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Wedding Wednesday: Engagement Ring Basics

Rings Circle of Love

Besides the exquisite beauty of wedding rings, there’s a lot to know about metals, diamonds, and the care involved when choosing yours. Take our tips to make your decision easier and exciting!

KNOW YOUR METALS 14-karat yellow gold is classic, popular, and durable enough for daily wear, and can be polished easily. Rose gold is gaining popularity. White gold is made by mixing pure gold with other white metals such as nickel, palladium, or zinc, and can be a less expensive alternative to platinum. Extremely popular in the last decade or so, platinum is a very white, heavy, and durable metal, ideal for engraving. A sister metal to platinum, palladium is a naturally white metal (whiter than white gold), and like platinum, it is strong, non-tarnishing, and hypoallergenic. It’s also less expensive than platinum, making it a good metal to consider if you like the white metal look. Titanium and tungsten carbide have become popular for men’s wedding bands; both of these metals are 100% hypoallergenic and relatively inexpensive.

KNOW YOUR DIAMOND – When shopping for a diamond, you will quickly be introduced to the “Four Cs” — cut, color, clarity and carat. All four features can make a dramatic impact on the quality, and therefore price, of a diamond. Cut. Cut really refers to the proportions of a diamond and its facets, as opposed to its shape, which includes round, oval, pear, marquise, emerald, square, heart, and triangle. RINGS Regardless of shape, a diamond gets its brilliancy from the cutting and maximizing the reflection of light. Color. Color refers to the lack of color in a diamond. White diamonds are graded on a D–Z scale, D being the most colorless and Z having a distinct body color. Clarity. Clarity is defined by the number, color, nature, size, and position of natural marks (called inclusions) contained in the gem. Excellent clarity means light can pass unimpeded through the stone and increases its value. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) judges clarity based on a standard 11-point scale from “Flawless” through “Imperfect 3.” Carat. Diamonds are weighed in carats, which may also be expressed as “points,” where one carat equals 100 points. A diamond of 50 points, for example, equals .5 carat.

SERIOUSLY CONSIDER INSURANCE – We all know that accidents happen, but don’t risk the possibility of a lost, stolen or damaged engagement ring and have to go through the nightmare of not having your ring insured. Insurance will give you and your spouse a peace of mind about that pricey purchase.

TAKE GOOD CARE Have your rings checked annually by your jeweler for loose prongs or settings. This is especially important if you have only four prongs, because just one broken prong will cause you to lose your stone. These precautions and gentle care will pay you back with years of enjoyment and pride in this precious symbol of your union.

Would you like to see more ideas for wedding inspiration? Check out our latest issue of Premier Bride of Mississippi magazine here!