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Something with sparkle

3 Diamond 1/4 ct (JKL / I2) Anniversary Band in 14k White Gold

Diamonds are not this girl’s best friend but I wouldn’t kick them out of bed, either. I’m not saying that I want a diamond engagement ring – because I actually want something in moissanite - but diamonds do remain something of a tradition. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that most young men looking to get hitched probably run on down to their local chain jewel and buy whatever the salesperson tells them to buy. This would be wonderful, as jewelers tend to know a lot about jewels, save for one thing: jewelry stores exist to sell jewelry. End of story.

As do diamond companies, which is why DeBeers likes to imply that diamonds are forever when in fact all diamonds are slowly transforming into graphite (which has a more stable chemical bond, blah blah blah) over time. Anyway. If your man is the more traditional sort and is going to propose with a diamond, like the quarter carat diamond trio above, he should have the tools to do it right.

So, for your perusal, here are some links to some of the more lengthy guides on buying diamonds. After you’ve e-mailed them to your fellow, don’t forget to let him know there will be a quiz in the morning.

The Diamond Buying Guide: This site has more pages than I probably have the patience to look through, but let’s just say it’s…comprehensive.

Diamond.com: This somewhat shorter guide includes some helpdul (and scientific) illustrations to help readers understand the importance of cut, etc.

The Guide at Bridaltips.com: The layout of this guide stinks and there are a lot of ads, but it does address concerns that the size of the ring has something to do with the size of the love. Which, of course, it doesn’t.

Elton’s bling rings

Elton\'s rings

Since I’m always a little curious about what other people are doing and I love flash, I wanted to show you Elton John’s and his new hubby’s Chopard wedding bands. The unusual (and costly!) rings were designed by a long-time friend who also happens to be co-president of the haute jeweler. The rings are set with a grid of emerald cut diamonds and feature each husband’s name spelled out in yet even more diamonds on the inner surface.

I say, “Snazzy!”….if you’re Elton, of course.

Christmas Engagements Are My Bread and Butter

Sterling Silver Celtic Knot Red Garnet Ring (Size 4,5,6,7,8,9)

Practically every December since The Beard and I have been an item, I have wished for only one thing for Christmas. And that one thing, of course, is an engagement ring. Now, while The Beard knows about this blog, I’m pretty sure he’s never looked at it. In fact, I’m pretty sure he’s afraid to look at it.

I’ve toyed with the idea of sending him a link to the site. And I could throw caution to the wind and buy him something like Renee Newman’s Diamond Ring Buying Guide: How to Evaluate, Identify and Select Diamonds & Diamond Jewelry .

But maybe other men aren’t so fearful of commitment and maybe they could benefit from a little help in the engagement ring department – for those whose girls want engagement rings, of course. If I can assist but one future husband to choose the perfect bauble for his future wife, my faith in holiday magic will be renewed. For those of you who don’t necessarily want to buy a whole book to make what one hopes will be a one-time purchase, here is a spot on engagement ring how-to from the nice people at About.com:

How to Buy Her an Engagement Ring She’ll Love

Putting a green ring on your finger

good gold

No, not a emerald. And definitely not some Cracker Jack bauble that leaves a green stain around your finger. I’m talking environmentally friendly precious metals and stones. According to GreenKarat,

Throughout history, jewelry has held a special place in the fabric of human culture. Unfortunately, industrial methods of extracting jewelryĺs precious metals and gems from the earth damage the land and endanger ecosystems. Further, industrial values frequently reduce the labor component of production to the level of a cog in a machine.

Their goal is to end destructive mining of gold and diamonds and so forth by encouraging people to buy jewelry that lives up to fair trade and positive ecological standards. I can definitely get behind that. Mining can be pretty dang destructive to people and living things. Certain types of mining inject the earth with poisonous and potentially lethal chemicals that then drain into water systems, killing wildlife and making people sick. To that I say, Bleah.

Being that I’m always tossing jewelry-related hints The Beard’s way, I can usually be heard pushing for fair trade metals and beautiful, eco-friendly Moissanite. Gotta keep this earth clean and green for the brides and grooms of the future!

What’s love worth?

Decidedly different ring

A great piece in a recently issue of the Indianapolis Star asks, Does love’s sparkle require a diamond? It includes a number of heartbreaking interviews with engaged couples who were simply not taken seriously because their engagement did not begin with the man presenting the woman with a huge chunk of ice. The article got me thinking. DeBeers would have us believe that one’s commitment should equal the cost of two months salary. The first thing anyone asks a future bride is, “Can I see the ring?

When Jordan Corbin and David Wentworth got engaged, he proposed to her with a mother-of-pearl ring that cost about $20. Corbin loved that it was an atypical engagement ring and named it her “magic ring.”

Buying a diamond engagement ring “is what a guy does when he has no imagination and is afraid you’re not going to love him,” she said.

Her family did not agree. When the couple flew to Corbin’s home in Texas, one of the first things her stepfather said was, “Let’s see the ring.” He took her hand and with a disapproving groan, threw it back down and walked away.

But what of students? People with lower incomes? Not to mention people who think that the diamond trade is exploitative and artificially jacks up prices.

I’d like to think that in this modern era, we’re all open minded enough to believe an onyx in a simple silver setting can mean commitment or even that a young couple just starting out might really rather put that those thousands of dollars into an IRA that will support them in their old age. But I guess we’re not.

Thoroughly Modern Matrimony

Plastic!

For the highly modern (or as us hip kids like to say, mod) bride, artist and designer Alissia Melka-Teichroew has created a line of acrylic, um, diamonds.

Highly hip!

Here’s how they look on the finger of the bride, post ceremony. In this case, the future husband has chosen the clear acrylic “diamond” engagement ring and the couple has decided to go for the non-traditional acrylic “ruby” wedding band with “diamond” accent.

I don’t know how I feel about this particular look, but I’m sure when we all have flying cars and robots doing our housework, anyone who isn’t sporting high quality acrylic matrimonial bling is going to feel pretty darn silly.

With this ring

I’m a simple broad with classical tastes, so when it comes to engagement rings – not that I’ve ever had the chance to try any on – I like a single diamond in a simple six-pronged setting.

The Oh Baby Ring

Sure, The Beard knows my preference, but the rest is up to him and I’ll cherish whatever ring he may choose. Such an archaic willingness to be surprised is not for everyone, however.

A future bride and groom I can easily conceive of, whom I will call the RibbonFingers, were engaged for months before said future groom ever put a ring on said future bride’s finger. The progression of their engagement went something like this:

1. The proposal

2. The announcement and the tying of a symbolic red ribbon around the future bride’s ring finger

3. The 30 days of shopping required in order for the future bride to pick out an engagement ring she really, really liked

4. The returning of the first ring so the future bride could choose a ring she really, really, really liked

This is not as uncommon as you might think. Color me old fashioned, but the idea of a nervous young man studying up on jewelry before timidly purchasing a bauble just appeals to me. The engagement ring is a gift and I’ve always believed that the nature of gifts should be left up to the giver.

I do understand that in these modern times perhaps every woman has the right to choose her engagement ring but according to Everything to Do About Weddings, the RibbonFingers still made one mistake.

Today’s brides and grooms often choose rings together; after the proposal (from either party) has been accepted privately. When the engagement ring is on the finger, then the announcement is made public.

Now if only The Beard would hurry up a little.

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