Titanium Engagement Rings

Strong and beautiful, titanium engagement rings are the choice for more and more engaged couples. Not only are they scratch and damage resistant and lightweight, but they are hypoallergenic.

Titanium History
Titanium was discovered in the 1790’s and named for the fierce mythological Titans by a German chemist named Martin Klaproth. It wasn’t until the 1930s, however, that a process was developed that could reduce titanium to a usable metal form. Since then the metal has been prized for having the greatest strength to weight ratio of any known metal and has been used for such varied applications as aircraft, golf clubs, automobiles, baseball bats and jewelry.

Strength and Weight
Titanium engagement rings are known for their strength and durability, desirable qualities in a piece of jewelry that many women wear every day. They are resistant to dents, scratches and other damage that can occur with regular wear. Because Titanium is lighter than other metals, many jewelry lovers find it more comfortable to wear.

Titanium is the shade of white metals like white gold or platinum, which are coveted in engagement rings because they accentuate the color of a white diamond, rather than throwing an undesirable yellow hue on it like yellow gold can.

Creating Titanium Rings
While rings made from traditional metals are usually heated, rolled and soldered into the desired shape, the strength of titanium makes it more practical to begin with a solid block of titanium and then cut the ring out of it.

While titanium offers many advantages in jewelry applications, it has a few drawbacks. One disadvantage of titanium rings is that they are difficult to resize should the owner wish to do so at some point in the future.

Other Titanium Jewelry
If you fall in love with your titanium engagement ring and want to find other pieces to coordinate with it, you’ll be pleased to learn there are all kinds of titanium jewelry on the market. Look for titanium rings, pendants, necklaces, belly-button rings, cufflinks and bracelets to add to your jewelry box.

Are titanium engagement rings impossible to cut through?
Not at all. As titanium engagement rings have become more popular among brides and grooms, a rumor has made the rounds that if the wearer’s finger swells to the point that the ring must be removed in order to avoid cutting off circulation, a titanium band is impossible to cut through. This is not true. According to snopes.com http://www.snopes.com/weddings/horrors/titanium.asp , titanium rings can be removed with a boltcutter or jeweler’s saw, and so are safe to use as wedding jewelry. A variety of titanium alloys are produced and it’s important the right titanium is used for jewelry. Aircraft grade titanium, for example, is much more difficult to saw through and should be avoided.

Fun fact:
Titanium dioxide is responsible for the coveted star shapes found in star sapphires and star rubies

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Marquise Diamond Engagement Rings

Couples choosing a diamond engagement ring face a multitude of decisions. New or antique? Diamond or colored gemstone? And if a diamond, then what cut? Here we’ll explore the popular marquise diamond engagement rings. Marquise cut diamonds are beautiful choices for engagement rings.

Advantages of the Marquise Diamond Engagement Ring’s Shape
The marquise cut diamond has an oval shape, which many jewelry lovers feel makes the diamond appear larger than a round diamond of the same carat weight. The marquise diamond’s elongated shape can also give the illusion of length to short fingers.

Accent Stones
While some appreciate the appearance of a single marquise diamond in a platinum or gold engagement ring, others prefer small accent stones to either side. These might include baguettes, round or oval stones. While diamonds are the most common accent gem in an engagement, many women like a dash of color in the form of sapphires, rubies or emeralds.

Metal Choice
While many women love yellow gold engagement rings, keep in mind that the gold can cast a yellow hue upon a white diamond, causing it to appear to be a lower quality stone than it actually is. White gold and platinum preserve the true color of the gem.

Marquise Cut History
It is said that the marquise cut diamond came into being when Louis IV, the Sun King, requested a diamond cut in the shape of the smile of his lover, the Marquise de Pompadour.

Marquise Cut Characteristics
The marquise-cut diamond is considered a “fancy cut.” Because of the marquise cut’s elongated shape, the gem-cutter can get rid of the diamond’s blemishes and use the best part of the stone. The mqrquise cut also makes the most of the gemstone’s carat weight. However, for the marquise cut, the clarity and color of the diamond are the two most important characteristics. Take careful note of the color and clarity of the engagement ring’s marquise cut diamond, since the long shape of the cut can make color and clarity problems more noticeable than they would be in a round cut.

While prongs are vital in keeping a diamond in its setting, for a marquise diamond they serve an additional purpose. A marquise diamond should have a prong covering each of its small ends, protecting them against chips and cracks from being knocked against tabletops, walls, etc.

