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Podcast Episode 2: Engagement Rings, The Real Truth


This episode speaks to the Engagement ring process – and provides all the insights needed to help navigate the somewhat daunting engagement ring and diamond process for the first time. We talk to Lex Atencio, who walks through a conversation with a prospective customer, highlighting the 4 C’s, and what to look for when shopping for a custom engagement ring.

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Show Transcript

Troy Olson: Hello, and welcome to the Modern Jewelry Podcast. Today our special guest again is Lex Atencio. Lex, welcome.

Lex Atencio: Thank you Troy for having me. I’m very happy to be here with you again.

Troy Olson: So if you want to know a little bit about Lex, definitely check out our first episode, where we talked a little bit more about his background. Today we're going to be talking about engagement rings and Lex, just a ballpark figure how many people are couples or individuals do you think you've had conversations with about engagement rings.

Lex Atencio: Me personally?

Troy Olson: Yeah

Lex Atencio: Boy that's a tough one, I would say certainly in the thousands, I would say, certainly in the thousands. Probably the low thousands.

Troy Olson: So low thousands?

Lex Atencio: So maybe, maybe between 1000 and 2000 if I had to guess.

Troy Olson: Got it so a lot of conversations?

Lex Atencio: A lot of conversations.

Troy Olson: So tell me what would you say the traditional definition of an engagement ring is?

Lex Atencio: I would say, you know, looking at the history of the engagement ring for humans, I alluded to very briefly in our first episode that being in the jewelry industry, see the illogical monkey lizard brain sort of draw that we as humans have to jewelry that they don't provide any real value, other than intrinsic value, which is very important there's nothing wrong with that, but it's certainly interesting to just see how everyone reacts to jewelry and how people… how it makes them feel and so obviously that is all types of jewelry and we as humans have been adorning ourselves with all types of jewelry and body modifications with metal for many, many, many, many thousands and thousands of years. I'm no archaeologist but I know that they do exist in lots of archaeological sites and things of that nature and there's a really fantastic Museum in the Vatican in Rome, that I remember going to and there's a whole jewelry section which I don't think is that uncommon for museums in general, historical museums. Just seeing all of the jewelry that people wore and it's really not so different than the jewelry that we have today it's a little more refined today with different technologies.
But people have been really drawn to the same types of jewelry for eons, it's really timeless as far as humans are concerned and so, with engagement rings that's no different humans have been using a quote unquote engagement ring to signify their marriage sense at least Roman times. It's been historically more of a plain ring. It's not until recently that the general public had access to find gems and diamonds that were hard enough to make a piece of jewelry that you wear every day. Which we can also talk about later why diamonds are so properly suited to be the stone in an engagement ring. But in terms of historically the engagement ring has been a sign of, not only love, but of teamwork of a pairing and a lot of cultures, this signal the sign of a ring does exist for a husband and a wife and so people across cultures have different styles of rings. There's been rings that are much more difficult to get off to show signs of infidelity or they cut the person to show signs of them trying to get it off. There's traditions of poetry and rings, there's tradition of putting different religious texts inside of rings, there's traditions of wearing the ring on your right hand and then moving it to your left once you're married but across cultures it's a it's a fairly common thing and so it's, it's pretty neat that many, many, many generations your ancestors have probably been doing that same sign of love and sign of commitment wearing a ring finger as a sign of marriage for forever so it's pretty cool that that we still have that historical kind of sign maybe not the right word to think about it, but.

Troy Olson: Yeah thanks for that background, definitely a lot of things I'd never really thought through. So as far as a jewelry purchases concerned the engagement ring is probably one of the most important if, if nothing else, the most emotionally charged jewelry purchase of all jewelry purchases is that fair to say?

