What is my Fiancee’s Ring Size?

Posted by admin on September 09, 2008
Essential Tips! / Comments Off

The first question you should ask yourself is whether you want to know her exact size before you buy her ring or if getting the ring resized afterwards is not a problem. Some people don’t want to risk spoiling the surprise!

Most jewelers can easily resize the ring for you after you afterwards. Most good online retailers also offer the same service. So, what are the tips to get at least a good approximation?

  • Get one of her rings while she is not looking and bring it to your jeweler. He will tell you in an instant what size her finger is. Keep in mind that not all her fingers are similar. They are not of the same size, so you should aim for a ring slightly oversized as opposed to buying a ring that’s too small. Think about it, when you give her the ring, it wouldn’t be great if you can’t even put it on her finger. Besides, it’s easier for a jeweler to reduce the size of a ring than the opposite.
  • You can use a string and put it around her finger while she is sleeping! Then calculate the circumference of her finger. Remember to calculate around her knuckle. Here’s a nice table that’ll tell you exactly what her finger size is based on the circumference of her finger.
Blue nile also offers an excellent guide on how to find your (or her) ring size: Blue nile’s Ring Size Guide
Ring Size Circumference (in mm) Diameter (in mm)
5 53 mm 17 mm
6 55 mm 17.5 mm
7 57 mm 18 mm
8 60 mm 19 mm
9 63 mm 20 mm
10 66 mm 21 mm

  • Another suggestion is to have one of her friends make her try some of their rings and then report back to you with the correct size of her finger! Of course, you have to ask her friends to be careful when they ask her to avoid arousing her suspicion.

It is generally a good idea to put efforts in finding out what her perfect ring size is before you buy her a ring. That will show how dedicated you are and how special she is. Finally, remember that not ALL women are alike. Our Diamond Buying Guide might be useful, but remember that some of women might prefer to choose their own ring. You should try to find out in a subtle way weeks ahead. After all, she is going to wear it for the rest of her life so it’s much better if she really adores it!

How GIA Grades Diamonds?

Posted by admin on September 08, 2008
Diamond Videos / Comments Off

I found this interesting video made by the GIA itself. It explains how they grade diamonds. That is a very nice visual explanation of the diamond 4 C’s and other diamond related information. For more information, read about the GIA Certification and Certified Diamonds

Must see video!

How Hard Are Diamonds?

Posted by admin on September 08, 2008
Diamond Videos / Comments Off

I recently came across this excellent video made by the famous “Will it blend” crew.

They basically put a loose diamond in a blender, added some water, then they started the blender. Of course, the whole diamond got crushed within seconds… Most people think that diamonds can’t be crushed because they have the hardest surface. In fact, diamonds have the strongest resistance to scratches, but they can easily be chipped…

For addition information, you can read about diamonds and what they are made of.

How to Recognize Fake Diamonds in 6 steps.

Posted by admin on September 08, 2008
Diamond Videos / Comments Off

This is clearly the best video that explains exactly HOW to identify and recognize fake diamonds in 6 simple steps. The video presents a series of tests which you can do at home, and also tests which you SHOULDN’T do at home. Watch the video to know which ones are safe:

  1. The Scratch Test
  2. The Fog Test
  3. The Transparency Test
  4. The Inclusion Test
  5. The Black light Test
  6. Detecting Treated Diamonds (clarity-enhanced diamonds, commonly known as fracture-filled diamonds)

I think this video complements our Diamond Buying Guide pretty well!

Platinum Rings

Posted by admin on October 17, 2007
Platinum / Comments Off

What is Platinum

Platinum is a silvery-white luminescent metal thirty-five times rarer than gold. Because of this scarcity, platinum is far more expensive than gold – usually about twice the cost. Most platinum is mined in Russia and South Africa, whereas gold is found in more locations, including the United States, Australia, and Brazil. Platinum wedding rings and engagement rings are rapidly becoming more popular than the traditional gold bands for many reasons. Platinum is distinctive, durable, and sophisticated, and a wide range of different wedding ring styles are available for both men and women.


