Chichester jeweller helping people choose the right ring | Vicky Meets

Vicky meets... Chris Fisher, bespoke manager, Timothy Roe Fine Jewellery.

• What does your role entail?

I came here ten years ago. I was trained by Tim from scratch, so it was like a proper apprenticeship; learning from a master and all the other guys like the goldsmiths, stone setters and casters. My role entails customer consultation, computer aided design, procurement of stones and overseeing production.

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• Apparently Christmas time is popular for proposals. What tips can you offer anyone planning to pop the question this festive season?

Chris Fisher

We sometimes get people coming in as late as two weeks before Christmas for rings, but ideally you need to come eight to ten weeks before, giving you time to think about designs and stones. Sometimes couples come in, and we do encourage this. But for those who want to make that big gesture they should really try and find out about the tastes of their fiancé-to-be. Think first about are how much you have to spend. Then whether you want a single stone or a cluster, what shape of stone you want and what sort of hand the ring is going to go on – if you are buying for a dainty hand then you probably want something fine and delicate. Know what your partner likes and be alert to their hints! If you’re not sure, ask the question at Christmas and then make an appointment to come in together in the new year. We have had customers buy a stone – nicely displayed – which they propose with, and then come back to us for a design consultation so they can design the ring together.

• What trends are there in engagement rings?

It used to be quite traditional – solitaire diamond rings – but there is more individualism these days. A diamond remains the most popular stone, followed by blue sapphire. Occasionally trends might filter down from celebrities or royalty. We made a replica of Megan’s ring and put it in the window and it sold really quickly. Metals change depending on the market value. Five years ago palladium was a really popular low cost alternative, but the car market started using it in catalytic converters and the palladium supplies were sucked up and the price went up by nearly 200 per cent! Six years ago rose gold was hugely popular. Now it’s platinum, but yellow gold is coming back in. We also sometimes get rings that have been handed down that people want redesigned.

• Do you give lots of advice?

Yes. With engagement rings some people find something online and want it copied. Others may have a wild idea. But some don’t have a clue, so it’s up to us to ask the right questions to discover what will appeal to them. But advice is always free and happily given. We are bespoke and forward thinking in terms of design, but our customer service remains traditional. Timothy Roe has been supplying engagement and wedding rings and anniversary gifts to many families for the last three decades.

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