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Tension-Set Engagement Rings: Yay or Nay?

Posted on January 17th, 2008 by Courtney in Wedding Rings 13 Comments

Tension Set Engagement RingEvery time my husband sees a tension-set engagement ring, he goes off on a tangent about how much he likes them and how that’s the kind of ring I should have gotten. Good thing I got to help pick it out.

Don’t get me wrong. I think tension-set rings are awesomely contemporary and very pretty, but there’s just something about the tension setting that makes me nervous. It just seems like tension couldn’t be enough to hold that valuable little rock in place forever.

So are my fears rational? Or am I just paranoid?

Apparently setting a diamond by tension alone is quite the craft; the jeweler has to be incredibly skilled, because if they set the stone with too much tension, it can crack, and if there’s not enough tension, that tiny little gem could be lost forever. Sort of a Catch-22, don’t you think?

Also, if you’re really into having a gold, white gold, silver, or platinum ring, you better be okay with a larger, heavier ring. Because these metals are softer, jewelers have to use more to create the required tension to get the contemporary setting style.

Anyway, those are the major cons for buying a tension set ring. Now that you know of the potential flaws though, it’s only fair to mention the benefits. Here they are (and in list format, no less!):

  • The tension setting has only been around for about 30 years, so they are the most modern style available.
  • Experienced jewelers and manufacturers must be licensed to engineer tension settings so if you go through a professional, you can probably feel secure with your ring.
  • If you go with titanium, not only can you count on having a less bulky ring, but it allows for a tensile strength of between 30,000 and 45,000 pounds per square inch—at least 100 times more than most gold, silver or platinum tension set rings!
  • Most manufacturers agree that if you have your ring inspected at least once a year, any problems with your tension setting will be detected before your diamond cracks or is lost.

Basically, if you like the tension setting, go for it! From what I found out, titanium seems to be becoming ever more popular, and you’ll want to make sure you invest in an inspection plan through your jeweler. Most stores offer this regardless of what type of ring you get, so just make sure to go ahead with it and cash in ever 6 months to a year!

Do you have any stories about your tension set diamond? Let us know what you know by commenting below!

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Give Back With The Allumonde Ring

Posted on January 14th, 2008 by Kori Ellis in Wedding Rings 1 Comment

A growing trend is for brides and grooms to give donations to their favorite charities and incorporate other ways to include causes close to their hearts during their wedding.

The Allumonde Ring is a sleek, designer ring that gives 21% of the proceeds from each ring to charity – 19% to the non-profit of the buyer’s choice and 2% to UNESCO. The ring would make a fabulous wedding band to symbolize a bride and groom’s love for each other and the charities close to them.

The Allumonde Ring

The rings are available in acrylic, stainless steal, titanium black, titanium gold, sterling silver and 18k gold, ranging from $35 to $2,500. These rings are sold exclusively online at www.design21sdn.com.

The Allumonde Ring, designed exclusively by industrial designer Richard Hutton, has become a symbol of DESIGN 21’s mission to make life better across the globe. The name Allumonde means “Light the world” and DESIGN 21 hopes the ring and its mission will do just that.

Nineteen percent of the proceeds from the ring go to the charity of the purchaser’s choice. Another 2% goes to UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to help fund DREAM CENTERS, establishments that provide arts education to children in conflict-ridden countries across the globe.

What a great opportunity to buy a fabulous ring and give to your favorite charity!

DESIGN 21: Social Design Network is an online community that connects socially conscious individuals with designers to address global injustices related to health, education, poverty, peace and the environment. DESIGN 21 believes that designers and artists see the world differently, and found in their personal expressions are exciting and innovative ways to support positive social environments. The online community is a place that allows like-minded people across the globe to share resources, inspire each other and use their talents to take action.

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Say ‘I Love You’ The Binary Way

Posted on January 2nd, 2008 by Courtney in Wedding Rings 2 Comments

Binary Wedding BandI don’t care what generation you grew up in, secret codes and hidden messages always were the coolest thing. Remember the first time you heard of invisible ink? Well get ready for another shocker: you can now inscribe a secret code…on your wedding band!

