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Your Guide to the Ring-Buying Process Wedding bands and engagement rings are important investments. When searching for bands, you have two primary considerations: Choosing high-quality, long-lasting jewelry from day one helps couples have pride in their rings and avoid the hassle of buying new ones down the road. Material Gemstone First, you need the foundation. Which material is right for you? Traditional metals Platinum o One of the most expensive options () o Approximately 30 times rarer than gold ( o Created as a byproduct from mining nickel and copper (5) o Can be used in rings at almost 100% purity (3) o Heavier and denser than other metals (3) Gold o One of the most common and popular metals () o The larger the karat, the higher the percentage of pure gold in the ring, and the more expensive it will be () o However, the higher the karat, the softer the gold ) o The most common colors are yellow, white, and rose. ) o Rhodium plating on white gold can cause issues for sensitive skin. (4) o Rose gold contains copper, which can also cause issues for sensitive skin, (4) Cobalt Titanium o Bright white (1) o The strongest naturally occurring metal on earth () o Strong and durable () o Resistant to scratches 1) o One of the most scratch- resistant metals available (4) o Light (3) o Hypoallergenic o 100% hypoallergenic ) o Can't be resized or soldered (3) Tungsten o One of the strongest metals (1) o Stands up to any degree of wear and tear and stays looking new ) o Cannot be cut, resoldered, or resized () Unique options Meteorite Palladium o Literally from outer space o Member of the platinum family (1) o The meteorite crystal patterns make it one of the most unique metals in the world. (1) o Naturally white (1) o Durable, lightweight, resilient to discoloration (3) o Typically used as a decorative inlay (5) o Usually at least 95% pure () o Consists of a number of different materials, including nickel and iron (5) o One of the most expensive options () Ceramic Stainless Damascus steel o Derived from ancient sword- making practices (1) o Can be infused with color (1) o Has distinctive patterns resembling flowing water () o Often a statement piece (1) Wood o Reclaimed materials, such as metals and wood from decommissioned planes and aircraft carriers (2) o Mixed materials (2) Now it's time to decide on the gemstones. Diamonds are most popular. These stones are graded by (in order of importance): Cut A common misconception is that a diamond's cut and shape are synonymous. (6) The diamond's shape doesn't affect quality, while how the diamond is cut does. (Summarized from source.) Common shapes for gemstones: 6) Round Princess Emerald Cushion Asscher Pear Oval Heart Radiant Marquise Baguette Trillion Color o The overall value of a diamond rests, in part, on the absence of color. 7) o The color grade of a diamond should always be determined by a grading professional. ) o The grade and value of diamonds differs between colored and o The setting of the ring can play a role in the perception and view of the diamond's color. colorless diamonds. Clarity o The fewer inclusions and blemishes the diamond has, the better the clarity grade. ®) Diamond clarity is a qualitative metric that grades the visual appearance of each diamond. () o While the clarity can significantly impact a diamond's value, imperfections typically can't be recognized by the naked or unaided eye. ® Carat A modern diamond carat is precisely 200 milligrams. This weight was decided In 1907 at the Fourth General Conference on Weights and Measures. 0.25 ct 0.5 ct 0.75 ct 1.0 ct 1.25 ct 1.5 ct 1.75 ct 4.0mm 5.1mm 5.8mm 6.4mm 6.9mm 7.3mm 7.7mm 2.0 ct 2.5 ct 3.0 ct 3.5 ct 4.0 ct 4.5 ct 5.0 ct 8.1mm 8.9mm 9.3mm 9.75mm 10.1mm 10.63mm 11.01mm 三 Only buy diamonds that have a certificate to verify their quality. (10) You can choose to buy a more unique, naturally colored diamond, called a fancy diamond. (11) Colors include: Canary yellow Pink Orange Red Purple Green Blue Black Argyle (from a specific Chameleon (the diamond has an olive tone for its base color, but has multiple hues throughout) mine in Western Australia) Diamonds are priced based on a number of factors, which means a small, high-quality diamond will cost more than a low-quality diamond that's larger. (12) o Diamonds are a retail product driven more by emotion than reason. (12) o A 0.99 carat diamond is worth only about 1% more than a similar diamond weighing 0.98 carats. (12) 1.00 ct 0.99 ct o However, a 1.00 carat diamond will potentially be worth about 20% more than a similar 0.99 0.98 ct carat diamond. This is because the 0.01 carat loss is likely due to a cutting error. (12) Other gemstones can also be used in your wedding jewelry. Jewelers recommend gems that are hard enough that they don't scratch or become damaged, such as: (14) Rubies Sapphires Aquamarines Here are a few tips for investing in the right rings the first time. Start ring shopping early so you can be sure you're 100% satisfied with the design and process. (15) Choose a reputable jeweler. (15) O O O O Try on different ring settings, and be aware of your betrothed's lifestyle in order to get a ring they can truly wear every day. (15) If you buy an engagement ring, consider buying your wedding bands from the same place to make things easier. (15) Men's high-end rings can run from $800-$5,500. (16) Women's high-end rings can run the gamut when it comes to prices. The average cost of a woman's engagement ring hit an all-time high in 2016, and the upward trend continues. (17) Around the start of World War II, diamond marketers created a "guideline" for buying engagement rings: the "two-months' salary" rule. (17) In reality, when purchasing an engagement ring, couples should focus on: (17) Their financial situation Their partner's expectations The meaningfulness of the ring To pay for your engagement and wedding rings, you have a few options: Cash (18) Jewelry store financing (18) Credit card (18) $ 2$ If you're able to pay it off in time not to start incurring high interest charges Keep an eye out for strict penalties for missing a payment or if you don't pay off the ring before a much higher APR kicks in. %) Personal loans (18) o If a 0% APR financing offer isn't available from your jeweler, a personal loan is likely a better option than using a credit card. o Borrowers with good credit can get a competitive APR that will beat most credit card offers. Congratulations! You've met the love of your life, and you're ready to showcase your love with beautiful rings. Use the information above to choose the right ring material and gemstone. With planning, your rings will last as long as your love. Sources: 1. 11. wedding-ring-metals/ 12. 2. 13. classic-wedding-band/ -diamonds/ 3. 14. ring-guide/ring-metals-guide.htm rings-2043182 4. 15. 5. out/custom-engagement-rings 6. 16. 7. bands-your-groom-wont-want-to-take-off#15 8. 17. 9. on-engagement-ring 10. 18. certification/ engagement-ring Discover Personal Loans DISCOVER o Borrow up to $35,000 o $0 processing fees o No collateral PERSONAL LOANS o oNo o

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To learn more about gemstones, ring materials, and choosing the right ring for your betrothed, check out our infographic.






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