Lex Atencio: I think that would be very fair to say. I mentioned that diamonds are well suited for engagement rings, because it is something that you wear every day, whether you are a man or a woman you're going to wear it every day and it needs to be durable enough to last a lifetime and the metals are fairly well suited to that. We can certainly also talk about not just diamonds on this podcast but the materials used in engagement rings, because we use noble elements; gold and platinum to make them and they're very well suited towards jewelry specifically and they're well suited for longevity but diamonds, in particular, are extraordinarily well suited to everyday wear and tear and use and really more than any other stone being the hardest stone known to man. So yeah in terms of other jewelry purchases that people come across in their lives they're not going to wear those every day it'd be really uncommon if they were, whereas an engagement ring once you're married in theory, that ring doesn't really come off much it might come off to protect it to get in the ocean, to be safe might come off if you upgrade it. Hopefully you don't lose it and, hopefully, you can keep it for life but yeah it's a pretty spectacular purchase again I alluded to on the last podcast a house and a car and a ring engagement ring are the three most expensive purchases, most people will make in their lives and an engagement ring is probably going to be the longest lasting you're going to move you're going to get a new car, but your ring it's there for life so it's incredibly personal and important.

Troy Olson: Absolutely true so as I thought about how to approach such a big topic, I thought, maybe the best way to do that would be doing a role play between you and I, since you've obviously talked with many, many people and had many conversations about engagement rings, I thought we could just run through a role play as if we're having a conversation is, as I walk into your store I walk up to your display case and i'm shopping to buy a ring for my girlfriend so it'll be clearly hypothetical but I think this is probably the best way to answer a lot of questions to see how you would talk me through this process does that sound okay?

Lex Atencio: That sounds great.

Troy Olson: Okay well let's just pretend that we're in front of your display case. I walk up. I'm kind of browsing and yeah let's start a conversation.

Lex Atencio: Okay let's do it. So Troy is this your first time looking at engagement rings?

Troy Olson: Yeah this is my first time.

Lex Atencio: Well, congratulations and future congratulations. I'm very excited for you, so I think the easiest place to start is to talk about what kind of a Center stone you're looking for, and then we can really create the perfect ring around that stone, did you have any thoughts on that?

Troy Olson: Yeah I'm not super familiar, I mean I've had a few conversations with my girlfriend. I think I'm leaning more towards like I think it's called like a princess cut. So I'm not even 100% sure I think she likes definitely more like symmetrical designs and things like that.

Lex Atencio: And you're thinking diamond?

Troy Olson: Yeah diamond for sure.

Lex Atencio: Okay, so I think the best way would be to go over what's called the four c's. Have you heard of the four c's before?

Troy Olson: I have not, totally new at this.

