Los Angeles. Sept. 4, 2020. When the daughter of a diamantaire gets engaged, you better believe that diamond engagement ring is going to be special. So, when Melanie Goldfiner, director of business development for Rahaminov Diamonds, owned by parents Amir and Tamara Goldfiner, got engaged, the selection of the diamond for her ring was a big deal. And the size of her center stone? Equally impressive.
But let’s start with the couple before diving into details of the ring. Melanie Goldfiner met her now fiancé, Daniel, her freshman year at the University of California Los Angeles. He was a few years older and they spoke only briefly. Five years later, Goldfiner was flipping through profiles on the JSwipe app (“It’s like the Jewish Tinder,” she says) when she saw a familiar face: Daniel’s. They connected and chatted on the app, then met for drinks that led to dinner. They dated, became exclusive, and fell in love. Three years later, they discussed marriage but not details of when an engagement would occur.
Then the pandemic hit and Rahaminov offices, like many other businesses, closed. It was during this time that Daniel, a mobile engineer, decided to propose. But before enlisting Rahaminov’s help in securing a diamond, he first called Amir and Tamara with another request: Could he have their daughter’s hand in marriage?
“My wife and I were sitting outside next to our pool when he called me at the end of March,” recollects Amir. “He said, ‘Thank you for raising such a beautiful daughter, I would like your permission to marry her.’ I started crying.”
With parental permission secured, the hunt for the stone began. While Rahaminov routinely has a large inventory of diamonds on hand, the right stone for Melanie’s engagement ring wasn’t in stock. It wasn’t because her choice was a surprise—everybody at Rahaminov knew what she wanted.
“She always kept me posted on what she wanted,” says Nicol Goldfiner Barlev, Melanie’s sister, who runs production and design with their mom. “I have a whiteboard on the wall in front of my desk where she wrote down her ring size and style she wanted, just in case he ever asked.”
And what she wanted was an elongated emerald cut upwards of two carats in size with a double halo design.
When Daniel rang Nicol about the ring, that size stone wasn’t in inventory, so it took a few weeks before she, and eventually her dad (who pitched in to help source), could find one.
“It’s really important that a girl is happy with her ring, but especially in this industry; we knew she would be picky,” says Barlev.
Because of the quarantine, finding the stone wasn’t as easy as some might think. The family didn’t want to choose one that was too deep or too shallow in cut. Ultimately, they turned up options and narrowed down choices for Daniel. “He just wanted her to be happy,” notes Barlev.
Proof of that directive was obvious in his decision. Amir offered him a beautiful 1.8 ct. center stone, but Daniel said he wanted to give her a bigger diamond. The final choice? A 2.90 ct. G-color, VS1-clarity elongated emerald cut with a double-sided halo in 18k white gold. Rahaminov’s own bench jewelers (safely) returned to work to craft the ring. The shank is plain (no diamonds at all).
“I told Melanie she couldn’t have diamonds on her band because she is tough on her jewelry,” says Nicol. “Her band is thick and plain to fit her lifestyle. A lot of girls today want a band as thin as they can get with stones all around. It’s a beautiful look, but not the right kind of ring for Melanie.”
And why not platinum, the rarest of the metals, for such a special ring? Practicality. “Gold is a little stronger than platinum and holds the diamonds better. If we were just making a plain solitaire, we probably would have gone with platinum, where you don’t lose metal over time. But with a super pavé-intense look, we like to err on the side of caution by using 18k gold.”
Once the ring was ready, Daniel held onto it until one fine day in May, the 15th. He and his would-be bride were taking lots of walks for exercise since their gym was closed, so he coordinated with friends to make the proposal.
As they headed outside on a waterfront near their Southern California home to stroll, Daniel brought binoculars. Melanie didn’t think much about it since her beau was a gadget guy. As they walked, he looked through the binoculars across the water to a residential area opposite their location. He told her, “I think I see our friends,” a believable statement given they did have friends who lived in that direction. Daniel encouraged her to take a peek.
As she did, squinting to adjust her sight, she saw what Daniel had planned: his brother holding up a banner reading, “Will You Marry Me?” Nearby friends were concealed by bushes to snap photos. Daniel then got down on one knee and proposed.
“I was completely surprised,” says Melanie.
“We were so happy we didn’t have to postpone the ring design because of COVID-19,” adds Barlev. “Love is alive. It was a good distraction during quarantine.”
Melanie Goldfiner and her fiancé, Daniel
Melanie Goldfiner being proposed to by her fiancé, Daniel
Melanie Goldfiner’s engagement ring, made by her family’s firm: A 2.90 ct. G-color, VS1-clarity elongated emerald cut with a double-sided halo in 18k white gold. (The photo angle doesn’t reveal the second halo.)
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