As we looked around the room, he told me had something for me as well. I turned around and he was holding a little box in his hand…”
Mandie, from Birmingham, had met Adrian, an Australian, at work, and they have been living together in Denham, Bucks for the past three years. Getting engaged was “always on the cards” says Mandie, but she had no idea that Adrian was actually going to propose to her. In fact, several weeks earlier, he had contacted Sterling Diamonds following a recommendation from a friend.
“He had the seal of approval from my mother and my daughter, but when it came to picking a ring, he was totally in the dark,” Mandie laughs. “I don’t wear a lot of jewellery, so he didn’t have much to go on in terms of taste or size. I think he was pretty scared!”
Adrian worked with John, at Sterling Diamonds, who patiently guided him on what to look for in a diamond, and explained that the size of the stone is not the only factor.
“It was hugely useful, because Adrian knew that what he was buying was valuable and a worthwhile investment, without having to go bigger and bigger. He was given lots of information and support, so he felt confident he was making the right decision.”
The process took about a month from beginning to end.
“Because the diamond ring also comes with free resizing, it made him feel very comfortable, because he knew he could guess and it would be fine.”
The diamond he eventually chose was round, .78 carats, and very high quality, with low imperfections. It is in a delicate, four-prong setting, which displays the diamond beautifully.
“If you look at it from the side, you can see the whole of the diamond.
“I love it!” says Mandie. “I still look at it an inordinate amount of time every day.”