Today, more than ever t0-be-brides are picking out their wedding sets with their partners. Jewelry can be so personal, and many men are involving their brides in the decision making process.
If this happens to be you, then you might love to look at the suggestions we have in this article.
If you have never purchased a diamond or a ring before, you will very quickly find out that there is a whole lot more to it than picking out something that is shiny and pretty. It is actually fairly complicated, and there are a lot of questions you need to ask and a lot of things you need to consider before making your purchase.
The most important factor, of course, is what is practical for you and your soon to be husband. Many women don’t like bulky rings and would be just as happy with a simple gold band.
Be sure to figure out what styles are practical for you and your husband, so that your jewelry doesn’t end up in a drawer years down the road.
Many women have some very precise ideas regarding what their style looks like, so before buying a ring it is absolutely essential to discuss with your fiancee about preferences.
In fact, many recently-engaged couples have little to no knowledge of what to look for in an engagement ring at all. That is where this guide comes in.
The following are five questions to ask when you are getting ready to purchase an engagement ring….
#1) What Is Your Budget?
Many couples can be tempted to go overboard financially when purchasing an engagement ring. That is why it is best to decide upfront what your budget is for purchasing a ring and to stick to that budget no matter what.
Today it is just as fashionable to buy a center gemstone than a diamond. You can go for a variety of metals that look just as beautiful as a gold ring. You certainly shouldn’t go into debt to buy jewelry when starting out your marriage.
#2) Do You Want Something Old Or Something New?
There are a lot of choices besides just the classic diamond solitaire engagement ring. Many antique engagement rings are absolutely spectacular.
So the truth is that there are lots of choices out there and lots of opportunities to pick something that will suit your particular style.
#3) What Kind Of Stone Do You Want?
An engagement ring does not have to have a diamond on it. In fact, a growing number of couples are opting for other exotic stones rather than diamonds for their engagement rings. For example, blue sapphire engagement rings are becoming very popular.
So don’t be afraid to incorporate other gemstones into your engagement ring, and don’t be afraid if you want to leave diamonds out of your ring altogether.
#4) Do You Know Your 4 C’s – Cut, Clarity, Carat, and Color?
When looking at an engagement ring, you are going to want to ask about all four of these categories. The cut of the diamond is more of a style choice, but the last three categories can have a huge impact on the value of the diamond you are choosing. The truth is that two diamonds can look remarkably similar and yet have vastly different values.
#5) What Metal Do You Want The Band To Be Made Out Of?
Most of the focus when purchasing an engagement ring is on the gemstones. But the band is another very important consideration. The three most common choices are gold, platinum and white gold, although many couples go another direction in order to save some money.
The truth is that picking out an engagement ring can be an exhilarating experience, but you can also get burned if you do not know what you are doing. It is important to get educated and to do your homework.
For young couples that are working on a tight budget, sometimes you can still get a great ring and save money at the same time by shopping places like Ebay, Craigslist and Amazon. When you do shop online, be sure to research the seller you are considering purchasing from to make sure that they are reputable.
Having purchased an engagement ring online myself, I can honestly say that it does work and you can get a lot more ring for your money than by shopping at the jewelry retailer down at the mall.
But wherever you buy your engagement ring, always be careful and always do your research. If you protect yourself and if you are willing to put in the hard work to find just the right ring, you will have a better chance of ending up with something that you both will love for decades to come.
Ebay is filled with local jewelry and antique stores who are listing their inventory on ebay as a chance to expose their product to a larger audience. Others are regular people who are looking to liquidate their possessions, and ebay is the easiest way to do it. Who knows, maybe you might buy a ring previously owned by a couple who had walked together for 60 +years. Ebay makes it interesting because there is a little bit of mystery of having an antique piece. Why not stay home to shop if you can.
One piece of advice is true……….find out all the questions you have for the seller before buying. Request extra pictures if necessary. If you purchase a ring, be sure to know you could return it, just in case there was something you missed on the listing.
