Love hasn’t been cancelled, and neither have engagements. But with the pandemic spurring a deeper examination of sociopolitical, ethical, and environmental concerns around the globe, Toronto shoppers are becoming a more mindful bunch, paying closer attention to what voting with their dollar really means, especially when it comes to the kind of rock they’ll buy their fiancée. In the diamond world, science has made it so that couples no longer have to resort to traditionally mined stones (with their significant human and environmental costs) to mark their relationships. Lab-grown diamonds are the ethical and sustainable future of the industry, and a new brand called Couple, which just opened their first flagship in Yorkville, is leading the way.
The company has reimagined the entire engagement-ring buying process, from sourcing the diamonds to designing your ring. The beautifully designed space is nothing like some of the stuffier diamond retailers in the area, with pastel hues and minimalist contemporary finishes that will make millennials swoon. Inside, there’s a luxury-meets-laboratory feel, with wall displays showing cross- sections of the diamond growth process, and some of the country’s highest quality lab-grown diamonds ready to try on. Their lab-grown diamonds are incubated under conditions that replicate those found in the earth’s core, and are then cut and polished exactly as mined diamonds—meaning every one is unique, with its own combinations of colour, cut, carat and clarity. The diamonds are identical to their mined counterparts, only with even better quality and a larger carat size for the price. All are certified by an independent third party like the International Gemological Institute, and only about 40 per cent end up being selected by the company’s in-house gemologist for sale. Each ring is hand-set in an 18k gold or platinum setting by experienced industry craftsmen in New York City. The designs are timeless, and co-founders Jeff Brenner and Alan Shuster make a point of only offering diamonds they would choose for their own partners or best friends. And yes, both of their wives opted for lab-grown diamonds—Isabella and Kathryn can be seen sporting Couple rings, earrings, and necklaces around Toronto and Vancouver.
To make the process as painless as possible, the company offers a personal diamond concierge to help guide you through the process. You can meet with them either over video conference, phone or in-person at the Toronto flagship to help create the perfect ring, whether it’s one of their classic designs or something completely bespoke. Lab-grown diamonds have made headlines all over the world since their emergence as an alternative to mined stones, with GQ notably proclaiming “Lab-Grown Diamonds: They’re Real, and They’re Spectacular” in late 2018. Now, they’re here in person, just off Avenue Road. After visiting the store, some will leave inspired, while others will know exactly what ring they’ll be putting on their loved one’s finger.
55 Avenue Rd., 647-846-7375, couple.co.