When only unique will do
By Dorte Evelyn Johansen, CNN
Susannah Lovis helps couples
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LONDON, England -- An engagement ring is a symbol of love and commitment, and a piece of jewelry that one will cherish for years to come.
But if like Nick Coffey and Susan Allan, you are looking for something that is both unique and a good investment, then an antique ring could be the perfect fit.
Helping couples like Nick and Susan, who know what they want but have not got the time to find it, is Susannah Lovis. Her West London store specializes in rings from the 1800s to the 1930s.
"First of all it's a piece of jewelry, but it's also nice to think that you've got a piece that will never be reproduced, that's a completely unique piece that will act as an investment", she told CNN.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find these gems, but it is a challenge that Lovis thrives on. "It's getting harder and harder, but we have to look harder and the more we look the more we find."
Susannah and her colleague Jess regularly visit the antique shops that line Portobello Road, the backdrop to London's famous Notting Hill market.
But at least once a week the treasures also come to Susannah, when a jewelry dealer known as Bernard -- who chooses to keep his full identity secret for security reasons -- comes to her shop with his pockets filled with antiques. Bernard has been in the jewelry business for 54 years and always finds new pieces.
Susannah's search for antique engagement rings also takes her to auction houses, such as Christie's. During the preview she scrutinizes the interesting pieces, checking the clarity and measuring the stone sizes. It is during a visit here that she finds the ring for Nick and Susan.
It is a charming old piece with a cushion shaped diamond. "It's a really super engagement ring," said Lovis. "Its actually quite a low estimate. It says up to £2,000 (US$ 3,600) and I'd like to pay £1,800 (US$3,200) for it."
She ends up buying it for £2,000 (US$ 3,600) and heads straight from the auction house to the engaged couple.
For Nick and Susan it is the history and originality that makes the difference. "It is not laser cut. It was done many years ago and that makes it special. It's a one-off... you won't see anyone else wearing it," said Nick.
And so the ring's journey continues -- ready to give another lifetime of joy.
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