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From an affordable Table Mountain ring to money-is-no-object designs at Shimansky
Latest update: Wednesday, 19 January 2022
Buying diamonds is almost always for a special occasion – an engagement, a wedding, a gift, or the birth of a child. But it does not have to be daunting, nor unaffordable.
The Millennium range is one of Shimansky’s unique designs and most popular engagement rings. Image: Shimansky
Founder Yair Shimansky, who started by selling jewellery at a flea-market 30 years ago, knows everything there is to know about diamonds, Tanzanite, platinum, gold and silver, and how to craft these gems into precious jewellery. He buys his stones directly from local mines, and has meticulous oversight of production. It’s a craftsmanship and labour of love clearly visible at the plush Shimansky Boutique, inside the V&A Waterfront.
The right precious stone or metal can be rewarding because of the symbolism, and they are also a worthy investment. Image: Shimansky
The luxurious store’s exterior is dressed in classic white, grey and black marble tile. Step through the glass security door, and you enter a coseted world: Luxurious couches and chairs are centred on a plush fawn carpet, ideally positioned for focused, private consultations, and around you are the glass cases holding precious treasure.
Shimansky's flagship store, inside the V&A Waterfront, is a luxurious space dressed in classic white, grey and black marble tile. Image: Shimansky
Yair Shimansky, who signs off on every jewel, believes the beauty of a perfectly cut diamond is not just in the way it looks, but also how it makes you feel.
Shimansky consultants inhabit this attitude. They understand that both giving and receiving a diamond (or Tanzanite) is many times a once-in-a lifetime event. They’ll sit you down, with a glass of wine, to artfully tease out everything they need to know about you and what you feel would be the perfect match.
Experience a unique and interesting insight into the world of diamonds with Shimansky. Image: Shimansky
One of the pleasant surprises about Shimansky is that there is something for everyone. Prices start at R1 295 for a silver Table Mountain ring. Shop it in 14k gold and add a diamond, and it goes up to R2 195. “Basically, we’ll find a way to make things work, whatever your budget,” says Shimansky V&A store manager, Jessica Williams.
For instance, when one man came to buy an engagement ring and told them “money is no object”, they presented him with a 2-carat diamond. When they saw him swallow hard, they discreetly adjusted the options and he walked out with a beautiful ring that he was proud to go down on one knee and present it to his beloved.
The Table Mountain ring is a pretty souvenir of the city, and prices start at about R2 000. Image: Shimansky
One of the great bows in Shimansky’s quiver is the My Girl diamond, the first international diamond cut to originate from South Africa, a square cut with a diamond-shaped table that reflects light from every angle. The price for one, set into a simple ring, starts at about R11 000.
An emerald-cut full eternity ring, classic, simple and so beautiful. Image: Shimansky
Pure, white diamonds without flaws are the most precious, but also precious and very rare are Fancy diamonds, which come in various colours including yellow, blue, red, pink and black. Shimansky has a gorgeous range of rings, necklaces and earrings designed with these unique and remarkable gemstones.
Each jewel at Shimansky goes through 100 checks in the cutting and polishing process, as well as a 30-point quality check before reaching the floor. Find out more about how diamonds are judged and rated.
Shimansky’s range of wedding rings is extensive, including for men – plus you can design your own. Image: Shimansky
Engagement rings are probably one of the most sought-after, and at Shimansky there are 10 or more unique design collections to choose from. One of the most popular is the Millennium diamond engagement ring, which has two bands that delicately hold a diamond, a symbol of lasting love, in place. Prices start at around R30 000.
The Millennium Ring in rose gold. Image: Shimansky
Also popular are the signature Two Hearts (two hearts hold the stone in place) and the “I Do” (a solitaire brilliant-cut diamond set with a smaller heart) rings that both send a strong symbolic message to partners.
Another Shimansky original design is the Evolym ring (“my love” spelt backwards). A classic round, brilliant-cut diamond set in rose gold, which would cost around R25 000 (but South Africans, remember to always ask if there are specials on). For those who want something completely unique, you can book a consultation.
The Evolym ring is a unique design to Shimansky, and is “my love” spelled backwards. Image: Shimansky
They are expert crafters of Tanzanite, too. Tanzanite is actually a thousand times more rare than the diamond, but it is not as hard and not every jeweller knows how to work with it successfully.
It comes from one mine in Tanzania, and in 10 years the vein will run out (which means buying Tanzanite is a good investment). It comes in many shades of blue or violet, but Shimansky only buys the top three shades of each, which are the most valuable.
The Trilliant Solitaire tanzanite pendant. Image: Shimansky
Shimansky’s Ayanda, The Queen of Tanzanite Collection, offers a range of loose stones as well as Tanzanite set into beautiful rings, earrings and other pieces. The stones also look particularly beautiful paired with diamonds.
Women are no longer waiting for men to put a ring on it. They reward themselves regularly with jewellery (also because it’s a great investment). There’s gorgeous options at Shimansky to suit the latest trend for stacking rings, in which you mix high-end and everyday pieces, mixing gold and silver, diamonds and Tanzanite.
The Circle of Love ring is a deeply symbolic gift, for someone else or yourself. Image: Shimansky
The beautiful Southern Cross range, which are pretty as pendants, earrings and rings and are set with diamonds, Tanzanite or other Fancy diamonds, is a lovely symbolic gift for a girlfriend or daughter. Or buy a duplicate piece of jewellery, one for you and the other for a friend, to symbolise everlasting friendship. There’s plenty of ways in which women can invest in themselves.
The Millennium Ring with a range of gemstones at their heart. Image: Shimansky
Shimansky, V&A Waterfront
Shop 6259, Upper Level
Opening hours: daily 9 am - 9 pm
Level 1, The Clocktower, V&A Waterfront
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 9am - 5pm
Here's everything you need to know about the Cape Town Ring.
Everything you need to know about buying jewellery and gemstone in Cape Town.
guide to one of the world’s most coveted and sought after precious stones, Tanzanite.
Or read Shimansky's history of diamonds in South Africa.
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