Diamonds are Cliff Miller’s strong suit

Few purchases are as fraught as an engagement ring. Luckily for Southern Nevadans, few have sold as many rings (of all kinds) as Cliff Miller, who co-owns MJ Christensen Diamonds with his wife, Darlene. He holds the most highly regarded titles in the American Gem Society and has decades of experience lending a helping hand when the time comes.

You specialize in diamonds five carats and larger. are there special considerations regarding stones of that size?

People tend to focus on weight without properly considering the distribution of the weight which can affect the value up to 50 percent. Many of the poorly cut diamonds sold are overpriced due to a lack of knowledge of both the seller and the purchaser. For example, a well-made one-carat round, brilliant-cut diamond should measure 6.5mm in diameter. An inferior make may measure as small as 5.5mm with the “weight” below the girdle. A less-than-reputable jeweler would charge the same price for the 5.5mm poorly made diamond as the 6.5mm.

Your most memorable custom design?

One of our guests wanted to provide his fiancée with an engagement ring designed to replicate the bullwhip and the golden orb from the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and have his wedding band represent “Star Wars.” They turned out amazing!

Have royals Kate Middleton’s and Meghan Markle’s rings had much influence on ring selection on this side of the pond?

Kate Middleton’s ring really opened the door to precious gemstones as a primary gem for engagement rings and Meghan’s has certainly spotlighted the cushion cut and increased demand.

What style (shape/cut) is most popular in Las Vegas? Has it changed over the years?

The round, brilliant-cut diamond has, and it appears always will be, the most popular shape of diamond.

What kind of ring did you select for your wife and why? 

In that this was both of our second marriages, I selected an oval-shaped diamond because it was important to me that it not represent an “anticipated perfect relationship,” as a round diamond represents, but that our love would be eternal and unbreakable.