Ok, so maybe this greenKarat band looks like its best suited for men, but women could probably wear them too. At a pricey $950 to $1750, though, you might want to spring for one and then wait awhile.

Even though these rings are a little extravagant in price, their cool factors almost make the extra expense worth it. Inscribed on each ring is a special message (up to 20 characters) written in binary code! So not only do you get to let your sweetie know how much you care on the outside of the ring, it will be your own little secret (assuming all your friends aren’t computer geeks)!

Additionally, each ring is hand carved with the special message and is made from recycled gold or recycled platinum. It’s an expensive way to go green, but if you’re going to make the change, why not do it in style, right?

(Note: I would like to say that we reference ‘computer geeks’ in the best way possible. If you understand binary code without checking out the greenKarat website, then you are considered a computer geek and are thereby considered wicked awesome.)

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Unique Jewelry Designs by Ilan Wedding Jewelry

Posted on December 4th, 2007 by Kori Ellis in Wedding Attire, Wedding Rings, Wedding Vendors 1 Comment

Designs by IlanIf you are looking for an interesting one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry to wear at your wedding, check out Designs by Ilan.

Ilan Yampolsky is a self taught artist who came to America from Israel in 1999. When she arrived, everything she brought with her was stolen, plus the job she lined up for herself didn’t work out.

After sleeping on a friend’s couch for a while, she ended up finally getting a job where she met her husband-to-be Harris. And with his encouragement, Ilan began making and selling craft items, which eventually escalated to one-of-a-kind jewelry. Now Ilan, Harris and her mother-in-law work together to create a very unique line of jewelry.

Using a mixture of semi-precious stones, glass beads, Swarovski crystals, fused glass and other elements, Ilan creates wonderful earrings, bracelets and necklaces. You can view samples of her wedding jewelry at designsbyilan.com.

Each piece is handcrafted and unique. She can make a piece to order and design something special for you.

A necklace or pair of earrings from Designs by Ilan would make a great “something new” for your wedding day!

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Wedding Ring Saves Man’s Life

Posted on December 3rd, 2007 by Kori Ellis in Funny, News, Wedding Rings 2 Comments

Wedding BandI know some men don’t always like to wear their wedding bands. But a man in Jackson, Mississippi proved why they always should.

Donnie Register has a big reason to be thankful he’s married right now. His wedding band deflected a bullet during a robbery and possibly saved his life.

Two men walked into Register’s antique store and asked to see a coin collection. When Register went to get the collection, one of the men pulled out a gun and demanded money. During the robbery, shots were fired and Register raised his left hand.

The police say that his wedding band deflected the bullet, probably saving his life.

“The bullet managed to go through two of his fingers without severing the bone. A part of the bullet broke off and is in his middle finger. The other part is in his neck, lodged in the muscle tissue. But it’s not life-threatening,” said his wife, Darlene Register.

I bet next time Darlene tells her husband to wear his ring, he will!

Source: Associated Press

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Wedding Ring Tattoos

Posted on November 29th, 2007 by Kori Ellis in Celebrity Weddings, News, Wedding Rings 10 Comments

When Tony Parker and Eva Longoria were married in July, Tony decided to have their wedding date (in roman numerals) tattooed around his finger like a wedding band.

Tony Parker Tattooed Wedding Band

Though the couple did exchange wedding rings and wear them often, Tony figured since he has to take his band off while playing basketball for the San Antonio Spurs, that it would be a nice gesture to get the tattoo. This way, he’d never be without his ring … even when he was without his ring.

Eva followed suit and reportedly had her wrist tattooed with their wedding date as well. The Parkers aren’t the first celebrity couple to do this and certainly won’t be the last. Angelina and Brad exchanged tattoos as well.

But celebrities aren’t the only ones adding the permanent symbol to their ring fingers. Many doctors, mechanics and machine workers, who can’t wear their rings regularly at work, are also getting tattooed wedding bands.

What do you think about this trend? Is it an impressive statement of love and commitment? Or just a weird fad?

