In standard cocktail party conversation, people ask me repeatedly the same question: “What’s it like working with your family? I could never do it!” They continue to tell me that it’s an honorable thing to do and give it the same sort of admiration that one would confer to a shoemaker, who learned his craft from his father, and the trade goes back generations in the family. The general notion I hear is that working with your family is a relic of the past, and its beauty lies in simple nostalgia alone. They seem to recognize little benefit beyond that and are quick to pass on the opportunity because of the many perceived problems.

As someone who grew up steeped in our family’s diamond business, I see things differently. Graduating from college and then grad school, my peers and I were taught to “seek out a career, not a job.” We were told to consider your long term goals and build skills and experiences that help you get there. That was the mantra. In that context, working at Mervis Diamond fulfills that basic requirement of building a career. I am constantly challenging myself and our status quo to grow our company and position ourselves for a brighter future.

I differ from my peers, however, in that my work doesn’t build a career in a vacuum. Rather, my energy builds on the legacy and careers of my father, uncles, cousins, grandfather, and the many family members that have contributed to our business before I set foot in the door.  I take great pride in the fact that any success we find today with our latest marketing campaign or new product line is only made possible by the innovations my grandfather put into place 40 years ago. To paraphrase, Sir Isaac Newton, it is only “by standing on the shoulders of giants” that I am able to accomplish what I do.

There’s a profound difference between superficial nostalgia for the past and a genuine appreciation and love for your daily work and your family that facilitates your success. Primarily, our business provides engagement rings so that others can begin to build families of their own. It feels good to know that our family serves our community, and we encourage people to stop every once in a while and recognize the ones they love with gifts. Whether it be diamonds or a hand-written note, the sincerity of a gift and the thoughtfulness behind it shouldn’t be forgotten amidst our busy lives. This is what we stand for.

My grandfather Morris Mervis was a master of gift-giving, always finding just the right thing for the right moment. With every gift was an exceptionally long card written in perfect script, each line rhyming with the next and playing on countless inside jokes he had with the recipient.  His gifts to me were mostly inexpensive, but I have a thick folder of his cards that I will keep forever. He built Mervis Diamonds with the same sincere care for customers that he poured into my letters. This is the legacy I am proud to carry on.

Ring Trends: Design, Rose and Halo!

Posted by jmervis on Aug 19, 2013

Women love their engagement rings-but we have seen quite a few trends emerging in the 2013 engagement ring market.  Halos, rose gold, delicate accents and platinum are all major parts of the engagement rings dc women love.

Bling It On!

Engagement rings in lately have been known to sport some MAJOR bling.  We’ve found the bigger the bling, the more attention it gets.  We love this Jeff Cooper Designs Tara engagement ring.  The double halo makes the center stone look even bigger, but the split shank and cushion shaped halo are seriously gorgeous and feminine touches.  Combine that with the classic, refined simplicity of a platinum ring with diamonds?  It’s a ring to knock ANY woman’s socks off.



Rose Gold!

Engagement rings worldwide have been popping up all over with a flash of blush colors-rose gold engagement rings to rose gold accents on platinum rings are the hottest trend of the summer.  With a delightfully delicate and girly flair, rose gold is a unique way to show your feminine side.  We love this Coast Diamond rose gold halo with white gold accenting the halo itself.  The white gold around the cushion shaped halo brightens the center stone but the pave detailing on the pinkish band is the perfect mix of fabulous and feminine.  Plus, the pink tones flatter any skin tone and instantly make your hands appear skinnier and tan-who wouldn’t want that?!



Engraving, Carving and Detailing!

With one of the hottest movies of 2013 being The Great Gatsby, it is no wonder women searching for engagement rings have been going gaga over detailing!  Tacori, Verragio and Jeff Cooper have all taken detailing to the next level.  We love the delightful feathering of the Anneliese Engagement Ring by Jeff Cooper.  A cascading pattern of diamonds and delicate beads make this ring truly spectacular.

What is an Anniversary Band?

Posted by jmervis on Aug 12, 2013

A question we get a lot at Mervis is: “What is an anniversary band and how is it different from a wedding band?” Honestly? Nothing. An anniversary band is a wedding band, just given on an anniversary, not on your wedding day. The main difference most brides and wives find between a wedding and anniversary band is that often, with an anniversary band, she will interchange the anniversary band between her left and right hand. Although not all, some anniversary bands are wider and can be worn alone.

two bands stacked

Why An Anniversary Band?