Lex Atencio: Okay, so the four c's of diamonds are a way that the diamonds are graded. The four c's stand for color clarity cut and carrot. So to start off with color. Color in a diamond is generally not something people want unless it becomes a fancy color so you might have seen fancy yellow diamonds out there also called canary diamonds. There's chocolate diamonds which are fancy brown diamonds once they become fancy they are a bit of a different topic so we'll stick with white diamonds and white diamonds generally the more of a lack of color that you have the better, so you want to white diamond there's a lack of color and so the the color scale starts at D and goes down the alphabet to Z D through Z there is no ABC. D is the whitest a diamond can be and within that there's also a breakdown of different subcategories so D E and F are considered colorless, G through J are considered near colorless and so on and so on, as you go down the alphabet until you get to Z. Z is the most yellow a diamond can have before it becomes fancy yellow so once you go past Z, then the rarity and the price go the other direction, so for the sake of our conversation most diamonds that you'll find in the US are considered colorless or near colorless so that's D through J. If you move on over to the clarity the clarity scale starts at flawless which is pretty self explanatory there's nothing that is in this diamond that you'll see, especially with your naked eye, but also under 10 power magnification, which is how they grade diamonds, and it goes down a fairly poorly named scale which ends at I and I stands for included and it's easy to remember that, because you can see inclusions with your naked eye. So what are inclusions? Those are attributes within the diamond that are naturally forming; you have to remember that a diamond is a rock and when you see most rocks anywhere on the planet you'll see that there's a lot of different things going on, mostly on them, because most rocks are completely opaque, but you can see different let's say trace elements, you can see different things patterns and marbling and grains going through pretty much any rock that you'll find out there. Well diamonds are no different. They've got different elements inside of them, they've got different geological features inside of them. Some of those features are black, some of them are clear, some of them are wisps, some of them are pinpoints. It really just depends on how they're formed, where they're formed, any other elements that were around when the diamond was formed and so those are all different types of inclusions. So again the scale ends that I for included and again, you can see those inclusions with your naked eye. Very easy to remember, so the next level up is slightly included. Above that is very slightly included. Above that is very, very slightly included and then you've got flawless and internally flawless and so as you move up that scale again, the whiter stone is the rarer it is, the more expensive it is. Same with clarity. The clearer a stone is, the more lack of inclusions it has, the rarer it is, and the more expensive it will be. After that you've got the cut grade and that's an overall cut grade. There are also subsets within that that make up the cut grade, but the cut grade has just a couple of tiers. It's got excellent, very good, good, fair and poor and it's really the only of the four c’s that is 100% dictated by humans. So, then, a diamond comes out of the ground. It's not particularly attractive looking. A lot of times, looks like just any other rock or a piece of quartz and once humans cut it and put all those facets on, that's when the real beauty of the diamond comes out and there are fairly specific mathematical and ratio centric, I don't know if that's a word ways that they get an overall cut grade. You essentially want as much light coming in the diamond and bouncing back out through the top to give you sparkle and different effects that will show off its beauty and cuts really are the only way that that's impacted so you don't want light coming out the sides. You don't want light coming out the bottom, the diamond will not sparkle as much with a less quality, a lower quality cut grade and so, cut grade is easily confused with the shape of it, which is also considered the cut. So you got round cuts, round shapes, you got princess like you mentioned, which is square, but the cut grade has nothing to do with the shape except for the fact that only round diamonds according to GIA can have an excellent cut grade. Now that's because a round diamond is, there's a standardization to the shape it has to be round. Whereas the other shapes are all considered fancy cut diamonds and there's a little bit of leeway and a little bit of creativity that cutters can have when developing a diamond of those shapes so let's take a pair, for example, you could have a long skinny pair or short fat pair you can have a long skinny Emerald cut you can have a short fat Emerald cut they can be deep that can be narrow, so there is an overall cut grade but there's no excellent cut grade for the fancy shapes so it's something to keep in mind. The best they can have is very good for their overall cut grade and the last C of our four C’s is the carrot. That is a unit of weight, unit of measurement. It's always helpful, I tell people to think of the carrot like you would with someone's weight so i'm 6’1” 195 but if you found someone that was 5’7” 195 we would have very different proportions, so your carat weight doesn't automatically make a stone bigger just because it's a higher carrot than a different stone it's really how they're cut it's a three dimensional object. So there are nuances within the overall shape that can impact how much it weighs and so it's good not to get hung up, you know you can have a diamond that faces up and looks like a two carat but really it's 1.75 and it's got the same measurements than a two carat, full two carrot so there's kind of ways to think about that that I think are important for a lot of people and so with all of those four C's each one has an impact on the other, in terms of its rarity and price and so every leg of those four C’s columns has an exponential curve on its price and so it's not linear it's not a G color will be $500 more than an H, and then an F will be $500 more than a G. It's going to be a sharper curve than that, so your G might be $500 more than an H, but your F might be $1,000 more than your G and that's going to be impacted by how much it weighs, by the cut grade, by the clarity, so they all have an impact on each other on how much that that scale of price will change.

Troy Olson: Okay, understood and is this a pretty standard way to look at the diamonds across like, would I find these same four C’s at any jewelry store I went to, or is this more something that's specific to the John Atencio approach?

