Fairies, this is a story about how the editor of a wedding magazine accidentally found her dream engagement ring. You’re probably thinking ‘that’s great, Heather!’ and ‘you go, girl!’, but like any good narrative, there’s a complication.

I’m not engaged. And despite the fact I fully intend to get married, what happens if my dream ring isn’t in the box when he asks for my hand?

The resolution to this problem is to fall in love with your jeweller, but before I give you all the insider secrets to finding and keeping your dream ring, I’ll take you back to where it all started.

It was just another day in the office at Wedded Wonderland; I was writing and researching the latest international wedding gown designers (you’re welcome) and talking with marriage experts for their tips on keeping the spark alive when one of my colleagues asked me to hit the road and meet with one of the city’s most creative and contemporary jewellery designers, Matthew Ely.

After checking that my mani was still passable and that I had my heels within reaching distance, I hailed a cab and headed to Matthew’s Woollahra boutique.

This was where it got complicated.


Walking into Matthew Ely’s boutique, I got the same feeling I had as a 5-year old walking into a lolly shop with my pockets filled with tooth fairy money. Each piece was like a colourful, sparkly candy that I couldn’t wait to taste. These were not your average jewels, they were artworks with intricate detail, hidden stones that peeked out only when you moved a certain way and brilliantly cut diamonds that caught the light from every angle.

Matthew’s youthfulness and genuine excitement about pushing the boundaries is obvious in every. single. piece.

My biggest mistake was when Matthew asked whether I’d like to try on a few of the engagement rings. We’ve all heard the warnings about wearing a ring on your wedding finger when you’re not engaged, but when faced with a cabinet full of the most unusual and beautiful rings you’ve seen…what’s a girl to do?

I started with a traditional round brilliant cut diamond, which Matthew says is one of the most popular and timeless cuts. The diamond is just over 1-carat, but it’s been shaped by Matthew’s experienced hand to appear even larger. This is the type of ring that you could wear for a century and it would never go out of style.


Next, I move onto the biggest diamond ring I’ve seen – a 2-carat pear-shaped ring with a fine white gold band dotted and delicate diamonds. This is the ring for a girl who’s not afraid to be seen and although I love the shape, I can’t help but think that having this much bling on my finger would mean I’d have to curb my late night ghetto kebab stops (because although the ghetto has the best kebabs in the world, the chance of getting mugged is far too high with a ring like this).


Then, I see it. Sitting at the back of the cabinet is an art-deco styled ring that looks like it could be an extra from The Great Gatsby movie. With a gorgeous .1-carat round brilliant cut diamond sitting in the middle of a twin halo of rare Argyle pink and white diamonds, this ring looks as though it was made just for me. It’s big enough to make an impact, but not big enough to be ostentatious. The smattering of pale pink and rose gold are feminine and the dainty white gold band makes my fingers instantly look slimmer and longer.

I’ve found my ring.

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I explained the dilemma to Matthew who reassured me that this wasn’t as crazy as I thought it was. The trick is to find a jeweller who you adore, chat with them so they get an understanding of your personal preferences, style and taste and then simply pass on their details to your beau. When your partner’s ready, they’ll contact your jeweller of choice and voila – a dream engagement ring that is within your groom’s budget, but still fits you to a tee!

Matthew Ely is an educated gemmologist and award-winning jeweller who uses imagination to create bespoke pieces from his Sydney-based boutique. Drawing inspiration from architecture and art, the boutique offers a luxurious space to consult with clients on distinctive and handcrafted jewellery as well as showcase a selection of contemporary pieces created personally by Matthew.

Posted in Engagement, Planning by wedded wonderland

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