Clarity- describes the presence of inclusions and blemishes on a diamond. Inclusions can be caused by tiny cracks or non-diamond material or flaws in the stone. Blemishes can be caused by bad cutting or polishing, or simply just from the diamond forming. The fewer inclusions a diamond has, the more valuable it is. The GIA has six categories and eleven grades of clarity: flawless (FL), Internally flawless (IF), very very slightly included (VVS1 and VVS2, depending on the kinds of inclusion), very slightly included (VS1 and VS2), slightly included (SI1 and SI2), and included (I1, I2, and I3).
Types of Diamond Inclusions:
Included Crystal- A mineral crystal contained inside of a diamond, which could be any size, or color, and could appear alone or in groups. Dark included crystals are often called “carbon spots”.
Needle Inclusions- Needle inclusions appear in long appearances which can be white, bright, or dark.
Pinpoint Inclusions- These inclusions are small crystals that looks like a tiny dot.
Cloud Inclusions- A group of pinpoints which appear like a cloudy or gray patch. Some clouds look like a haze, and others are almost impossible to see through.
Twinning Wisp Inclusions– A series of pinpoints or clouds that appear flat and ribbon-like.
Graining Inclusions- Graining inclusions appear in the form of lines, angles, or curves. They appear to be white, colored, or reflective.
Diamond Inclusions- Feather- A feather is a nice term for any break in a diamond.
Diamond Inclusions- Bearded Girdle– A bearded girdle consists of minute feathers that extend from the girdle surface into the stone. This is a result of shaping the diamond during the cutting process.
Diamond Inclusions- Bruise– A bruise is a tiny area of impact accompanied by small root-like feathers. A bruise is sometimes called a percussion mark and is cause by a hard blow.
Diamond Inclusions- Knot– A knot is an included diamond crystal that extends up to the surface. With magnification and proper lighting, you can see the boundary between a knot and its host diamond.
Diamond Inclusions- Chip– A chip is a shallow opening on the surface that is the result of damage that occurs after cutting.
Diamond Inclusions- Cavity– A cavity is the space left when a surface-reaching crystal drops out or is forced out during polishing.
Diamond Inclusions- Indented Natural- An indented natural is a portion of the original rough diamond crystal surface, or skin, that dips below the polished diamond’s surface. The original surface of the diamond’s skin might have growth markings that look like triangles (trigons) or parallel grooves.
Diamond Inclusions- Laser Drill Hole- The laser drill hole is a tiny tunnel produced by a laser beam. The tunnel extends from the surface to what was a dark included crystal. GIA’s Gem Trade Lab will issue a diamond grading report on diamonds that have laser drill holes because the holes are permanent features and notes the laser drill holes under the comments area.
Diamond Inclusions– Fracture Filled- Laser drill holes and surface-reaching feathers are sometimes filled with a molten glass type substance in a clarity enhancement treatment called fracture filling.- GIA’s Gem Trade Lab does not issue diamond grading reports for fracture filled diamonds because the treatment is not permanent.
Pure diamonds are referred to as white; other colors include steel gray, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink to purple, brown and black. The famous Hope Diamond, for example, is a gray-blue diamond.
The GIA rates the color of white diamonds from D, meaning the diamond is pure white, to Z for yellow or brownish-yellow.
These designations are made by comparing a stone to a set of masterstones, or stones chosen specifically as representative of colors. Stones darker than K quality are designated by the grade and the color–“N dark brown,” for instance.
Colored diamonds are rated from Very Light to Fancy Dark, depending on the saturation and tone of the color of the stone. Colored diamonds, often shunned in the past, have recently become more popular, according to the GIA, and can be just as valuable as white diamonds.
Cuts include brilliant (round), fancy cut (round), king (round), magna (round), princess (mixed), square, baguette (rectangular), marquise (square), emerald (square), oval, pear, triangle, lozenge, kite, and obus (a semi-circular shape with squared-off corners).
