The chief officer of romance

“We specialize in keeping American women happy,” Mervis joked. “In all seriousness, we do bring in big, beautiful diamonds and distribute and advertise all around the area.”

While lighthearted, Mervis is serious about diamonds. His family has been in the diamond business in South Africa for nearly 100 years. The family sought to internationalize their business and brought it to the D.C. area, importing and distributing diamonds.

“We are very much in the love business,” Mervis said. “Our highest concentration is the bridal and engagement market. We hear stories about marriages, relationships and trends all the time.”

Mervis Diamond Importers stores are not located in area malls. Instead, they are freestanding stores that work independently and mainly by appointment. “We start out by giving clients a good education when it comes to diamonds,” Mervis said. “We go through the process of teaching them about cut, color, clarity and carat.”

After that, Mervis shows couples large selections of diamonds in varying shapes, colors and price ranges. Phase two is selection of the ring, which is generally where the woman gets involved. “It’s where she knows what she wants, or think she knows what she wants,” Mervis said. Bands of either platinum or white or yellow gold are then chosen.

Then, many forget there is style to choose from as well. You have your choice of either traditional, contemporary, unique, halo or two-stone rings.

After lots of oohing and aahing, Mervis said, a perfect ring is eventually chosen. “It’s a delicate job, merging the diamond and ring,” he said.

Mervis also stressed that women should remember body size and hand size when choosing a ring, as some women can carry bigger rings than others.

Mervis also has a blog that clients can post to. is home to plenty of stories about proposals gone awry that couples laughed about later.

After walking down the aisle (Mervis said the company helps 20,000 people walk down the aisle every year in D.C.) the company is offering something to think about post-reception: the honeymoon. Mervis is currently having a honeymoon promotion where one couple per month can win a free vacation to South Africa.

As far as newer trends, Mervis has noticed more square-cut diamonds than round. Also, many have been buying platinum bands with small diamonds around the main one. The company has noticed that the state of the economy has not had any effect on diamond sales. “With romance, there is no recession,” Mervis said.

The best advice Mervis gives to couples wishing to look for a ring is to select your diamond dealer as carefully as a ring.

“Also, don’t mistake size for quality,” Mervis said. “A beautiful diamond should be looked at in such a way [that] it dances. It should give customers goose bumps and feel spectacular.”