Lex Atencio: That's a great question so we get all of our diamonds from a couple of different vendors, but we always make sure that they are GIA certified, especially for the natural diamonds, we can talk about the fact that GIA only just recently started certifying lab grown diamonds, but for our natural diamonds, everything is GIA graded so GIA stands for the Gemological Institute of America. It is the most well known and well respected grading house in the world. They are always developing new techniques to find and grade stones of all different types of stones. They grade pearls, the grade colored stones, the grade precious and semi precious stones so it's not just diamonds and they're extremely strict, so the way that GIA works is three graders three geologists or diamontologists I should say will grade one diamond and they'll take the bottom two scores of what those three people say so, they want to make sure that the diamond is not overvalued, that they're not saying it's better than what it actually is so they always take the bottom two scores, and a lot of times those scores will match up but you have to remember that grading a diamond is subjective it is done back human it's not a machine we haven't figured that out yet, I don't know if we ever will and so at GIA they take it very, very seriously and other grading houses, maybe have a little more flexibility or might take only two scores or one score and so we want to be able to stand behind our diamonds, just like we do our own jewelry. We don't make diamonds, but we do make jewelry and we want to make sure that they are as up to par to our standards as possible and that's why we pick GIA.

Troy Olson: So question Lex, if I buy a ring from you will I get a GIA certificate with my ring or with my diamond?

Lex Atencio: Yes, all of our diamonds are GIA certified as I mentioned, they only recently started certifying lab grown diamonds so some of our lab grown diamonds are not GIA certified, but they are from very well known and respected, as well in the industry, grading houses that would be IGI that's the International Gemological Institute and G Cal, they do a lot of our lab diamonds we're starting to get more that are GIA certified but yes all of our diamonds will be certified.

Troy Olson: Okay fantastic, yeah I definitely understand a lot more about diamonds and the different qualities so yeah what's the next step?

Lex Atencio: So, you mentioned that she might be interested in a princess cut, which is a square diamond and like I said it's best to figure out the stone first because, unlike a lot of other jeweler's our rings are made to hold specific stones, so a lot of jewelry stores, will have a ring base with essentially nothing in the middle, not nothing to hold a diamond. Then they would solder in a head to hold the diamond that you choose. This is definitely a faster way to search for a ring and find a ring for your diamond because you can have any ring base and lots of different heads and marry them up and you got your ring. That's also a little bit more insecure in terms of not how it feels about its self esteem, but in terms of just the security of the ring itself because that head is soldered on it is a little more susceptible to a good whack that could break that whole head off that holds your stone and it's frankly just a lot more difficult to create a ring from scratch like we do and set a stone that's specifically tailored for that ring into that into that ring. A lot of our rings are also channel set, which wouldn't allow you to solder anything into place at all, it doesn't have any prongs it's sitting in a channel and so all of our rings are single casting and that's why we encourage you to find the stone first and let's figure out the perfect ring for you or for her second so that we can make it just for you.

Troy Olson: Got it, yeah so definitely just looking at it confirms for me to the Princess cut is the way to go, and I will say you don't have to sell me on having a sturdy ring that's going to hold the diamond because my memories from growing up is my mom and her wedding ring and hers was a tension set and she lost the diamond so for most of my youth growing up my mom wore a wedding ring that didn't have a diamond in anymore so yeah so I definitely say let's let's go with Princess cut and like I said she loves symmetrical so you know balanced looking ring and and white gold also.

Lex Atencio: Well, it sounds like she has great taste and I think we can definitely find something for her so beyond our rings being single casting we, we definitely utilize more metal our rings are going to be heavier than most things that you'll find out there, I think it's important to note and for a lot of people to understand that John started out as a jewelry creator and not just the designer there's a lot of jewelry designers quote unquote out there they're just designing rings without fully understanding the not only the process of making a ring, but how a ring will last and so that's really the exciting part about John one of his great features, is that he came from physically making all of his jewelry by hand and so he really understands how it's made and how aware and because of that our rings, are going to be a little bit sturdier a little bit thicker on the shank on the bottom they're going to be a little bit more holding the stone and so you've got something that's, that's just going to last you a lot longer than most other engagement ring designs or designers that are out there, and so, with our jewelry you can really put in your hand and feel the weight and it feels really, really rich, not only to hold the to where you know that it's there it's it's substantial.