Marquise Diamond Engagement Rings
Before buying, get an idea of the types of marquise diamond rings out there and their prices by browsing fine jewelry stores and websites. When you’re ready to make your choice, you’ll be better informed of your design and style options.

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Pearl Engagement Rings

Simple, classic and lovely, the pearl is an excellent choice for an engagement ring. While today the pearl engagement ring is a rather unconventional choice, during the Victorian era they were the norm. A symbol of purity and harmony, the pearl is an apt and lovely choice for a betrothal ring.

Engagement Rings in Ancient Rome
Engagement ring history dates back thousands of years. The custom of giving a ring to signify an engagement dates from the time of ancient Rome. In the early days, rings were made from iron. Gold engagement rings came into fashion in Rome during the third century A.D., and were often fashioned with a lovers’ knot or clasped hands.

Engagement Rings and Wedding Rings
Early Christians continued the Roman tradition of the engagement ring, first making it a part of the wedding ceremony and the symbol of an unbreakable vow, thereby transforming it into a wedding ring. Over time, couples felt the need to give another ring as a symbol of the promise to wed, which eventually became the engagement ring that we know today.

Pearl Engagement Rings
By the 1850s pearl engagement rings were popular, so much so that an 1875 article in the Young Ladies’ Journal advised that while any fancy ring could be worn as an engagement ring “pearls or diamonds are considered the proper gems.” Antiques-loving couples may want to hunt down one of these authentic Victorian pearl engagement rings at antiques stores or antiques websites like Lang Antiques or Tia’s.

Types of Pearl Engagement Rings
If antique engagement rings aren’t what you had in mind, there are ample selections of contemporary pearl engagement rings available. You may opt for a ring with the pearl as the central stone, surrounded by small white or yellow diamonds or other gems, such as sapphires or rubies. You might prefer the traditional diamond as the center gem, surrounded by small pearls. Alternatively, you can consult a jeweler or jewelry artist and have her create a unique ring that you design.

About Pearls
Where most gems are mined from the earth, pearls are unique in that they are created by living creatures. Pearls form when an irritant, perhaps a grain of sand, finds its way inside the shell of a mollusk. The mollusk then coats the it with a smooth substance called nacre, making it less irritating. The creature continues to coat the irritant, and over time a pearl forms. Generally, larger pearls took longer to form and have more nacre. Nacre taken from the interior of the mollusk’s shell is known as “mother of pearl.”

Cultured Pearls
Until the early 20th century, the only way to obtain these gems was to find them naturally occurring. Pearl divers could search through thousands of oysters to find a single pearl. Because of this rarity, pearls were one of the most costly gems of the the time. In the early 1900s a method was discovered to manually introduce an irritant into the oyster so that it would create a pearl. Pearls produced using this method were called cultured pearls and made pearls more accessible to jewelry lovers.

Pearl Engagement Ring Qualities
When judging pearls, look at shape, size and luster. The rounder the pearl, the better. The larger the pearl, the better. Luster is difficult to describe – it’s the reflective quality of the pearl.

Freshwater Pearls
Back in the eighties, freshwater pearls tended to be lumpy and rice-shaped, but no longer. Advances in culturing techniques has resulted in pearls that mimic the shape, color and smoothness of their saltwater cousins. Nevertheless, saltwater pearls tend to be far more costly, so freshwater pearls can be had for bargain prices.

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Art Deco Engagement Rings

Do the engagement ring designs that you’re seeing at the jewelry counters leave you cold? If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary and you love the sleek designs of yesteryear, why not consider an Art Deco engagement ring?

What is Art Deco?
Art Deco is a design style that was born in 1920s Paris and lasted until WWII. The tenets of art deco style were applied to buildings, furniture, art, clothing and jewelry. Art Deco style’s distinguishing characteristics were geometric shapes, crystalline figures and sleek lines. Some famous architectural examples of Art Deco style are the Chrysler Building in New York City and the Fisher Building in Detroit.

Types of Art Deco Engagement Rings
Couples can opt for large elaborately designed Art Deco rings or simpler styles. They can go with a traditional diamond engagement ring, or choose emerald, sapphire or ruby rings. The ring can be crafted from yellow gold, white gold or platinum. They can go with a round solitaire, cushion cut, Asscher cut, marquise – the possibilities go on and on.