According to the GIA, cut is the hardest thing to determine when assessing a diamond; different standards are used in different countries, and it is often hard to tell how a diamond has been cut when it is evaluated while still in its setting. GIA cut ratings are excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor.
The term carat refers to the weight of a diamond. One carat is 200 milligrams or approximately 0.0007 ounce. The term point means one one-hundredth of a carat (0.01 carat, or 2 mg). Carat is used to refer to diamonds equal to or bigger than one carat, and point is used to describe the weight of diamonds smaller than one carat. Carat weight is abbreviated t.c.w. (total carat weight) by many jewelers and the GIA.
David Yurman® Jewelry . is a privately held high-end American designer jewelry company founded by David Yurman. It is headquartered in New York City. He is known for his cable jewelry. There are David Yurman boutiques worldwide, primarily in the United States. The David Yurman flagship store on Madison Avenue. Their first international store was opened in Hong Kong’s International Finance Center, with the brand’s Asia headquarters nearby.
What Do You Want?
Perhaps the simplest way to find the best engagement ring is for a man to take his future fiance along when he shops for a ring, suggests About.com. She’ll be able to see the styles, the cut on the stones, and determine if the ring fits her hand. And chances are if he is in a serious relationship, she’s already thought about and possibly seen the right ring for her. However, the drawback to this method is that it prevents the element of surprise, which some men want when they present their future fiance with a ring and the down-on-one-knee routine.
Engagement Ring Styles
For the man who is determined to go it alone on his ring-shopping quest, one of the most important questions he can ask himself is “What is her style?”
This not only includes the decorative elements of the ring such as oval verses square cut on the stones, but it also has broader implications.
If the guy and his gal are nature enthusiasts who spend a lot of time hiking, rock climbing, camping, or playing outdoor sports, a ring that can get snagged on a rock may not be the best option. Stones that lay flat or are embedded in the metal of the ring fit the action girl lifestyle.
On the other hand, women who don’t have as active a lifestyle may prefer a higher set on the stone than someone who’s on the go all the time.
Additionally, rings are designed to fit certain fashion styles as well. A woman who favors traditional clothing and makeup styles may also gravitate toward these styles for her ring. However, a woman who embraces a modern, almost avant gard style will probably not enjoy the same kind of ring. When going shopping for a ring, a man can visit with the ring salesman to be directed the the ring style that will fit his future fiance best.
Heirloom Engagement Rings
Sometimes the guy in question already has a ring in mind because it has been passed down in his family for generations. If that is the case, then he should talk with his intended about her feelings about the heirloom ring. If this becomes the ring of choice, then the couple may want to incorporate the history of the ring into the wedding ceremony to tie the event to the past and present.
While a woman may have an opinion about why another woman’s ring isn’t exactly right, the ring that lands on her finger from her special guy makes it her ring and therefore something special. If the man listens to his girlfriend when she talks about what the ideal ring for her would be, he should be set on the course that will help him find the right engagement ring for his intended.
A bezel setting is a modern setting which has a metal rim that encircles the sides of the diamond extends slightly above it which secures the diamond in place. The rim, or collar stretches around the diamonds entire circumference or around only a portion of it when we deal with half bezel settings.
A bezel has a stunning overall look with the feature of holding the diamond in place securely that your woman can do any type of work in the yard, in the garage without fear the diamond will be knocked out of its setting. For the woman with more of an active lifestyle, jogging and sports, bezel settings might be the way to go. Bezel settings are also lower, making it easier to wear a ring and work or play at the same time. Bezel settings also can be fantastic at disguise chips or imperfections around the diamond.
The rope bezel diamond engagement ring is particularly striking. It features an ornate rope design but remains rather minimal which is rather exciting.
