Should you be proposing with a bespoke engagement ring?

Thinking of proposing? Blackacre is a name you'll want to know when it comes to finding the perfect ring...

An engagement ring is one of the most important things a gentleman can ever buy — if not the single most important thing. And perfect engagement rings certainly don’t grow on trees…

So if you’re minded to ask the love of your life for their hand in marriage (for which we offer you our heartiest congratulations), we’d advise thinking long and hard about designing a ring that fully encapsulates the strength of your feelings, and the spirit of your partner.

Enter Blackacre – a brand that has quickly become the bespoke engagement ring jeweller of choice for even the most discerning young London professionals. With a laser focus on quality, coupled with a refreshingly honest approach — repeatedly delivering flawless experiences has proved the most powerful tool in the brand’s entirely organic growth.

Its townhouse showroom, right in the heart of the City (just a short walk from Chancery Lane) epitomises its move to be a flag bearer in a new generation of responsible luxury: a progressive, forward thinking flag bearer, at that.

A brand with humble beginnings

Today, Blackacre is an established luxury brand: but it’s a brand with humble roots. It’s these roots, in fact, that formed the foundation of where the brand is today.

At the age of nine, Founder Samuel Stirrat had already amassed his first collection of precious gemstones. This is a passion that remains with the brand, to this day. Now, Stirrat is a qualified Gemologist (IGS) and a member of the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ): but teaching himself to make jewellery through his teenage years and early twenties was not without its challenges. But it’s life’s challenges that can often reap the greatest rewards; and it was out of those initial early struggles of self-tuition and solo learning that Blackacre was born.

Less than five years later, and here we are: Blackacre is a leading luxury brand offering bespoke engagement rings of the very highest quality. In time alone, it’s surely a record achievement — whoever heard of a luxury brand thriving to this extent after less than five years? But that’s Blackacre for you; full to the brim with passion and focus, it’s Blackacre’s consistent move to put the client at the centre of everything they do that has catapulted it to its leading brand status.

“The best restaurants have small menus,” explains Stirrat. “We have focussed on doing a small number of things incredibly well, with an unrelenting focus on taking care of our clients as if they were family.” Let that be a lesson to any aspiring entrepreneurs; it’s all about quality, quality and more quality. Leave quantity out of the equation; at least at the start.

Forget what you thought you knew about retail; at Blackacre, it’s an experience

For most, purchasing an engagement ring is a once in a lifetime event (or that’s what we’d hope, anyway). Not only that (or maybe because of that), it can be a tremendously daunting experience. But never fear, gents; the team at Blackacre have stripped back all that fluff and intimidation that’s so often associated with traditional luxury. Instead, they’ve replaced all that with a more personal and authentic approach, complete with cups of exquisitely brewed coffee and a warm, friendly consultation. The result? A truly bespoke buying experience.

But it’s not all coffee and chinwags. Clients can expect a strong focus on four things — excellence, education, experience and an investment in time — all of which epitomise the responsible luxury ethos, about which Blackacre is passionate. From the very first point of contact, clients can expect advice tailored to their specific needs; advice that’s founded on precision detail and crystal clear information. Luxury no longer means being bombarded with products, about which you know nothing: luxury today means an immersive experience on the part of both parties. The dial has moved, in terms of what today’s clients consider luxury to mean; and Blackacre has pivoted accordingly right along with it.

Luxury means an immersive experience on the part of both parties...

So what exactly will these meetings entail? Well, for many, the starting point is as simple as sharing an inspiration image and some bullet point notes. And it’s from this point that the Blackacre service comes into its own, as the team educates each client and steers them towards their perfect engagement ring. An iterative approach leads to honing in on the precise specification; an approach that ranges from reviewing loose stones, to detailed walkthroughs of the jewellery quality.

Once the creative process begins, the unparalleled communication will continue: from the sharing of digital designs to regular progress updates, clients will benefit from a total, blissful peace of mind as the ring they had previously only envisaged gradually begins to take physical shape, under Blackacre’s expert team.

It’s all about quality

“High quality jewellery is not defined by any one component, but instead a multitude of marginal gains,” explains Stirrat. “However, to the untrained eye, the most visible of these is the quality of setting. Working under microscopes, our craftsmen can set stones as small as 0.6mm.”

The quality of Blackacre’s jewellery can’t be underestimated. Backed up by a team of jewellers assembled from the leading ateliers and jewellery houses across the globe, every single bespoke engagement ring is crafted by hand in the London atelier with a specialist craftsman at every stage of the process. Blackacre has surely long been one of the best kept secrets in the luxury jewellery world; but the brand won’t be a secret for much longer. Its breathtaking attention to detail has firmly cemented the quality of Blackacre’s bespoke engagement rings among the very best.

A brand with sustainability at its core

There’s no doubt about it: sustainability is a critical component for any brand that prides itself on being truly progressive, and Blackacre is no different. “Whilst the creation of luxury jewellery requires the use of natural resources there are right ways and wrong ways of doing things,” explains Head Gemologist Laura Relph. We couldn’t agree more. Take the sourcing, for instance; Blackacre’s sourcing of sapphires from Sri Lanka, where c.95% of mining is non-mechanised, offers a uniquely sustainable approach to sourcing. Responsible luxury, indeed.

A visit to local farmers during a recent trip to Sri Lanka

And then there’s the undeniable fact that the creation of bespoke jewellery in itself is sustainable by definition, for the simple reason that the only products created are those that the clients actually desire. Waste footprint? Nil. And as if that wasn’t enough, each piece of bespoke jewellery created by Blackacre uses recycled precious metals, with stones sourced through artisanal and ethical channels. Jewellery doesn’t get more sustainable than this, gents; especially given Blackacre’s commitment to keep finding new ways to move forward in this regard, with a number of new projects lined up in 2022. Intrigued? Us, too; but we’ll have to wait to hear what sustainable practices the team has lined up for next year.

Blackacre engenders a deep sense of pride and joy in all those who have been lucky enough to have purchased or received one of its bespoke engagement rings. Because it’s not just about purchasing or receiving; it’s about becoming part of the Blackacre family. And trust us when we say: this is a family you’ll want to be part of. If you’re seeking a dependable luxury jewellery house capable of delivering the highest quality imaginable, in a personal and authentic way: well, your search ends here. All you need to do is contact the team whenever you’re ready to join them on what will be — quite literally — a life-altering journey.

Should you be proposing with a bespoke engagement ring?

Blackacre

Learn More

Wondering how to actually propose? Here’s what to know if you’re planning to propose this summer

Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.

Further Reading