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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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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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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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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