How to Read Platinum Markings

Most jewelry-grade platinum is 95 percent pure, meaning that platinum makes up 950 out of 1000 parts of the metal. The markings on 95 percent pure platinum are likely to appear as: 950Plat, Pt950, or 950Pt. It is not recommended to choose any purity below 90% for jewelry settings because alloys may change the color of the platinum or lower its durability.

Benefits of Platinum Rings

When gold rings have been traditional for generations, why choose platinum? Platinum is far more rare than gold, and is principally mined in Russia and South Africa, whereas high-quality gold is found in many more locations. This rarity makes platinum an alluring choice for rings that symbolize the rare relationship between two people deeply in love. Many couples prefer distinctive rings, and platinum is the leading choice.

Durability of Platinum Rings

In addition to its exclusivity, platinum is more durable than gold (yellow or white) or other traditional metals, making it a wise choice for anyone involved with active activities. Couples should note that platinum can still scratch, however, and to care for platinum wedding rings properly, they should be removed when there might be a chance to scratch or damage the metal, such as when doing household chores, sporting activities, or yard work. On the other hand, because of the metal’s resistance to tarnish, it is ideal for men’s wedding rings or for anyone who wants a superior looking ring without excessive maintenance.

Versatility of Platinum Rings

Because of platinum’s silvery-white luster, it is the ideal choice to match anyone’s personality as well as their wardrobe. The sleek metal is a stunning compliment to other jewelry pieces, including a wide variety of engagement ring designs, watches, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. At the same time, because the metal itself is so neutral in color, it is beautiful with any type of gemstone, from traditional diamonds to fancy colored diamonds to semi-precious gemstones of any hue. This gives the couple great flexibility in designing unique platinum wedding bands with just the right accents to suit their personalities and relationship.

Platinum vs. White Gold

While platinum and white gold are similar in color, platinum has higher purity, weight, durability, and rarity than its white gold counterpart. Platinum engagement rings offer more resistance to scratches and are thought to be more luminescent due to the metal’s purity.

Platinum Ring Cost

Because of the metal’s rarity and exclusivity, platinum wedding rings may cost twice as much as similar gold rings. To temper that cost, couples may consider choosing simple wedding bands rather than elaborate designs, or using semi-precious gems instead of diamonds as focal points.

Caring for Platinum Engagement Rings

Platinum is very durable and scratch resistant but should be removed during heavy work or when using harsh chemicals. Platinum engagement rings should be cleaned with a gentle bristle brush and a mild solution of soap and warm water. Your jeweler can buff platinum jewelry to help it retain its natural luster. When not being worn, platinum should be stored in a fabric-lined container away from other jewelry that may cause scratches.

Rose Gold Rings

Posted by admin on October 17, 2007
Rose Gold / Comments Off

What is Rose Gold?

Pure gold is too soft to be effectively made into jewelry, and all engagement rings and other gold pieces are alloys. The typical metals blended with pure gold to add strength and durability are palladium, nickel, silver, and copper. The proportions of those metals lead to the exact shade of the gold, and rose gold engagement rings have a greater amount of copper in the metal alloy. Because copper’s natural color is a rich burnished red, diluting it with the gold and silver in the alloy results in a pink tinge.

The typical blend of gold to copper that gives the final metal a pink hue is three parts gold to one part copper, or 75 percent gold and 25 percent copper. The precise proportions vary, however, and some manufacturers prefer to add trace amounts of silver or other metals to further adjust the tint. The higher the percentage of copper, the darker the red coloration, and rose gold can actually be found in many different hues.

The karat value of the gold also affects its pink shade. A higher karat value such as 18k pink gold will be lighter than 10k alloys because there is more yellow gold in the mix, effectively diminishing the effect of the copper tinting.

Metal Cost

Rose gold is similar in price to the more traditional and far more common yellow gold, and in fact, copper is less expensive than silver, making a rose alloy cheaper than other combinations. At the same time, however, the very rarity of rose gold engagement rings makes them more costly, particularly since couples may need to custom order a ring or seek out an independent jeweler in order to find a rose gold piece they are interested in.

