Jewelry designer Elliot Avianne, of the NYC Diamond District shop Avianne & Co, designs one-of-one custom gems for every rap celeb worth their carats—with bold face names like Lil Wayne, Cam'ron, Drake, Young Thug, Nicki Minaj and Future counted among his roster of clients. When we heard the bummer news that, in the wake of their split, Ciara returned the 15-carat, $500,000 engagement ring that Future proposed with, we hit Elliot to see if the rock came with a receipt. He didn't have the piece, but told us about the process and procedures that go into producing in-demand jewels, and how diamonds stay forever even after love fades.
You and Future designed that engagement ring together when he first proposed. What was his input on the 15-carat stunner? It took us some time because he wasn’t sure what kind of design he wanted. But once we landed on one design, it took us about a month to put it together because he wanted the diamonds in the band to match. The quality and color had to be one-to-one.
How often do pieces end up back in the shop? What’s the return policy? I mean, it happens, but not that often. We would just take it back. We can’t resell it as it is. We’ll just probably have to take it apart, sell it piece by piece or something. Future might not even sell it. He might just keep it.
How often do you guys get requests for engagement rings, wedding rings or gifts for girlfriends? People buy engagement rings almost everyday. I just sold an engagement ring to Bow Wow for Erica Mena. It’s a three-carat diamond, round diamond with a yellow gold setting. His is more simple compared to what Future designed for Ciara.
Do you guys approach engagement rings and those kind of sentimental pieces differently than an everyday chain or watch? It’s just pretty much the same process, the only difference is landing the client on the center stone. That’s where most of their money is going, it’s in the diamond. You got to land them on a design for setting. We’ve got a computer guy that makes the design, then we make a wax model out of it, cast it into whatever metal they want, and then we get our diamond setters to set it.
What’s one of your favorite or most memorable engagement or wedding rings you’ve done? I think the one I did for Ciara. That one was big for me. That was probably the biggest one.
Have you been in touch with Future? Has he purchased anything else recently? Yeah, I was with him about a week ago, in Atlanta for the BET Awards. He bought a few new things, stuff for his kids, you know? He got each kid a charm.