Troy Olson: I think that all sounds great. You know we have a very active lifestyle and I know, you know one thing she will not want to do is you know, have to worry about or take off her ring. Hey we want to go on a hike or hey we want to go climb this boulder. You know I definitely want to, you know, make the investment on something that's going to be, you know, sturdy enough for her lifestyle now and, and for the foreseeable future.

Lex Atencio: Yeah and I mentioned earlier on, the materials that engagement rings are historically and in modern times made out of which is for the most part, gold and platinum. Gold and platinum are part of a very small set of elements called noble metals and they're called noble, there’s kind of a couple ways to define noble, but it really comes down to the fact that they don't oxidize. They don't really get impacted by the elements very well and so or at all in some cases, or they, they do really good things when in contact with the elements. So, for example, platinum is used in catalytic converters, in cars because they will absorb particles that we don't want in the air and it won't actually have a negative impact on the platinum and so same with gold. Gold has a huge amount of really, really interesting physical attributes. That make it really, really well suited for jewelry, you know both gold and platinum as well as silver have properties within them, that, that make them well suited for jewelry and casting they're malleable enough that you can work with them and add stones to them and change them, you can melt them and cast them. Whereas a lot of metals, you know if you made a piece of jewelry out of stainless steel you're probably not going to get many stones in it, and it can it can be brittle, it's hard to cast unique shapes or really fine intricacies into it, and so you know, in iron you, it's too heavy. Lead is probably going to kill you. Mercury is going to melt off of your hand and then kill you so these, these metals are, are pretty special the fact that they exist in the earth they're heavy metals. They would in a molten environment, like in the core they would sink to the middle so there's probably a lot more gold and platinum and the other noble elements ruthenium and rhodium pieces like that in the core and there's very, very few of them that actually exist with our, our current technology and the crust for us to to extract and get and make into jewelry so part of why we're so attracted to them, is, is their color, their weight, and how hard they are to get and so making that into an engagement ring they are very well suited but it's also important to know that they're not indestructible and we definitely want a ring that she can wear every day and she feels confident wearing that, that nothing is going to happen, but it's also something that I would always recommend to get it checked up on once a year, we offer checking your ring and cleaning and polishing your ring once a year but it's a good once a year checkup to make sure that any issues that we have can be taken care of before they're not good issues it's very much like a car, where you're going to want to change your oil, and if you don't a lot of bad things can happen so checking in on the ring doing a little bit of work here and there to keep it in tip top shape is something people should be reminded of to make sure that they're not wearing the ring for 10 years straight and never get it checked and then it at the 10 year mark all these bad things are happening, and it has issues all over so it's not, like I said, it's not indestructible.

Troy Olson: Understood you know, and I feel like the experience that, that I'm missing out on and and our listeners are missing out on is I just remember being in, in one of your stores and having the jewelry brought out, and I could hold it and just feel how much more substantial it is, and I think I was told that, you know, as other people are shopping and going to other stores, and you know, looking at other rings they they frequently come back because they just recognize the quality and the additional weight and strength of of the rings at John Atencio.

Lex Atencio: Yeah I think we talked about John being uncompromising in his quality and when you're talking about precious metals, the price of them, historically, has done nothing but go up and as prices go up just like we're seeing with inflation now in other products, companies are going to do their best to try to make things as cheap as possible or reduce their costs as much as possible and we've always felt that that feeling that you get of that substantial feeling that weight in your hand, as well as the durability in the wearability of our pieces is not worth the compromise. It's not worth making it lighter like so many other jewelers and jewelry stores will do just to save a couple bucks on our cost, we want it to be something that feels good and wears well and that's not going to change.

