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September 12, 2011

Quorri & Co. – Toronto | custom-designed Diamond Alternative Engagement Rings + Wedding Bands

Filed under: Bridal Blog — WeddingGirl @ 9:14 am

For the love of diamonds!

Last year, WeddingGirl.ca did an expose on diamonds - The Great Diamond Debate. Our goal was to inform WG readers of the realities of the diamond industry and offer information to educate buyers when making substantial buying decisions. One of the companies we accidentally stumbled upon in our research was Sitaragem – inspired by the concept of “Sitara” - the brightest star, “a new way of thinking”.

A few months after we showcased our diamond blog, we were contacted by the team over at Sitaragem to inform us that they were rebranding, and before we knew it, Quorri & Co. was born!

The other day I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Nancy DeGiusti, the Vice President of Canada’s premier online Diamond Alternative and luxury jewelry boutique. Quorri & Co. is an entirely Canadian company, developed in the Greater Toronto Area by a handful of professionals from various backgrounds. As Nancy aptly described it, the Quorri team is the perfect union of artsy passion meeting the technically savvy.

“We adore diamonds!”, exclaimed Nancy.

With a design, production, and distribution centre in Vaughan, Ontario – but without a brick-and-mortar store, Quorri & Co. truly embodies the WeddingGirl.ca belief in creating luxe on a budget.


“Once you get into showrooms, you’re paying for their huge amount of overhead”, Nancy explained – and she’s right!

The Quorri team, being made up of forward-thinkers, wanted their shop to be accessible anytime, anywhere – to make the shopping experience convenient above anything else. This way, you can shop 24/7 with a glass of wine in hand, in the comfort of your own home – without the pressure of pushy sales people buzzing about.

* on a side note, Nancy did confirm that accommodations can be made for personal meetings in the Toronto area if required!

When I asked Nancy where most of their traffic visited from, I was surprised to hear that British Columbia was the Canadian province taking top rank – followed by the United States! While Toronto diamond-lovers came in second to B.C., it made me wonder whether Ontario brides (and women in general) knew what they were missing…. so I set out to show them!

{ created Equal }

Derived from the Italian word cuore, meaning heart, Nancy explained to me that they believe in a strong connection between the heart and diamonds. Think about it – most of life’s heartful milestones (engagements, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays) are typically marked with something that sparkles. A diamond is a conversation starter – an outward symbol of an inner promise, personal achievement, or a testament of someone’s love and devotion. Nancy and I chatted about how women feel when they wear a diamond – glamorous, elegant, confident, loved (just read the book The Necklace, by Cheryl Jarvis).

Quorri’s belief has been that this feeling should not be exclusively reserved for the world’s most affluent women, and their mission has been to bring the opportunity to experience this feeling to women of all ages, wages, and walks of life.

“There is so much positive energy around a gorgeous diamond! Everyone should have a chance to experience that energy for themselves. Everyone should have access to that type of joy”, remarked Nancy.

{ the Ethics }

Eco-

Beyond its affordability (priced at approximately 1/10 the cost of its organic diamond counterpart), the Quorri & Co. Diamond Alternative coincides perfectly with society’s new push toward becoming more conscientious of the planet we live on. As I described in my initial diamond blog last year, diamond extractions happening around the world displace enormous amounts of earth (approximately 250 tonnes per 1 carat diamond mined). When the land is displaced, ecosystems are interrupted or destroyed completely.

Think this problem is “far from home?” – think again. There are large-scale diamond extractions happening in Canada – like the Ekati Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories, shown below.

Anything that we can collectively do as inhabitants of this planet to avoid disrupting the earth is positive. Quorri completely embodies this notion when it comes to gemstone creation.

Moral-

Beyond their eco-implications on our planet, diamonds have substantial moral implications on our human race. As depicted in Hollywood’s 2007 drama film, Blood Diamond, there can be a lot of dishonesty in the diamond market. Anything that has so much value brings with it tremendous amounts of corruption. If you want assurance that your diamond is truly conflict-free, companies are able to provide you with particular paperwork (a sort of Birth Certificate for your stone) and gemologists can look at your stone and derive its origins (particularly with coloured stones like rubies and sapphires), but both of these processes are costly.

Diamond companies around the world are very powerful – a sort of “cartel”. When you purchase from higher-end jewellery stores including Tiffany and Birks, there are significantly less chances for dishonesty – you will likely get exactly what you’re paying for – but you’re paying tens of thousands of dollars for that guarantee.

{ the Emotion }

While Quorri & Co. offers various jewelry options, engagement rings tend to be their focal point. Nancy explains,

“The trend with engagement rings today is becoming more emotionally-conscious. There isn’t the same emotional attachment to the stone itself – it’s the thought behind it.”

Nancy went on to reinforce that engagement rings have always been given with the intention to symbolize the sentiment and promise behind them – as a gift from someone you love. Unfortunately, financial constraints have often forced couples to compromise the look – as most budgets do.

