Lab diamond emerald white gold engagement ring

Behind the Diamond: Leigh and Tony

One of the biggest thrills of doing what we do, is creating pieces that represent our clients’ special memories - treasured milestones to be captured with a bespoke memento. The excitement of getting engaged goes hand-in-hand with diamonds, as a symbol of longevity and the precious nature of forging a unique lifelong partnership.

We were more than honoured to search for the perfect diamond for Leigh and Tony's engagement, and we're delighted to share their story with you.


Leigh and Tony’s Love Story


aiana custom engagement


What made you realise Tony was the one?

 It was the sum of so many small moments  but the one that sticks out to me is the wine tasting trip we took for our first anniversary. While we were there, I received the news that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died (for any Aussies who don't know, she was an American Supreme Court Justice) and Tony looked me in the eye and asked 100% seriously if I wanted to scrap the trip and go home -  like she was a personal friend, haha! 

He shows kindness in a million little ways, like  making sure that when I fall asleep on the couch I wake up to a fresh glass of water next to me.

What's something that connects you?

The majority of our relationship has been during the pandemic, so we've watched A LOT of HBO together. Tony is Italian, so watching The Sopranos start to finish was a pretty important cultural experience to share with me. And of course, I made him watch all of Sex and the City.

What's your proposal story?

We had discussed getting married many times, so I knew it was coming at some point this year and thought I would suspect it and not be totally surprised. But Tony got down on one knee in the middle of our kitchen on a random Thursday afternoon. I was completely shocked.  It was very low key with  no drama, which fits us perfectly. 

aiana custom emerald cut lab created diamond
With an eye for clean lines, a consultation revealed that an emerald cut stone was a match made in heaven for Leigh.⁠ She fell for this GIA certified, sustainably grown 1.95ct diamond - we are mesmerised by its sparkle!

Wedding plans - a big wild party, an intimate gathering, or something in between...?

My family is enormous, so anything with all of them present tends towards a wild party.  We’re getting married in a 1920s Spanish-style chapel, with an outdoor reception full of candles and twinkle lights. It is late next fall so there’ll be lots of moody colors, jewel tones, and relaxed elegance.

Can you describe your personal style?

For clothing, my mum and sister pick out 90% of the things I wear. Purses and jewellery are where I shine. I definitely tend towards classic, tailored pieces that can be dressed up or down. I love a structured leather purse and dainty sparkly jewellery for everyday wear!


aiana custom emerald cut diamond
Leigh and Tony decided to complement the emerald centre diamond with additional shoulder stones for a classic white gold trilogy art deco inspired setting. 

Why a lab created diamond?

For me, it was a no brainer! Knowing the ethical and environmental impact of mined diamonds, I looked into moissanite, but diamonds are much stronger and higher quality with a more understated sparkle. Lab diamonds aren't fake or simulated, just like natural diamonds they have all the flaws and unique bits that go with that. I am SO happy with my decision!

How was your custom experience with AïANA?

I always thought that folks who get custom engagement rings either have huge budgets or a super unique style, and I have neither! I found that all of the retailers in my area sold rings that looked very similar and couldn't easily accommodate simple changes like scaling the size of the side stones to work well with the size of the centre stone. Working with AïANA was such an easy, custom and luxurious experience at a very accessible price. I've already recommended them to several friends!


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