Caring for Rose Gold Rings

Copper is a hardy metal, and when combined with gold for a rose alloy, the ring requires the same care as any gold jewelry – removing it when using harsh chemicals, keeping it clean, and avoiding dangerous situations that could scratch or warp the metal. One additional consideration for rose gold, however, is that if an individual is allergic to copper, their finger may swell or discolor because of the copper in the alloy.

Rose gold rings are gradually becoming more popular as couples look for alternatives to common metals without sacrificing the tradition of a gold ring. The addition of copper in the ring’s alloy gives it a stunning pink hue the perfectly matches the romantic symbolism of the ring as well as highlighting the distinction and elegance of the woman wearing it.

White Gold Rings

Posted by admin on October 17, 2007
White Gold / Comments Off

What is White Gold ?

White gold is an alloy made by adding metals such as nickel, palladium, and silver to pure gold. White gold may also be plated with rhodium to achieve a pale luminescence. The rhodium coating, however, eventually wears away and must be replaced every one to five years to maintain a brilliant white color. This process typically costs under $50 depending on the style and intricacy of the ring.

Due to a ban of platinum use for non-military manufacturing during World War II, white gold engagement rings increased in popularity. Prior to that time, platinum had been the more popular choice for rings in the United States.

Reading the Markings on White Gold

Like yellow gold, white gold is measured in karats. Popular markings are 18K, 14K, and 9K, and the quality stamp is found inside the ring band. Eighteen-karat white gold is mix of 75% pure gold and 25% white metal, usually palladium or nickel. Nine-karat white gold is a mixture of three parts gold to five parts silver or another alloy metal.

Pros of White Gold Engagement Rings

While white gold is not as durable or strong as platinum, it still has several advantages.

Expense

The first consideration is its lower price, allowing couples to invest more of their money in better quality diamonds, other gemstones, or more elaborate ring styles rather than the base metal that forms the band. A white gold wedding band can cost as little as one-fourth the price of a platinum ring or other more expensive metal. Couples should not forget the necessity of periodically refinishing the ring, however, when calculating the ring’s cost.

Durability of White Gold Rings

White gold is also lighter in weight than platinum and is stronger and more durable than most pure or yellow gold. White gold is also more scratch resistant, allowing the ring to maintain a flawless appearance under more strenuous activities.

Appearance of White Gold Rings

For many women, white gold is a more versatile metal than yellow gold. It can be worn with nearly any other piece of jewelry without causing a fashion faux pas, and its simplistic elegance matches any outfit flawlessly. Furthermore, white gold more easily highlights the brilliance of diamonds, whereas yellow gold may create the illusion of a yellowish tint on some styles.

Cons of White Gold Engagement Rings

No type of metal is perfect, and white gold does have potential problems that couples must consider when selecting white gold rings.

Allergies

Buyers of white gold rings should be aware of the potential allergy posed by nickel, a metal commonly alloyed with white gold. It is estimated that at least 20% of the population is allergic to nickel, and symptoms include swelling, discoloration, and itching where skin contacts the metal. If nickel allergies are a concern, palladium white gold is a good but slightly more expensive alternative.

Chemical Sensitivity of White Gold Rings

No grade of gold, including white gold, should be worn in hot tubs or swimming pools because of its sensitivity to chlorine – it may cause pitting, discoloration, or dissolution of the metal. White gold jewelry should also be removed when using any harsh household cleaner or bleach.

Mistaken Identity

One detriment to white gold that many couples do not immediately consider is the fact that many people will not recognize it for the quality metal that it is. Instead, casual observers may assume a white gold engagement ring is actually silver or sterling silver.

Yellow Gold Rings

Posted by admin on October 17, 2007
Yellow Gold / Comments Off

Gold engagement rings are one of the most popular choices and classic choices. Gold is malleable, durable, hypoallergenic, tarnish-resistant, and rare enough to be precious.

In jewelry, gold is often alloyed or melted with other metals such as copper, silver, zinc, and nickel to give the metal added strength. This combination creates the different karat measurements such as 18-karat gold and 14-karat gold. 24-karat gold is gold in its purest form. (In the U.S. “karat” is the unit of gold purity while “ carat” is the unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones – internationally, the term “ carat” may be used for both.) Alloys change the color and hardness of gold and also to make it more affordable. The imprint of 24K (karat), 18K, and 14K is also called its quality mark. Look for this imprint on the inside of a ring band.