When most people hear the word Sapphire they think Blue, but Sapphires come in almost every color except red. Red Sapphires are Rubies. Sapphires can also come in pure white, which almost look like a diamond without the brilliance of the spectrum that a diamond has. Pink sapphires become very popular, and padparadscha Sapphires are a fancy colored orange-pink or pinkish-orange. These sapphires are quite rare are costly and are often reproduced in labs because they are hard to find in bigger sizes.
When buying a blue sapphire the best advice is to look at the color of the stone. The most sought after and valuable sapphires are deep blue which often do not change color when the light is changes. Sapphires that are too dark or too light are of less value than a royal blue stone. Many seller will tell you the darker the blue the better, but that is not true.
The royal blue sapphire is the most valuable sapphire.
Sapphires are found in India, Burma, Ceylon, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Brazil and Africa, but the best Sapphires come from Ceylon. Buying a blue sapphire is a very unique and regal choice for an engagement ring, as Prince Charles proposed to Lady Diana with a sapphire when he had all the choices of diamonds in the world.
And if you have the engagement ring of your dreams clearly envisioned in your mind, you can bring it to life by building it yourself. You don’t have to be an experienced jeweler to build an engagement ring–there are plenty of online resources to help you get the job done, or you can simply enlist the help of a local jeweler. Whichever way you decide to go about it, here are the steps you’ll need to take to build an engagement ring that’s as unique as you are.
Choose a Metal
The first step in building an engagement ring is to choose the metal you want your ring to be made of. If you like a traditional gold color, you may want to stick with yellow-gold. If you generally wear more silver jewelry, white gold and platinum would be better options. Many people are very sensitive to particular types of metal and if you’re one of them, palladium might be the metal of choice for you as it’s a nickel-free metal.
Decide on a Setting
Setting options for an engagement ring truly are endless–and if you can imagine it, there’s probably a setting that will fit your design. Traditional settings such as the prong setting or bar setting are very popular–they’re great for larger-sized stones and they’re very strong and secure. A bezel setting is also a good choice when it comes to settings. Not only is it secure–it also helps hide minor imperfections in the stone due to the fact that it encases the stone either partially or entirely via a circular metal band.
Flush and tension settings use the metal band itself for support, no prongs required, while channel and invisible settings are best used if your ring will host several smaller stones. If you want your ring to have a focal stone along with several accent stones, a variation or customized setting will probably work best for you. Settings vary in price, and the more stones you incorporate, the more you should expect to spend.
Select Your Stones
Traditionally diamonds are the stone of choice for engagement rings, but any precious gemstone can be used in your custom-built ring. Whether you choose a diamond or another treasured stone, select the size and shape that will work best with your setting choice.
Princess, Emerald, and Radiant are popular square-cut diamonds–they work well with prong settings and are known to really sparkle and shine. Other popular shapes for engagement ring stones are the oval, heart, pear, and marquise. A combination of shapes can be used in a custom-built ring, especially if accent stones are part of your design.
Picking Out The Right Ring
10k White Gold 1/4 Cttw Diamond Milgrain Solitaire Frame Engagement Ring – Amazons Price $425
IGI Certified 1.05 Carat (ctw) 14K White Gold Real Princess Diamond Ladies Engagement Solitaire Ring Amazons Price $1839
1/2 Carat Solitaire Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring White Gold (D Color, SI1-SI2 Clarity, 0.50 Carat t.w) Amazons Price $1075
6/10 Carat Solitaire Cushion Cut Diamond Engagement Ring 14K White Gold (0.60 Carat H Color VS2 Clarity) BUY ON AMZON For $1500
1/2ct Pave Princess Diamond Bridal Set BUY It On Amazon For $599,
Buy 1ct for $999
.50CT Princess Cut Antique Vintage Diamond Engagement Ring 14K White Gold – Buy On Amazon for $399
There is a common misconception when it comes to engagement rings, that they all have to be diamonds and they have to be expensive. Let’s get real and realize that not everyone has the same style or the money to do so.