Quorri attempts to put into perspective the sentiment behind the symbol. More importantly, it alleviates the potential for financial strains later in the relationship. If a man spends beyond his means on an engagement ring, the result may be that Happily Ever After is riddled with financial stress and burdens – a recipe for relationship disaster.

Nancy added, “If she means so much to you that you’ll forego putting a deposit on a house, buying a car, or paying down your student loans, all you’re doing is putting yourself into debt. And who are you proving yourself to? in the end, it’s your relationship that is likely to suffer.”

Not to mention the stories where girls have lost their diamonds in a pool, their rings at the bottom of lakes, they’ve been stolen, etc. Quorri seeks to put into perspective what the ring symbolizes, and now how much seemingly needs to be spent on it.

{ the Sparkle }

Quorri & Co. gemstone and diamond alternatives are created in a controlled environment. The cutters they employ are diamond cutters – and each stone is custom cut to showcase its own unique, perfect brilliance. Once their stones are created and cut, every gem is carbon coated to enhance strength, add a touch of organic realism, and a dimension of colour (stark white diamonds tend to look more artificial).

Most girls know what they want their engagement ring and wedding band to look like – even before they’re engaged! Believed to be the single most important piece of jewelry a girl will ever own, meant to be worn every day for the rest of her life, Quorri knows how important the details are. Regardless of a couple’s budget, Quorri jewellers can custom-design stunning engagement rings that range from modern and contemporary, to classic and vintage. Their sets are made from 14k or 18k gold, or platinum. Regardless of its details, Quorri engagement rings and jewellery pieces are designed to bring happiness – to mark a special occasion with something beautiful.

{ the Comparison }

I asked Nancy about some of the generic, mainstream diamond alternatives and how they compare to the product Quorri creates. She explained that in the U.S., Diamonelles are the exclusive faux jewelry brand of The Shopping Network. They are television-based and mass produced – more along the lines of costume jewelry than the fineness and quality offered by Quorri.

On the other hand, the Cubic Zirconia, developed in the 1970′s, is the biggest mass produced competitor to a diamond. CZ’s are machine cut, they are very white, and typically used in clothing and hair accessories to add sparkle without being pricey. You can find cubics of difference levels of quality, but typically a few dollars will buy you hundreds.

The newly introduced true-synthetic diamonds (mainly seen in the U.S.) are made from 100% carbon. Synthetic diamond laboratories replicate what the earth has done – which is a difficult and pricey process. Nancy explained that white synthetic diamonds are very rare (they’re typically found in pinks, blues, yellows) – and while a mined diamond might cost $10,000 – its truly synthetic counterpart will likely be priced at only a thousand dollars or so less.

{ the Quorri Boutique }

As with most brides visiting WeddingGirl.ca, you may already have your beautiful piece of engagement sparkle glistening gorgeously on your finger – but have you thought about your accentuating bridal jewelry? or bridal party gifts? how about a Thank You gift for your mom or a wedding band for your groom to be? The online Quorri shop caters to jewelry wishlishts large and small. Be sure to visit them here!

{ Sharing the Sparkle – contest}

Each and every one of us has a woman in our life whose “sparkle” is undeniable. Think of the woman in your life who shines – and whose light has guided you, inspired you, motivated you. Think of the woman in your life that, without her, you don’t know where you’d be. Now take that woman, send us a picture of the two of you together, and share your story.

WeddingGirl.ca and Quorri & Co. are looking to share the sparkle and reward one amazing woman with an outward reflection of her inner beauty, a stunning pair of Leia 1.00ct.tw (0.50ct each) DymondIX Round Brilliant stud Earrings in Solid 14k White Gold! (a $350.00 value)

In order to enter our Sharing The Sparkle contest, you must:

1) Be at least 18 years of age

2) Submit a photo of yourself with the woman in your life who sparkles to info@WeddingGirl.ca (Subject Line: Sharing The Sparkle)

3) Submit a description of why this woman deserves to be rewarded – who she is, what she’s done, and why her personality sparkles (please submit this in the same email as your photo)

All submissions will receive a personal email response acknowledging their submission and with further instructions.

Applicant photos and submissions will be posted in the Sharing The Sparkle photo albums on the WeddingGirl Dot Ca and Quorri & Co. profiles on Facebook. Friends will be voting on the winning picture + story – and hopefully getting inspired in the process!

The picture and story with the most “Likes” by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, September 25th, 2011 will be announced the winner on Monday, September 26th, 2011. – Be sure to check back to see who won!

Good Luck!

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2 Comments »

  1. My fiance recently submitted a little story and picture for the above contest but did not receive a response e-mail for further instructions like you say he should have as well, neither facebook pages have any of the pictures and stories posted so how are people supposed to “like” and choose the winner?

    Comment by Jamie — Monday, September 19th, 2011 03:46 pm @ 3:46 pm

  2. I have a friend who is looking for the Integrity Engagement ring to purchase for his girlfriend. Can you tell me where he can purchase this ring? Thank you

    Comment by Chris Laprise — Thursday, February 20th, 2014 03:51 pm @ 3:51 pm

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