Personally, if my husband or I couldn’t wear our rings all the time for some reason, I think I’d consider it. How about you?

Leave your comments here and let us know.

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Protecting Your Diamond Engagement Ring

Posted on November 16th, 2007 by Courtney in Wedding Rings No Comments

Courtesy MarthaStewart.comDiamonds are resilient. They are gorgeous. And we all know they are the most valuable and strongest gemstone in the world. That’s why diamonds are traditionally used in engagement rings: they symbolize a love that will last forever. Awww.

But you’ll start to notice as time wears on that your engagement ring is NOT indestructible, and just like your love, you’ll need to take proper care to make sure it lasts forever. I know, I know. Just another thing to worry about, right? Well, you could worry, but taking care of that resilient rock isn’t as difficult as it may seem.

Now, I’m certainly not a diamond expert, but thanks to some professional advice from Diamond Helpers, I have a good idea of what I need to keep my diamonds sparkling forever. And lucky for you, I’m willing to share my newfound wisdom:

  • Protect your setting: Even though it’s easy to forget about your diamond, and wear it casually doing any activity, it’s best to use a little common sense. It’s not so much the diamond you need to worry about as the setting. If you are careful to not wear your ring during certain activities; like gardening, playing sports, or other rough activities, your setting will stay in good shape, and you won’t run the risk of looking down at your hand to find your precious gem missing.
  • Watch the Chemicals: There’s no way around it. You’re beautiful diamond is sure to get coated in different chemicals simply from day to day living. Household cleaners, hairspray, and even perspiration are impossible to avoid, and will eventually make your shiny ring dull, dull, dull. If you are sure to take your ring in for regular cleanings, you’re sure to keep your diamond brilliant and prismatic!
  • Trust the Professionals: While you are probably able to clean your ring pretty well without help (see recipe below), it’s definitely best to keep up with your ring’s regular maintenance. This doesn’t just mean you should bring your ring in to be cleaned by jewelers (which you should); it means you should probably bring your ring into the jeweler for a yearly, or biyearly, checkup. Professional jewelers will be able to find any flaws in your rings prongs, which could save you the heartache of losing your timeless gem.

See? Not so hard after all, but definitely a few habits you’ll want to get into even before you say “I do.”

Just as an added bonus to this fabulous advice, here’s an at-home recipe to clean your stunning diamond courtesy of that creative genius, Martha Stewart. (Well, I guess you can agree or disagree with that last statement, but her diamond cleaning recipe is good nonetheless.)

  • “Soak your ring in a mixture of 1/2 cold water and 1/2 household ammonia for 30 minutes. Drain on a paper towel, and voila! Your diamond is as good as new.”
    (Source: MarthaStewart.com)

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Mens Wedding Rings – Gold, Titanium, Platinum, oh my!

Posted on November 5th, 2007 by Courtney in Wedding Rings 7 Comments

Mens Wedding RingWhen I went ring shopping with my then-fiancé, I had no idea what I was looking for in an engagement ring, let alone the band! Just think about all the different shapes of diamond you can choose, and then all you’ve decided on is the cut! What about clarity, carat, color, and cost?

I kept thinking how easy my husband-to-be had it: how hard could it be to pick between a band that was gold and one that was silver?

As it turns out though, guys have a lot of things to consider when it comes to picking out that little metal circle forever to be worn on their ring finger. Not only do they have to find a ring style they like, but they also have to consider the weight and comfort of their new ring. Let’s face it: guys aren’t typically as careful with jewelry as girls are.

So where should you begin? Your best bet is to think about what metal you want your ring to be made from. Men’s choices may seem limited, but there’s actually a huge difference in the four men’s wedding band metals:

Gold: Gold is actually the most common choice for men’s wedding bands, partially because there are so many particulars that can make a gold band unique. Grooms can choose between white, yellow, and rose gold, but even bronze, peach, red and lime gold are sometimes available, though much less common.

Also, carat weight plays a role in different gold rings: your options are 9ct. 14ct. or 18ct. regardless of the ring’s color. In general, gold rings are the heaviest of all metal options, and they can also be relatively expensive, especially if you choose to go with 18ct. over 9 or 14ct.