18K gold is considered the industry standard for high quality jewelry, although 22K is popular in India and Southeast Asia for its deep yellow color. Higher karat alloys are softer and more flexible, and thus more often found in very intricate pieces of jewelry. At the same time, softer metals may not be suitable for pieces meant to be worn every day, such as many gold engagement rings.

14K vs. 18K Gold

14K gold is 58 percent gold whereas 18K is 75 percent gold. 18K gold is more valuable and tends to have a deeper color, however 14K gold may be stronger and more durable. 14K gold has a higher potential for tarnishing and may cause allergic reactions in some people due to the other metals it is alloyed with. In the United States, you will find a larger selection of 14K jewelry for gold engagement rings, earrings, necklaces, and other pieces.

Different karat levels of gold are often used in the mokume gane technique, a type of metalcraft that creates patterned alloys for richly textured rings. Gold may also be combined with other metals for different colors or contrasts for these unique rings.

Gold Setting Strength

When choosing a setting for a diamond ring, strength is the most important factor. Frequently, platinum, titanium, or other metal settings are used on gold engagement rings due to their greater strength and density. The setting is the actual prong or support structure used to secure the stones and must be able to withstand potential accidents or damage that could loosen the gems.

Caring for Gold Engagement Rings

Gold can be cleaned in a mild solution of soap and water or with special jewelry cleansers as well as alcohol and ammonia. Ammonia is especially good for brightening yellow gold. However, ammonia should never be used on jewelry with fracture-filled diamonds as it may cause them to become cloudy or discolored. Other diamond flaws and inclusions may also be affected by strong chemicals.

Chlorine should be avoided at all costs, as it may cause gold to dissolve or become pitted. Remove gold jewelry before swimming or entering a hot tub, or when using harsh cleansers that may contain chlorine. Cleaning brushes should be used cautiously because they may cause scratching, particularly on higher karat-value pieces.

When storing a gold ring, the best option is to place the ring in a cloth box or bag away from other jewelry. This prevents the gold from becoming scratched by other gems, and it prevents the diamond from harming other items as well.

Gold rings are popular, traditional, and timeless. Whether you choose a high or low-karat value, a traditional solitaire or an intricate design, a simple setting or a unique structure, the yellow sheen of gold is instantly recognizable and will always remain a symbol of your enduring relationship.

Precious Metals for Engagement Rings

Posted by admin on October 12, 2007
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A metal is termed “precious” because it is rarer than commonplace metals and alloys such as steel, tin, or aluminum. There are several different precious metals frequently used in rings, including:

Some rings are even combinations of different metals, such as multi-tone rings or specialized mokume gane rings. Each type of metal has its own unique properties, including different levels of strength, durability, resiliency, and tension. By choosing a metal that not only has the most desirable properties but one that is also beautiful, couples protect both the style and construction of the engagement ring.

Choosing a Metal For an Engagement Ring

Each metal offers different characteristics for engagement rings. When choosing a precious metal especially for the engagement ring, couples should consider many factors, such as:

  • Will this metal be secure enough for the stone and setting? Many rings opt for platinum for the actual setting because of its greater strength, but the band should also be strong enough to withstand any daily stresses. The security of the setting also dictates the type of metal.
  • Will the metal discolor the diamond or gemstone? Yellow or rose gold may impart a subtle hue to the stone, particularly if it is not impeccably colored to begin with. At the same time, white metals such as platinum or silver may help brighten a stone with a lower quality color.
  • Is the metal within our budget? Uncommon gold colors such as rose gold or rarer metals such as tungsten are more expensive than easier to acquire yellow gold.
  • Is the karat value suitable for our preferences and budget? Lower karat metals actually have less of the precious metal in them, though they do make the metal stronger. Most gold engagement rings are 14 or 18 karat gold, and higher values are generally more expensive as well as less durable.

Regardless of which precious metal a couple chooses, it will set the stage for the gems of the engagement ring. By choosing a distinctive metal with suitable properties to highlight and secure the gems, the couple ensures that their ring will be both enduring and beautiful.