Troy Olson: Yeah I can definitely appreciate that and I'm definitely more sensitive, as I look at people's engagement pictures or even just an advertising when they show a ring it, might have a big diamond, but it must also have what looks like woven dental floss as, as the ring so yeah I can definitely, definitely appreciate that, so if I've chosen let's say we've got through the process of picking the diamond. How many options do I have? So let's say I choose a princess cut, I'm in the you know 1.5 to two carat range. I want, you know, platinum or white gold. How do we narrow it down and get through kind of the end of the process?

Lex Atencio: So in our stores, we carry just John's designs and we are more than happy to work with you to slightly modify those designs for any other attributes that you might be leaning towards or have a preference towards and we're happy to do that at no additional charge. If you wanted to design something from scratch, or have ideas of things that you've seen or and here's a little shortcut here, check her pinterest because I bet she has a lot of different rings saved on her pinterest and so if you've got a couple of different designs and you say hey I want to kind of incorporate this and that this and it's it's nothing like what we have then we're happy to work with you to develop a design that's completely your own and use our expertise and use our jewelers and use our quality of our materials and our craft smith's to develop a ring that we still stand behind that has more of your DNA than our DNA so really, the sky's the limit if you were to make something completely from scratch there's a couple of small additional charges, but overall it's a pretty seamless process to work with you and work with our CAD department to develop prototypes that you can see, and adjust until we make the final product.

Troy Olson: And, as I understand it, you can scale that design up to match the size of the diamond and also scale it to be the right size for my soon to be fiance. Is that correct?

Lex Atencio: 100% so with us, as I mentioned, with the single casting, all of all of the designs that we have, we have many different designs that John has himself created and within those designs we have different models, the whole different size center stones and different shapes center stones, because we always want it to feel balanced. We don't want a lot of metal for a smaller diamond and we don't want too little metal for a big diamond and so to what you said, we can work with you to make sure that it feels balanced and you've got a nice amount of both metal and diamond to really showcase the stone as well as make it secure at the end of the day, and so to your second question about sizing it's a little bit tricky if she isn't here with you for us to size her. It's not something that I want you to stress about or we want our customers to stress about. We can get pretty close. We want her to be able to put it on, we don't want it to fly off once you present to her, and we hope that it would be a size that would fit on her finger, because you want to be able to wear it so we've got a couple of different tricks up our sleeve to try to narrow down what her size might be or pretty close approximation and then we can do our best and if, if we're a little bit off, then we should be able to size, the ring to her actual finger once you've presented it to her.

Troy Olson: Got it, and do you have any best practices I'm thinking you know I, i've just got a lot of friends, no, but then you know who knows if that if that could spread, you know, do I sneak in a room and see if she has some rings, but yeah what, what are the recommendations, you have for people?

Lex Atencio: Sneaking into her room and trying to find a ring that she wears is a bit of a mixed bag, because I don't know what finger she wears it on I don't know what hand she wears it on which is important and so that's a little bit tough, we do have a, a tool online that you can use to help try to size her finger if she kind of has an inkling that maybe this is something that's coming down the pike if not, our stock size is a six and a half. That's a very average size ring size and when you come in and see what that looks like you'll have a pretty good idea, knowing her better than we do if her fingers and hands are a lot smaller than that seems like or maybe bigger than that seems like, and so we can get pretty close just kind of by talking through it, or even seeing a picture of her if she's holding a glass where we can get pretty pretty dang close.

Troy Olson: Got it, I was gonna ask if you pull up the social media pictures or anything like that?

Lex Atencio: Yeah definitely yeah.

Troy Olson: Take a picture of her hand on $1 or something like that so yeah you can get a scale. It’s great

Lex Atencio: Yeah it's, it's doable for sure, and like I said, if we're a little off, we want to be as close as possible that it fits on her hand comfortably when you present it to her she's going to be so excited to receive it from you, but if it is a little bit off it's, it's not the end of the world to come in and have it sized and we’ll obviously do that as quickly as I can, so that she can enjoy her beautiful new ring.