Where to Find Art Deco Engagement Rings
You can look for Art Deco era engagement rings at antique stores and antiques malls, or search for them at online antiques sites like LangAntiques.com or Tias.com. You can also look for modern engagement rings that feature classic art deco design. Another option is to approach a jeweler with photos or drawings of the Art Deco design you have in mind, and have her create it for you.

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Vera Wang Jewelry

About Vera Wang

Vera Wang was born in 1949 in New York City, the child of Shanghai natives who had emigrated from China during the 1940s. Growing up, Wang attended New York City’s prestigious Chapin School and was an accomplished figure skater, even competing in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Art History at Sarah Lawrence College, and embarked on a career as a fashion editor at Vogue magazine. After leaving Vogue she worked for renowned fashion designer Ralph Lauren before embarking on her own career as a fashion designer.

Wang began her line in 1990 with a small shop in the Carlyle Hotel in New York specializing in sophisticated wedding gowns. Her innovative designs became a hit with fashion-conscious brides-to-be, and have been worn by such well-known celebrities as Mariah Carey, Uma Thurman and Victoria Beckham, to name just a few, and featured on the hit show Sex and the City. She soon expanded her collection to include women’s wear, housewares, shoes, fragrance and jewelry.

Vera Wang Fine Jewelry and Rosy Blue

In 2004 Vera Wang entered into an agreement with Rosy Blue Fine, a company specializing in diamonds and fine jewelry, to produce her line of bridal jewelry intended to complement her sought-after wedding gown designs. The line included wedding bands and diamond engagement rings. At the same time, Rosy Blue Fine and Vera Wang worked together to produce a line of luxury fashion jewelry. Prices ranged from a few hundred for a simple wedding band to a couple hundred thousand for more intricate pieces. The partnership ended in 2007 in the face of a challenging economy.

Simply Vera Vera Wang

In 2007 Vera Wang entered into an agreement with Kohl’s to license a premium lifestyle line of low priced clothing, housewares and jewelry with the Vera Wang touch. The line includes earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings, most priced in the $20 – $40 range. Simply Vera Vera Wang jewelry is available in Kohl’s department stores or on the company’s website. Kohl’s will begin carrying Simply Vera Vera Wang bridal jewelry in 2012.

Vera Wang Fine Jewelry and Zales

In 2011 Wang made a second foray into the wedding jewelry market and entered into a partnership with Zales jewelers to create a line of engagement rings and wedding rings. The move came on the heels of a partnership with David’s Bridal Shop to produce Vera Wang bridesmaids gowns in the $200 dollar range.

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Asscher Cut Engagement Rings

A beautiful Asscher cut engagement ring symbolizes the commitment that a couple makes when they decide to marry. The Asscher cut diamond is somewhat unusual and tends to stand out from ordinary gems.

Asscher Cut History
The Asscher cut originated at the Royal Asscher Diamond Company, a firm that was founded in 1854 in the Netherlands by the Asscher famly, who still own it today. Talented jeweler Joseph Asscher developed the company’s signature Asscher cut in 1902, and patented it, the first time a cut had been patented. The company held the patent until World War II, when the Jewish Asscher family was sent to concentration camps, leaving no one to renew the patent when it expired. After the war the family returned to Amsterdam and rebuilt the company. In 2001 the company debuted and patented the Royal Asscher cut diamond, an enhanced version of the original Asscher cut.

What is an Asscher Cut?
An Asscher cut diamond is a type of stepped square cut diamond, with rounded corners like a cushion cut. The steps are parallel to one another, and seem to play with light a bit before bouncing it back out to our eyes. It is sometimes called a square emerald cut. The traditional Asscher cut diamond has 58 facets, but the newer Royal Asscher cut has 74. The additional facets give the diamond better light performance when compared to the original cut and other stepped diamonds.

Diamond Flaws
An Asscher cuts steps can accentuate a diamonds flaws and inclusions, and its corners can highlight poor color. For that reason only high quality diamonds should be used for Asscher cut diamonds.

Asscher Cut Engagement Rings and Hollywood
Asscher cut diamonds had fallen out of fashion, but have become more popular in recent years with a little help from Hollywood. An Asscher cut diamond was featured on the HBO series “Sex and the City,” and when Reese Witherspoon was married to Ryan Phillippe she sported an Asscher cut engagement ring. Kate Hudson and Julia Roberts have also sported Asscher cut diamond rings.

