If your dream present comes in a small square box you need to know about .
This is a fresh way to shop for rocks and the unpretentious manner of buying something traditional reflects a new survey, revealing nearly half of millennials think asking the bride’s father-in-law for their hand in marriage is outdated, although getting engaged - and getting an engagement ring - are still key parts of the process. Fair enough that you want to skip asking for permission but no one wants to miss out the chance to wear some impressive jewels, right? It’s also been revealed that 35% of couples want to design their rings together and over a third of Brits prefer something bespoke on their finger. If you’re quick, Vashi could turn around your dream ring before Christmas.
Diamonds of every shape and size line the walls along with Sharpie-scrawled dedications from couples who’ve sealed the deal with a Vashi rock. It’s the cutest inspiration, especially from those who said no… “until they saw the ring!” All Vashi’s diamonds are ethically sourced direct from the cutter, so no dealers or middle men are involved, meaning your diamond has a squeaky clean provenance - and you get more carats for your cash.
When personalisation is available on everything from phone cases to cars, it makes sense that the pieces you wear most often should be equally customisable. Bracelets, pendants and earrings are available to design yourself too. In store ‘alchemists’ - Vashi’s name for the craftsmen who make the pieces - mean everything can be made super fast while you watch their work through a window…or dive in and get involved yourself, as I was desperate to do. I took a matte circle of metal and a sprinkling of loose diamonds to a highly polished, immaculately set ring in just a couple of hours.
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You pick the diamonds up with super long pointed tweezers (I felt like an extra in a heist movie) and gazing at the facets through a magnifying loupe was mesmerising. Resting them between your fingers shows you how they might look mounted in a ring. Next you’ll choose the setting. I had a yellow gold Lovestrike style to customise along with the tough choice of where to place those diamonds. Once that had been decided and my finger sized, the hunk of metal went into the lab.
It was delicately bashed into size before the diamonds were set. A tiny drill insets the metal and then I used a very fine chisel to actually set the stones. It’s a hypnotisingly therapeutic process that means they’ll never fall out. Then finally I got to play with the polishing machine. Different surfaces buff out scratches and smooth the raw surface until the ring is almost reflective. My fingers were filthy after a turn on the polisher and I definitely needed a fresh mani to show off the sparkler I’d just made but it was so worth it. Getting to say “I made this” with such a significant piece is a dream.
This Friday, Vashi take over Selfridges windows with a display of love poems written by Greta Bellamacina. The cult poet and style icon has been inspired by her friends and her own love stories. “The internet has helped un-censor poets to write a more realistic version of love stories, it’s refreshing.” Echoing the way we fall in love - and celebrate our relationships - If you pop in store you can also get your love story on the window and book a timeslot to make sure you and whoever you want to see the results - are right by the window. It’s modern love.
Weddings & Engagements