Troy Olson: Got it so talk to me about timeline so let's say we get design, you know diamond picked today what's the timeline before it's ready?

Lex Atencio: It's really going to depend on what ring we end up going with in terms of diamonds, I can have diamonds here for you to look at and explorer and hopefully pick within one business day, so we either will have some on site at our stores, or we can get them in for any of our really trusted vendors, the next business day so that part's pretty quick or as quick as you would like it to be, obviously we can keep going through stones until you find the perfect one, and we're happy to keep getting them in for you. In terms of the ring, we have a lot of rings in our inventory that potentially could work for the size stone that you want so like I said we make them in different model sizes, so if you wanted a two carat princess cut there is a chance that we'll have the two carat model that will hold, you know, within a tolerance or roughly a two carat size diamond and hopefully we have it in the color that you want or the metal that you want, as well as close to her finger size and so if we don't have that or if we're making the ring from scratch we're looking at six weeks for us to make the ring for you, and maybe another week to 10 days to set the diamond after that it's it's a it's a laborious process that we want to make sure we're very, we're very safe with we don't want it to happen to your diamond. The only caveat to, that is, if you were to make a custom ring.
We need about a week to 10 days for CAD to turn around your thought process into a viable design on the computer and then, like I said you're in control to say let's change it here let's move that or adjust this and every time you do that it'll take a couple of days for us to readjust the CAD and get back to you with those changes and so that can add some time to the process, but from choosing a ring to making a finished product that we don't currently have is about six weeks and change.

Troy Olson: Okay got it, so tell me this, this is what's going through my mind. I picked the ring we have it made, you know it takes us six weeks. I think it's perfect, it's great. You know, set up the proposal, everything goes smoothly. I dropped my knee, propose, she says yes shortly thereafter she says yes i'll marry you I don't like this ring. What, what are my options, then?

Lex Atencio: It doesn't happen very often, I would say in my 12 years here I've maybe heard that phrase certainly, on one hand, maybe three or four times, but if you're concerned that maybe that's the case that. That the pictures that you've received from her or her friends of what she likes or on her pinterest they're all over the place, you just don't have any clue what kind of ring she would like. It's pretty easy to pick a diamond and say she's really not going to not like a diamond I mean you would have to go well beyond all the pictures that she's provided you are talked about to you or her friends you're going to find the right stone and so let's find that diamond and then we can essentially put it into a, just a very simple traditional setting. You would pay for that setting and let's call it, maybe $700 we would set the diamond in that you could present the diamond to her in that ring and then you can both come in, after the fact, will take that ring back and give you the credit full credit of what you paid for that that stock symbol ring towards whichever design she chooses, so we want to make sure that she's over the moon, not only in the fact that she's about to be married to you, but that she is so in love with her ring and like I said, if you've got a feeling that you just don't know we're here to be by your side and said then let's figure it out with her together after you proposed.

Troy Olson: Got it, that sounds like a much better plan, so great

Lex Atencio: Takes the pressure off.

Troy Olson: In either case, it just, in the conversations with, that I've had with you, I feel like you're going to work with me or work with us to make sure we're happy, in the end.

Lex Atencio: That is what we do, we are all so happy to be a part of this process and honored that you choose John Atencio to signify your love and your marriage. We want you to be happy, we want her to be happy and we're here by your side, I mean one of the great joys of being here is the occasional wedding invitation from couples that have come to us for an engagement ring or wedding photos or engagement photos I mean we really are here to be a trusted friend in this process and there's nothing, there's no worse feeling than getting pressured into a car or into a purchase in general that you really didn't want and you felt like the salesperson was just guiding you quickly and there was pressure, and it was no fun and it was stressful and that's just not our M.O. we're just we're here to be a guide and if it's not with us then i'm happy to guide you on where to find the right piece or the right stone, I hope it is with us, but we want you to feel great about this it's something that you're going to wear for life.