The Royal Asscher Diamond Company

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Choosing Your Wedding Jewelry and Other Accessories

The wedding gown of your dreams is hanging in your closet, with the perfect matching headpiece on the shelf. Now it’s time to think about the rest of your wedding accessories. Those little touches can make a big impact on your wedding outfit – things like jewelry, shoes, gloves and undergarments. The savvy bride knows the importance of those details and considers each item carefully before choosing.

Choosing Wedding Jewelry
Choose jewelry in a style that matches your wedding gown. For example, a traditional, conservative gown calls for a string of heirloom pearls, diamond earrings or a plain gold chain. A more contemporary gown looks great with bold, modern jewelry.

Give the jewelry a test run with your wedding outfit before the big day. You might find that the necklace gets caught on the gown’s lace or covers one of your favorite details on your dress. It could be that while the headpiece and earrings look wonderful separately, they clash when side by side. This is not something you’ll want to discover the day of your wedding, when you’ll have to scramble to find different jewelry.

Wedding Shoes
You’ll have a wide selection of wedding shoe styles – from pumps to flats to sandals – even bejeweled wedding sneakers. Most brides go for white shoes, often embellished with bows and lace. Some wear one pair for the ceremony, and a more comfortable pair to dance the night away at the reception. Choose your wedding shoes early, and bring them along for all wedding gown fittings to ensure the gown is the correct length. Brides who don’t want to risk soiling the shoes beforehand sometimes break them in by wearing them around the house in the weeks prior to the wedding.

Many brides choose to wear gloves for their wedding. Gloves can lend an elegant look to a gown with straps or a strapless one. They should match the shade of the wedding dress. Sleeveless or short sleeve gowns look best with long gloves, while short gloves are best for long sleeves.

Other than pantyhose, most undergarments won’t be seen. Nevertheless, can add or detract from the overall look of the wedding outfit and can cause discomfort if not chosen well. That lacy bra might be beautiful, but if it’s itchy and the straps show then it’s not going to work. Best to find that out ahead of time while there’s still time to select a new one, so make sure to try on all your undergarments with your wedding gown several days ahead of time. Pantyhose should match the shade of the wedding gown, particularly if the hose will show. Buy a spare pair and bring it along, so if one pair gets a run during the wedding day, you can make a quick switch into the spare.

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Expensive Engagement Rings

Throughout history, an engagement ring has been a symbol of love and eternity, a couple’s promise to spend the rest of their lives together. The ring can also be an investment, and may well be the most valuable piece of jewelry a woman owns. Those interested in purchasing expensive engagement rings should take several factors into account.

Diamond Value in Expensive Rings
The diamond is the most important component of an engagement ring’s value, and expensive engagement rings should have top notch diamonds. Four things determine the diamond’s quality and worth. While some assume that size, or carat weight, is the primary factor, that is not the case. The color of the diamond, its clarity, its cut and proportion and then, carat weight are the four factors that decides the diamond’s value. Experts refer to these as “the four c’s.”

Many, many factors within these four categories can affect the price of the diamond. For example, if the diamond has been cut so that the symmetry of the facets isn’t perfect, the value is lower. If the diamond has been cut too shallow, it can bring down the value. Blemishes mar the clarity of the stone, resulting in a lower quality diamond.

Diamond Reports
An expensive engagement ring with a high quality fine diamond should come with a diamond grading report or certificate. Knowing what to look for in this report can help you make an educated decision about which diamond engagement ring is your best choice.

Diamond reports are issued by a number of different gem laboratories. While GIA is perhaps the best known, there are also labs like EGL, AGL, HRD and IGI. Things to look for on the report are
• Dimensions – make sure the dimensions in the report match the dimensions of the actual diamond, or else a switch may have been made
• The exact carat weight – make sure it matches the diamond
• Finish is the stones symmetry and polish and should be listed as “good” or better.
• Proportion – Check the figure for depth percentage. The best is 58 to 60%, very good is 61 to 62%, acceptable is 62 to 64%, and over 64% is poor.
• Proportion – Check the figure given for table percentage. The best value is in the 53 to 57% range, 57 to 60% is a very good number, up to 64% is acceptable. Over 70% is a poor choice for expensive engagement rings.
• Clarity gradings vary amongst gem labs. For GIA, they are, from best to poorest, FL, IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2 and I3.
• Color grades also vary amongst gem labs, and should be listed on the report.
• The girdle, or edge, thickness – a diamond with a very thin girdle is more likely to chip. A diamond with a very thick girdle looks smaller.
• Fluorescence – Stones may have either a yellow or blue fluorescence. However a “very strong yellow” fluorescence can make the stone appear yellower in daylight, while a “very strong blue” fluorescence can give the stone a cloudy appearance in daylight.