Anniversary bands can be worn alongisde a wedding band, as a different version of your wedding band, or own its own as a super fabulous wedding band.  You can even wear it as a spectacular right hand ring!  The possibilities are endless with an anniversary band.

If her ring has a strange shape to it or the stone pertrudes, you have two options for a wedding band:  a band that sit flush against the ring or a plain straight band.  If your wife has one of these rings, the perfect first option for an anniversary band is an alternative to her wedding band.  If she loves the way her wedding band looks that fits flush against her ring, get her a second she can wear on the other side.  Not only does this instantly take her ring to the super popular halo trend, it creates an entirely new piece of jewelry for her to show off!

Flush fit band

Ready to start shopping for an anniversary band?  Check out our online inventory of anniversary bands or make an appointment today!



Great Gatsby Worthy Jewels

Posted by jmervis on Jul 19, 2013

With the roaring 1920s alive in the blockbuster film Great Gatsby, diamond lovers everywhere are clamoring to find jewels worthy of Daisy Buchanan.  Although the majority of the jewels in the film are diamond and pearl, colored stones were the iconic look of the 1920s.  The art deco style was the most noted fashion trend of the decade, bringing a modern twist to jewelry.

Mervis Designers Sasha Primak, JB Star, Jeff Cooper and Henderson all boast looks worthy of the big screen.  You can also view more of our art deco pieces HERE.

Be sure to also check out Mervis on WeddingWire!

How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

Posted by jmervis on May 27, 2013


There is no “magical” number as to how much you should spend on an engagement ring.  For years, the “accepted” amount was 2-4 months salary, depending on who you asked. That is a reasonable and acceptable starting point to base your figures around but there are several other factors you need to consider.

The average engagement ring costs about $5,400.   The average couple spends $1,900 on his and hers wedding bands.

At Mervis, our settings for rings start around $1,200 and go up from there.  We carry a range of rings that fit above, below and on the average cost of an engagement ring, so we can cater to any price point.

The most important things to consider are these:

How much can you comfortably afford to spend?  

No one can answer this question but you.  This will depend on a multitude of factors: take home salary, amount in savings, monthly expenses.  If you have a lot in savings, you may plan on paying for the ring in full.  If you don’t have much in savings and are afraid to deplete your savings, Mervis offers amazing financing options.  This way, you can put a down payment on the ring and put a little bit towards the ring each month.

What type of ring do you want?

What style ring are you looking for?  If you aren’t sure, there are many ways to get more “bling” for a few less “bucks”.  You can always go for the ever popular halo trend, which is comprised of a series of small diamonds surrounding one larger center stone to make the center stone appear bigger/blingier.  The solitaire is always a good, classic choice if you aren’t sure what she wants- you can always add on details after choosing a simple stone to start.   If you have NO clue what your girlfriend wants, you can always ask her or her friends and family-there are NO RULES when it comes to an engagement.

Would you prefer a larger stone that is less quality, or a higher quality stone that is smaller for your money?

There are two factors to consider here: the person you are buying the ring for, her style, and also your personal preferences.  If you KNOW your girlfriend has her heart set on two carats and you can’t afford that, would she rather a spectacular 1 carat that is close to perfect or a 1.5 carat that has visible flaws?  Obviously, those two are the extremes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a lot of diamond for your money.  You can go slightly down in color and clarity to increase your carat size, or even go down in carat size but up in color and clarity.  Check out our downloadable diamond money saving tips here.

Does shape of the stone or metal really matter?

If you are on a tight budget and don’t have a particular metal or stone shape in mind, this can aid your shopping experience.  Platinum is the most expensive metal out there, so if you are looking to cut costs but love the COLOR of platinum, look for a white gold ring.  It is a very similar look with a much lower price tag.  Most people tend to go towards white gold- over 72% of engagement rings are white gold.    Another thing to keep in mind is the shape of the diamond itself: round brilliant diamonds, although the most popular, are the most expensive per carat because you cut away the highest percentage of the rough diamond to form the round brilliant.  Round stones make up 55% of the chosen stones for engagement rings.  

At the end of the day, there is no “rule” for how much you should spend on an engagement ring beyond what makes you comfortable.  Pick a budget, start looking at rings and if that budget is hard, we will work around it.  If you find that what you want is out of your price range and your budget is more flexible, we can work with that too.  At the end of the day, we want to create a beautiful ring to last a lifetime with you and your loved one.

Check Mervis out on WeddingWire!