There are so many styles, cuts, shapes, and metals to choose from when deciding on the right bridal jewelry for your engagement ring or wedding band that it can be confusing to know what to look for. To help you and your fiance learn more about those choices, we have Shira, a jewelry expert with James Allen,guest blogging today to share her 5 Surefire Tips to Keep in Mind When Buying Bridal Jewelry...
1. Know the Pros and Cons of Precious Metals...
Gold: The most popular and traditional choice for engagement rings and wedding bands. It comes in a variety of carats (the higher the carat count, the higher the percentage of gold) and can be alloyed into multiple shades of color. Gold is less expensive than platinum, but its shine wears over time and may require shine maintenance.
Platinum: Is denser, more durable, and stronger than gold. Platinum maintains its shine indefinitely and is the most expensive of precious metals used in jewelry.
Palladium: Is a member of the platinum family, and is more durable and scratch resistant than gold, but less durable than platinum. Palladium is hypoallergenic, whiter in color than white gold and platinum, and is a less expensive alternative to platinum.
Titanium: Is inexpensive and durable, but cannot be resized and does not generally exhibit a high degree of craftsmanship. This is a good choice for people who cannot afford pricey bridal jewelry.
2. Know Where to Shop...
Bridal jewelry, such as engagement rings and wedding bands, can be purchased at a retail outlet or online. A brick-and-mortar store allows you to try rings out for size on the spot and receive personal attention from a salesperson.
Online jewelry retailers, such as James Allen and Jared, offer an overall better value and a larger selection than brick-and-mortar outlets. Furthermore, many online stores give you the option of designing your own ring according to your budget and preferences.
When deciding where to buy jewelry, look for a retailer that has a generous return and warranty policy, and sells certified, conflict-free diamonds. If you buy a ring online, choose an retailer that has a design-your-own-ring features, offers free shipping, and provides generous customer service access (phone, email, chat) with convenient hours.
3. Know the 4C’s of Diamonds...
Diamonds are available in a variety of colors, sizes, and qualities. The 4C’s are a universal grading system for rating and comparing the quality of diamonds.
The 4C’s include: Carat, Color, Clarity, and Cut. Each of the 4C’s is important when it comes to choosing a diamond. Finding the best diamond for your budget will usually involve a compromise between the 4C’s. For example, you might have to choose between a larger diamond with lower clarity and a smaller diamond with higher clarity. There are many guides online that explain the 4C’s in depth.
4. Know the Basics of Ring Settings...
The right ring setting displays a diamond in its best light, while the wrong setting can make a diamond look dull. Multi-stone settings incorporate several stones and solitaire settings showcase a single stone.
Prong: consists of metal “claws” that hold a stone and connect it to the ring’s band. The solitaire setting is the most popular type of engagement ring setting and consists of a single stone held by a prong. This setting permits light exposure from all angles.
Pave: French for paved. The pave setting is made of up small diamonds, set closely together in tiny prong that circle the band or part of it.
Channel: gemstones are “sandwiched” in a continuous row inside a metal channel. A popular wedding band setting.
Bezel: has a metal rim that encases the sides of the gemstone and extends slightly above it. This holds a stone securely and is good for active lifestyles. The drawback is that it hides portions of the diamond.
Tension: a modern setting in which the ring’s band acts as a spring that holds the diamond in place. The diamond is “squeezed” between the edges of the band and otherwise floats in the air, without any prongs. Tension settings permit light to enter the diamond from all angles. By necessity, tension set rings are thicker than other rings.
5. Know the Popular Diamond Shapes
A diamond’s “shape” is not the same as its “cut.” Shape describes the general external appearance of the diamond (e.g. round, heart-shaped, pear-shaped). Cut refers to a diamond’s reflective qualities; a good cut gives a diamond its brilliance and enables it to maximally reflect light.
The most popular diamond shape in today’s market is the traditional round brilliant, which accounts for more than 75% of diamonds sold today.
Popular diamond shapes found in rings include: oval, marquise (an elongated shape with pointed ends), pear (resembles a teardrop), heart, emerald cut (a rectangular or square shape with cut corners), princess cut (a square cut with sparkling facets and sharp, uncut corners), asscher cut (a stepped square cut with cropped corners), and baguette cut (a stepped rectangular cut with long sides and sharp corners).
We hope these bridal jewerly tips help you in deciding what ring is the right one for you or for your fiance. Now that you know more about buying bridal jewelry we are sure that special person in your life will love the ring you choose or that you will have a wonderful experience buying bridal jewelry together. Stop by James Allento learn more about these rings and more.
Shira is a professional writer, researcher, and culture vulture who writes professionally about art, design, fashion, society, and internet/tech culture. She has written for corporations, art institutions, and media companies. Her works have been published in a variety of print and online publications. She enjoys world travel, shopping, museums, flea markets, the internet, and electronic music.