Metals of Expensive Engagement Rings
Expensive engagement rings are typically crafted from platinum, white gold or yellow gold. Keep in mind that white metals like platinum or white gold can enhance the whiteness of the diamond, while yellow gold can make it appear more yellow. However, if the stone is slightly yellow, yellow gold can actually make it appear whiter.

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Yellow Diamond Engagement Rings

More and more women are choosing colorful engagement rings. Some go for sapphire rings, some for emeralds, and some women are choosing the unique sparkle of yellow diamond engagement rings.

What are Yellow Diamonds?
Colorful diamonds result when impurities are trapped in the diamond while it forms. In the case of yellow diamonds, nitrogen was in the diamond while it formed, causing the yellow hue. Because of the prevalence of nitrogen, yellow diamonds are the most common of colored diamonds.

Types of Yellow Diamond Engagement Rings
Different types of yellow diamond engagement rings are available, and couples can choose rings where the yellow diamond is the primary stone, or rings that use yellow diamonds as accent stones. When the yellow diamond is the main stone, small round white diamonds or baguettes are frequently used to the sides of it. Alternatively, a couple can go with the traditional white diamond solitaire, with small yellow diamonds to the side. On the other hand, couples may choose to use channel-set white and yellow diamonds on the wedding band instead of the engagement ring.

Yellow Diamond Hardness
Regardless of color, diamonds are the hardest known gem, measuring a 10 on the mohs scale, a tool for comparing gem hardness. Because of this, diamonds are less prone to scratching, chipping and cracking than other gemstones. This makes yellow diamonds ideal for use in engagement rings, which may be worn every day of a woman’s married life.

Yellow Diamond Color
Some diamonds have just a touch of yellow color, while others are a strong banana yellow shade. Light yellow diamonds are sometimes referred to as Champagne Diamonds, while darker yellow diamonds are Canary Diamonds. All other properties being equal, darker yellow diamonds are generally more valuable than lighter.

Yellow Diamond Engagement Ring Metals
Yellow diamonds look stunning against white metals like platinum and white gold, particularly when combined with white diamonds. While the white metals are currently more fashionable, yellow gold and yellow diamonds can also make an attractive combination in an engagement ring.

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Emerald Engagement Rings

You’re a unique woman, and when it comes to choosing an engagement ring, you want something that will stand out in the sea of white diamonds, like an emerald engagement ring. While diamond solitaires are still the most popular types of engagement rings, today many couples are opting instead for emeralds.

What are Emeralds?
Emeralds are a type of beryl. Pure beryl is clear, but when vanadium or chromium is in the mineral, the result is the green beryl known as emerald. Green and clear are not the only shades of beryl, however. For example, the stone we know as aquamarine is actually blue beryl.

May Birthstone
Emerald is the primary birthstone for May, so it’s a bride born in May might want an emerald in her engagement ring. Likewise, a woman who loves the color green might feel an emerald is preferable to a diamond solitaire.

Types of Emerald Engagement Rings
Couples can opt for different types of emerald engagement rings, depending on how much they want to accentuate the emerald. The emerald can be the large main stone, the focal point of the ring. Alternatively, the main stone can be the traditional diamond solitaire while smaller emeralds and perhaps small diamonds are used as accent stones on either side of the diamond. Another option is for the emeralds to be on the wedding band, so when worn side-by-side with the diamond engagement ring it makes a stunning effect.

Emerald Flaws
Emeralds are prone to inclusions and cracks in the surface, so most emeralds on the jewelry market have undergone treatments to minimize the appearance of these flaws. Emeralds are frequently treated with resin and oil to fill in the cracks, and these substances are sometimes tinted to enhance the green shade of the emerald. While these treatments are common practice, make sure you are aware of any flaws and treatments applied before purchasing the emerald engagement ring.

Emerald Hardness
The Mohs scale is a tool to measure gemstone hardness. It rates gems from 1 to 10, with diamond being the hardest known gem at a 10. Emerald comes in on the high end of the scale at around 7.5 to 8. However, if the emerald has cracks, it may be more prone to damage.

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