One particular benefit of selecting a gold ring is that you’ll probably be able to resize it if you need to. This is one thing that might be impossibility if you go with a different metal option.

Titanium: Titanium rings are also extremely popular, mostly because they are light, stylish, and less expensive than any other metal option. You can usually find titanium rings for around a hundred dollars, though you’re not sacrificing any quality.

In fact, titanium rings are much stronger than other metals: they are more dent, bend, and scratch resistant than gold, silver, or platinum. On the downside, being such a strong metal means you won’t be able to resize it. Ever. So make sure you have the size exactly right before putting in an order!

Platinum: When someone says their ring is platinum, two things come to mind: quality and price. Platinum is definitely the highest quality metal you can choose, but along with that high quality comes a high price: it will cost about twice the price of a similar-styled gold band.

Platinum bands will certainly make a statement, though, as they well should. Platinum metal is produced in almost its pure form—about 95%, and has a very white appearance so it doesn’t need to be plated like white gold does. However, the high percentage of purity has a catch: it makes a platinum band considerably heavier than both gold and titanium bands.

Tungsten: Tungsten is the newest addition to the metal choices, so a lot of grooms don’t even realize they have this fourth option. It isn’t a very precious metal, but the cost is in the same range as other metals because of the work it takes to make a tungsten ring.

Tungsten is very durable and won’t wear nearly as fast as a gold ring would, but it is also more difficult to design because it is so hard. Typically, your groom will end up with a very strong, scratch-resistant, but simpler ring if he chooses tungsten for his wedding band.

Other things to consider are if your husband-to-be would prefer a two-tone ring, and what finish he would like. Metals can be brushed to have a more dull or matte finish, which adds just a little bit of style.

Also, does he want one or more diamonds on his ring? Some men think of gemstones in their wedding band as too feminine, but others really like the added flair. If you’re trying to surprise your fiancé by giving his wedding band on the big day, make sure you know which attitude he’ll take before committing to a stone.

A lot (okay, okay: almost all) of the wedding plans will probably end up falling on the bride in the end. The groom’s wedding band, however, is one detail he’ll want to have at least some say in though. So if he can’t seem to make up his mind on anything, make sure you give him a break on the his wedding band. With all the options out there for something that he’ll be wearing forever, it’s no wonder the choice is a hard one! He’ll make the right choice eventually: after all, he did choose you for his bride, right?

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History Of The Engagement Ring

Posted on November 3rd, 2007 by Amber in Wedding Rings 2 Comments

You’d never stoop to this, but we’ve all met someone who would – a coworker who lectures her date on the five C’s (color, cut, carat, clarity, and…cost). A distant cousin who refuses to marry her boyfriend unless he coughs up a $25,000 ring. Before the advent of the ever-magnanimous DeBeers Corporation, blushing brides weren’t glued to the idea of a ring that could equal someone’s annual salary.

Truly’s Eric & Melissa, Engaged In 2005If your prospective fiancé chased lions through the Coliseum in sandals and a toga on Friday nights, your engagement ring was an iron hoop. If you were a hearty lass in 18th century Scotland, the advent of your marriage might have yielded you a bedraggled sheep. Sure, if you were Mary of Burgundy and the date on your newspaper reads 1477, you would have gotten the first diamond engagement ring in recorded history. But jewels used to require a royal pedigree. And everyone knows the closest your cousin ever got to royal was smooching a picture of Prince Harry torn from People magazine. For all their legendary luster, diamond engagement rings didn’t really hit circulation until the reign of Queen Victoria, when England’s Industrial Revolution offered common folk more disposable income. And, with it, the irrepressible urge to shop.

Your relationship can be strengthened if you and your fiancé make the decision of where that money goes together. Which becomes easier when you know that real commitment sealed with a Cracker Jacks ring is worth more than any rock – and especially if the money you didn’t spend on a stone gets you the down payment on a house. And if you can afford both house and diamond, pat yourself on the back and head for DeBeers.

Either way, be glad you didn’t get the sheep.

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