Stewart Dawsons: Engagement Ring Buying Guide New Zealand

Stewart Dawsons: Engagement Ring Buying Guide New Zealand Cover Photo
5 min read27 January 2024

Buying an engagement ring from any jeweller is a daunting process. This article will walk you through what Stewart Dawson offers, a bit about their story and when you should consider buying from them.

Stewart Dawson Diamond Quality

Most of Stewart Dawson diamonds have a standard quality as per the 4Cs. These are Colour, Cut, Clarity and Carat.


The best diamonds have a colour range of DEFG. They are colourless to the naked eye. H and I are yellow tinged and appear visibly different to the DEFG range.

Stewart Dawson diamonds are in the IJK. This means that they will appear yellow. If you are looking for a faint yellow diamond, this might be a good bet. But if you are looking for a clear and sparkly diamond, then working with Four Words may be a better option.

At Four Words, we only work with diamonds that are within the DEF range. This means that your diamond will appear colourless and guaranteed to be sparkly.

Colour Comparison Four Words


Clarity refers to the inclusions in the diamond. The better the grade, the more perfect the diamond will appear. The best diamonds have a clarity range from IF - VS1. Poorer diamonds are graded from VS2, SI1, and SI2, I1, I2.

Stewart Dawson & Co diamonds typically have a clarity of I1. This means that their inclusions are quite visible to the naked eye.

At Four Words, our minimum standard is VS1 and if we can’t find a stone, even if it is VS that is up to our standard, we will often upgrade our customers to VVS for free.

Clarity Comparison Four Words


Cut is a measure specific for Round cut diamonds. It determines how vibrant and sparkly the diamond is. A poorly cut diamonds looks dull and lifeless, while an ideal cut diamond has the best light performance.

The best cut diamonds are Ideal or Excellent cut. For reference, Tiffany diamonds are Excellent. From there, the grade goes down to fair and then poor cut.

Stewart Dawson Jewellers do not publish their diamond cut on its website.

At Four Words, all our Round cut diamonds are Ideal cut — this is the best possible grade. And when it comes to other diamond shapes, we only choose the best diamonds that the eye can see.

Cut Comparison Four Words


Strictly going off their website, the largest carat size that Stewart Dawsons does is 1 carat.

At Four Words, we work with centre stones starting from 0.5 carats and go up to 10 carat diamonds.

We can also work with larger stones on special request.

Stewart Dawsons vs Four Words Price

For a 1 carat ring at Stewart Dawson, the starting price is $11,999. The diamond clarity is I1 and diamond colour ranges from E-I. Also, you may incur further charges if your ring size is not O (Stewart Dawsons charges for ring resizing).

At Four Words, you can get a 1 carat diamond in 14K yellow gold with ideal cut, VS clarity and colour range of DEF for around $4,000 — or a third of the price. This includes:

How to Buy from Stewart Dawsons

You cannot buy jewellery from Stewart Dawsons online. You will need to go into one of their stores. They have 14 stores dotted around New Zealand and they are mainly in the main centres — Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Four Words only has one studio and it is based in Auckland, however you can buy online and have one on one consultations with a designer from anywhere in New Zealand — or the world through Zoom. Many of our clients are from Australia, the UK, the US and Europe.

Stewart Dawson History

David Stewart Dawson started the Stewart Dawsons jewellery business as a manufacturing house in 1871 in Liverpool, England.

The company realised that manufacturing was just one part of the process of jewellery and it opened up its first store in England in 1876.

Based on the success in England, Stewart Dawson expanded into Sydney, Australia in the late 1800's, followed by two stores in New Zealand, one in Auckland which opened in 1885 and one in Dunedin which opened in 1886.

Following on the success of these stores, Stewart Dawsons soon opened in Wellington and Christchurch in key locations; of particular note is the corner of Willis Street and Lambton Quay which most Wellingtonians know as Stewart Dawsons Corner.

Should You Buy An Engagement Ring from Stewart Dawsons?

We believe that you should buy an engagement ring from Stewart Dawsons if your family has a tradition of doing so. With its smaller carat sizes and limited range, it can be difficult to get the ring of your dreams — especially when you cannot get exactly the ring that you want.

If your family does not have a tradition of buying engagement rings from Stewart Dawsons, then you should consider all the other brands before making a decision. You should visit the likes of Pascoes (owned by the same company as Stewart Dawsons), Michael Hill Jewellers, and other kiwi owned brands such as Four Words.

What You Should Buy From Stewart Dawsons

We recommend that you seriously consider looking to buy your favourite branded watch from Stewart Dawsons. They have a great collection — featuring Tissot, Seiko, Michael Kors, Emporio, Armani and Citizen.

Common Questions

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Diamond Illustration

Whether you’re just starting out or have done all your research, we are here to help.

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