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Buying Wedding Rings: What You Must Know

Oct 11, 2007
What more touching or momentous part of the wedding ceremony is there than the exchanging of the wedding rings? It is symbolic of the splendor of your love for one another. More, the rings represent the undying and unqualified love the couple is vowing to each other. Furthermore, the wedding bands are the one item from your wedding that you will keep with you for the rest of your life - even longer than those crystal keepsake mementos from your wedding which will last you for years!

As a result, buying the wedding rings is an essential part of your wedding preparation. And it is more difficult than choosing the crystal wedding cake jewelry and the shadowbox you will display it in. Fortunately, it can be an enjoyable experience as well - as long as the couple is prepared with the basic understanding of the elements that go into modern wedding jewelry.

Metals

Fourteen karat gold is the standard choice for wedding rings. This is because 14 karat gold offers what most consider the best combination of purity and strength. You can get a more pure gold alloy such as 24 karat gold, which is pure gold. The problem, however, is that the more pure the gold, the softer the metal will be making it less durable.

Other fashionable metal choices include platinum, titanium, and silver. Silver is a very soft metal that can be damaged by everyday life and will tarnish over time. As a result, silver is one of the least popular choices for wedding rings.

Titanium, on the other hand has the advantage of weighing approximately one third of what gold weighs while also being exceedingly tough and as a result is rapidly becoming all the rage for use in wedding rings.

Platinum is a tremendously durable metal that provides an almost white luster that can set off the sparkle of the diamond in a wedding band beautifully.

Diamonds

Diamonds are measured in terms of color, size, cut, and clarity. For the most part a these aspects come down to a matter of your own personal values and what your pocketbook will allow. However, without a little definition of each item it can be difficult to know what you are buying.

Clarity

We would all prefer our wedding bands to have the diamond with the greatest clarity we can afford. But how do you know how clear a diamond really is without a degree in gemology or without having to rely on the salesman's word? There is, fortunately, a grading system for the internal clarity of the diamonds: FL or IF identifies an internally flawless diamond. Likewise, a grade of I-1, I-2, or I- 3 indicates a flawed diamond with 1 being the clearest and 3 indicated the most imperfect. In between these you might find other grading systems for diamonds that are nearly, but not quite perfect such as the SI-1 label which denotes a diamond that is slightly imperfect.

Karat Weight

The karat weight, or size, of the diamond is indeed a personal choice, but consider these few issues:

First, consider cost. The size of a diamond you select for your wedding set is going to be directly impacted by the clarity of the diamond you choose, the clearer the stone is, the more expensive it will be.

Second, but potentially equally important, think about the size of the hand wearing the stone. Is it relatively large? Is it small? The more petite the hand, the larger the diamond in wedding band will appear.

Finally, consider the how active the individual is that will wear the ring. As a general rule a more active person requires a smaller diamond or a larger setting to protect the diamond. To choose otherwise is to risk them knocking it on doors, counters, or more in their day to day life.

Cut

The cut of the diamond refers to how the diamond appears when seen from the top. The round diamond continues to be the most fashionable cut for wedding ring sets. This is largely because diamond cutters have done the greatest amount of research with this cut into exactly how to achieve the greatest degree of light refraction from the diamond. Another option that is quickly gaining in popularity for wedding rings is the princess cut diamond. This cut is roughly square and can look stunning in the right setting.

Other choices include, the marquise, emerald, radiant, and pear cut diamonds, any of which can be striking when matched with the right setting and the shape of the wearer's hand.

Color

The issue of color in your choice of diamonds for your wedding band can be a mystifying one - though it need not be. Simply put the scale ranges from "D" which is a perfectly colorless diamond, to "Z". Most diamonds that are found in reputable dealers of wedding rings range from "F" to "J" on the scale. Determining which one is right for you is really a matter of your budget and values.

Of course, always ask for an official certification of the diamond and look for the karat stamp in the gold. That way you can be sure that you are truly buying the wedding bands that you are paying for.
About the Author
Jeanette Shinn is a wedding professional with over a dozen years experience making dreams come alive. Find tips and accessories from the latest in unique and trendy wedding favors to fun winter themed wedding favors at http://www.ExcitingWeddingFavors.com.
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