Lockdown has played into the love story for many New Zealanders and in turn engagement rings sales have become booming business for jewellers.
Jewellers credit more cash in Kiwis' pockets as international travel remains off the cards and a renewed focus on what is important in life for the recent surge in ring sales.
Rachel Sloane, founder and creative director of Auckland jewellery business Naveya & Sloane, said lockdown had left couples feeling the love.
A flurry of proposals and the renewed appreciation for partners had been a sliver lining to lockdown, she said.
"It's times like these which see people sit back and realise what's really important in life, I think that's been a huge driver for many of our clients who have decided to ask the big question," Sloane told the Herald. She said a desire to support local business had also been a large contributor to an increase in sales.
Layla Kaisi, owner of Layla Kaisi Collection, said her High St business had experienced a surge in engagement ring sales following the lift in lockdown restrictions.
"As soon as we started to go into level 3 and beyond, business started to trickle back slowly and then it started flooding back and engagements are flying out the door right now," said Kaisi, who opened the studio shop in 2017.
Kaisi attributes the surge in ring sales to more money being spent in the country with the borders closed, lockdown forcing people to save their money - and couples making the decision to move in with each other.
"With lockdown, people had to very quickly decide where they were going to live; a lot of them probably moved in with their partner for the first time and they stuck it through those weeks. I think if lockdown didn't break you then it totally made you because [people] realised if you can make this time with a partner then you can see a whole future with them."
Kaisi also said a push towards buying local had also likely contributed, as she had been told by some of her clients that they had originally planned to buy a ring online with a brand based outside of New Zealand.
"It was a trifecta of things that made it a perfect storm for a engagement period."
New Zealanders spend between $7-$9 billion on international travel each year. While it is estimated that about a third of that will not be spent, that is still a large proportion of discretionary income that could be circulating in the domestic economy.
The Herald has also reported on a surge in car and bike sales - bicycles and e-bikes - in recent weeks.
Kaisi said Layla Kaisi Collection was more busy now than ever, with sales now triple what they were prior to lockdown.
The classic white diamond was still the most popular stone for engagement rings, but champagne and peach-coloured diamonds and sapphires had also proven popular in recent weeks, she said.
"Even with my suppliers, they're having trouble keeping up with demand."
Another jeweller said sales of engagement rings at his business were also up on pre-lockdown levels.
When the store first opened back up after lockdown its sales spiked about 15-20 per cent and then plateaued and are now sitting at about 10-12 per cent up on pre-lockdown levels.
The store owner also put the increase in demand down to couples realising that they wanted to commit to each other after enduring lockdown together.
He said he expects sales to even back out over the next few months.
"People can't travel now, they can't spend their money travelling and going away abroad, so they are either putting more money into jewellery purchases or spending it in other ways," he said.
"There's been a slight increase in the average spend, and diamonds are still the number one choice."
The average spend on an engagement ring prior to lockdown was between $7000 and $12,000, this was now between $7000 and $15,000, he said.
Sophie Smythe, 22, and her partner Rylea Hart, 23, got engaged shortly after lockdown.
Like many couples, the pair enjoyed - and survived - the lockdown period living together (along with six others) and got engaged at Lake Rotoiti in Nelson Lakes National Park on June 22.
"We realised that we were ready to commit," Smythe told the Herald.
"After spending that much time together we realised that actually we could live together and spend the rest of our lives together pretty happily and not get sick of each other."
The high school sweethearts have been together more than five years and moved in together a year and a half ago.
Smythe told the Herald the engagement was out of the blue, and that Hart had purchased the oval solitaire ring online from US-based Gemma & Co and planned the proposal during lockdown. He had the ring shipped to his parents' house.
"We had a trip booked for after lockdown because it was his birthday but then because of lockdown we figured we would extend the trip ... we went down to the Nelson Lakes, visited his family, and I'm from Christchurch so we visited my family, and then we were at the Lakes for three days by ourselves and he got down on one knee and proposed by the side of the lake."
Smythe said lockdown had put relationships to the test and she knew of other couples that had recently got engaged shortly after lockdown.