If she tends to like antiques in her home, then a vintage ring with a different stone could interest her. If she tends to buy new and name brand modern things she would like a princess cut diamond.
See if she has a Pinterest account, you can publically find her by searching her name and then finding a board that is labeled ‘wedding’, ‘jewelry’ or just roam her boards for inspiration.
Don’t put yourself in debt over a ring and purchase a ring that you can afford. It has been said that three month salary is the appropriate amount to spend on a ring. Take your time and save up for the ring. If you feel that the ring is less than what you were hoping for, always keep in mind that you can always buy her an upgraded ring further down the road.
If you would like to know how to go about getting an engagement ring appraised, the following tips can help.
Understand the Appraisal Process
Before you get an engagement ring appraised, you should familiarize yourself with the appraisal process. First of all, you should locate a professional independent jewelry appraiser to complete the appraisal.
When you meet with the appraiser, they will analyze many aspects of the ring and complete a detailed report. The report will contain information on the ring and list its value. Although values are calculated in a number of ways, the most common value placed upon an engagement ring is the true market value.
Get the Appraisal
The appraiser will thoroughly examine the ring and may take notes during the examination. They will look at things like the style and composition of the ring. They will also grade any diamonds or gemstones that may be in place. After their examination is complete, the appraiser will then make a report based on their findings.
The report will likely contain things such as a detailed description, photographs, characteristics of the ring, and its value. Most professional independent jewelry appraisers will also list their credentials and qualifications when they sign and complete the appraisal.
How To Restore The Flame When The Fire Has Burned Out In Your Marriage
Keep things going even after your wedding date:
Married couples can easily find themselves in a rut as the years go by. The children need to be driven to and from school and chauffeured to all of their activities, and the parents forget to take time for themselves.
Remember What Makes Your Relationship Fun
A great place to start is to remember what made being with each other so much fun. The couple may be stuck in predictability with family concerns and work dominating their thoughts and time.
Couples need to ask themselves what made their early years interesting. For example, before these couples had children, they had time to take weekend trips together. They can restore the old flame they had by doing these sorts of activities again. They will not be able to be as spontaneous as they used to be, but they can begin to have the same types of experiences they had before they let family responsibilities take over.
Ask Your Spouse to Go Out on a Date
Dating is not just what people do before they get married. If they are wise, they will continue the dating process before the marriage, throughout the time they are raising their families and after they become empty-nesters. This strategy helps to put the spark back in a marriage if people take just one night a week to make the other feel special on a date. This does not require that they leave the house or spend a lot of money.
Rent a movie and pick up take-out at the nearest restaurant and then snuggled next to each other on the couch. This activity is enough to help couples remember how wonderful it felt to be near each other.
Show Your Appreciation
With people so pre-occupied with the laundry, the kids and the cooking, they may feel as if they do not have enough time in the day to make sure that their spouses feel special. People can always find a few minutes to let their spouses know that they are appreciated.
This may mean that wives take a little time to write a note and place it next to their husbands’ shaving cream.
A husband can pick up a little gift and say that it reminded him of dearly beloved. These little actions let spouses know that they are thinking about one another and that they are not taken for granted.
Try New Things Together
The activities couples did in the past are helpful in returning the fire back to a marriage, but new things work to achieve the same goal as well. The adrenalin rush they received when they were first dating has not disappeared altogether. It still exists, but they will need to explore new activities that can mimic the lustful feelings they had when the relationship was new. This may mean that they begin exercising together, but it can also mean that they pursue something intellectual, such as learning a foreign language. As they work together to achieve a common goal, they will remember how it was to be a couple excited about each other.
At the end, it is more important to find the right person in your life than shop for the perfect ring. When the day is complete, changes are you are going to be talking, working, and raising a child with that person. Choose the right person first, and in the end, the ring won’t matter a great deal. We hope this little cheat sheet for choosing a ring comes in handy.