Troy Olson: Well, thank you, I can definitely appreciate that approach of wanting to make the customer happy at all costs so definitely appreciate that so two more quick questions. Talk to me about matching wedding bands so after the engagement, the wedding band, and my wedding band. I don’t know if that's a trend if that's been around for a long time, but what are my options there?

Lex Atencio: Sure that's a really good question so a wedding band is, obviously like I said, different from the engagement ring. A lot of people like to have a matching wedding band, although I will say wedding bands in general about 5050 I don't think, it's definitely, not everyone chooses to get a wedding band there they're just happy to have their engagement ring and that's their sign of not only the proposal but also of the wedding. So there's no pressure to get one made and 95% of our designs of John's designs do have a matching wedding band to go with it and it looks a lot like a tracer band, so it kind of follows the contour and the profile and the curves of John's designs as a accent wedding band and it really is going to depend on how she chooses to wear that wedding band that that's maybe something she does or doesn't want. So a lot of people that do have wedding bands or some people that do have wedding bands might choose to wear that wedding band because it's a lower profile than the engagement ring, may or may not have diamonds it's probably much narrower. They might wear that if they're in a medical profession and they need to wear latex gloves and so they'll keep their wedding band on and put their engagement ring somewhere secure or people that would like to travel and not bring their expensive engagement ring that rather leave it in a safe at home and so, if you have a tracer band, sometimes, then they can look a little odd by themselves and it's really up to the person there's, there's not a right or wrong answer but we do just have straight engagement rings, that you can certainly wear with most any ring. It may or may not have some little gaps, but at the end of the day, it's something that may work better, for your lifestyle to have just a straight wedding band, and so we can again, we can really work with her if you'd like. If you know the answer it's most times better to have the wedding band, and the engagement ring with us made together, because our rings have such unique curves each one ends up being a little bit different depending on the size of the stone in the middle so it's ,it's really good to make sure that if we want them to be perfectly flushed together that we make them at the same time, but if not it's not the end of the world, and if you're not sure if you want to have an wedding band in general, or what shape you want it then it's perfectly fine to work on that process with her because, by the time you start talking about that you will be engaged.

Troy Olson: Okay well last question. I guess first off I'll say thank you so much for all this very helpful insights about engagement rings, just so many things I'd never really you know thought through or thought about so hopefully it's helpful to our audience as well if anyone in our audience wants to have this experience of sitting down with with you are a member of your team and talking through their their dream engagement ring, how would they go about doing that?

Lex Atencio: Yeah we'd be happy to walk anyone through this whole process it's a really fun process, it can be a little bit daunting it's a little bit like doing your taxes, where nobody really teaches you how to do it, and all of a sudden, you are forced to learn all these new things, and so like I said earlier, we want to be a trusted guide through this process, and so you can come into any of our stores, you can make an appointment online at You can call any one of our stores, we have a customer service email that's and one of our team members can assist you via email or over the phone or however you prefer. Honestly I've texted a lot of customers it's, it's very easy obviously for my generation to communicate that way. We've done zoom calls where we've videoed the process and looked at diamonds, we actually sold one, a diamond last week to a customer over zoom and so you know, we want to make it on your time at your pace like I said we're not high pressure here and we just want to be there to to make you feel comfortable through a pretty big life decision, not only to get a ring, but what that ring represents and getting married, and so we want you to feel and look at her ring, and she wants to look at her ring with the utmost pride and we're, we’re the start of that.

Troy Olson: Great thank you again so much Lex for being on the show today and we look forward to talking to you again.

Lex Atencio: This was a blast. It's amazing how quickly an hour passes by so really fun to talk with you Troy and I appreciate you having me having me to talk.

Troy Olson: I just want to give a big thank you again to Lex Atencio for being on the show today. We look forward to many future conversations with Lex and members of his team and make sure to check out if you want to see some of the designs and some of the diamonds available and a big thank you to Derek at Mix at 6 studios for editing our show. Have a great one.