Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wedding and Engagement Rings

Choosing the Perfect Ring

wedding bands
The wedding rings and engagement rings you choose will be one of the most enduring pieces of your wedding day. Your ring is not only an important element of becoming married, but its also a longlasting symbol of your love and commitment. Therefore, you'll want to choose rings that are timeless and high quality.

Ultimately, you'll also want to be an educated consumer who knows what you're getting for your dollar.

Follow your instincts with the look and design of your ring, while asking yourself if it will be a design you'll be comfortable wearing every day for the rest of your life. The traditional plain gold band will be in style for years to come. If that's too plain for you, consider a beaded edge or an engraved style. For a slighty flashier look, what about a ring of channel-set diamonds? Ultimately, choose a ring that you feel is expressive of your style and personality. I've heard of a couple that chose to have rings custom-made that resembled bicycle gears, reflecting their mutual love of bike-riding. There's really no wrong answer as to what style of ring you should choose.

Gold, Silver or Platinum?
Many couples choose the metal for their bands by matching it to their engagement ring. However, don't feel bound to this. A bride can choose to wear her engagement ring on her right hand, and wedding ring on the left. Also, each of you can wear a similar style in different metals. Consider which metals each of you wear regularly - is most of her jewelry silver? Is his watch gold?

Primary wedding ring metal choices include:
  • Yellow gold:
    the most traditional of ring metals; for many gold is a symbol of the warmth and love of a marriage. Look at the mark inside the band to see what quality the gold is - usually 14k, 18k, or 24k. While 24k is the most pure, it is also the softest. If you work with your hands, you may want to choose 14k or 18k to prevent scratches.
  • White Gold:
    A hot trend because it coordinates with both silver and platinum jewelry, yet is cheaper than platinum.
  • Platinum:
    This very stylish metal is also the hardest metal, making it for many a symbol of enduring love. Also, because its not mixed with the lesser metals that gold rings are, platinum is safe for those with alloys. However, you'll pay more for platinum than for gold.

Precious Gems
When considering precious gems for a ring, remember that you will likely wear this ring every day for the rest of your life. Therefore, while softer stones can be beautiful, they aren't the best choices for an engagement or wedding ring. The Mohs scale registers a stone's ability to resist abrasion; 10 (diamonds) is the strongest and 1 (talc) is the weakest. Anything less than a Mohs scale 7 is not recommended for an engagement ring. If you are a person who does a lot of activity with their hands (how long does a manicure last on you?) then I would advise limiting your selection to rubies, sapphires and diamonds.

To help you out, here's a list of common stones, and their hardness level:
Diamonds 10
Rubies 9
Sapphire 9
Emerald 8
Topaz 8
Aquamarine 7.5 to 8
Amethyst 7
Garnet 6.5 to 7.5
Opal 6

You should also know that a general rule of thumb is the darker the color, the more expensive the stone.

Looking to buy a diamond engagement or wedding ring? Before you do so, read this article to make sure you are well acquainted with the four c's - color, cut, clarity, and caret.

Men's Rings
Men, are you trying to decide whether or not to have a wedding ring? Here's some more information that might impact your decision.

The most adventurous couples are opting for tattooed wedding rings - a very permanent and personal decision. Why not read more about this new trend that's been around for centuries?

source: http://weddings.about.com/

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