Monday, January 14, 2008

Diamonds in the Buff

Rings have long been associated as symbols of love. Engagement rings, wedding rings, eternity rings, and friendship rings all represent a declaration of some form of affection between two people. Even buying a ring for yourself, to wear everyday or on special occasions only, is a self-affirming gift, demonstrating your right to spoil yourself.

Choosing jewellery is a deeply personal decision. This is especially true for rings. You know what metal you like, what your taste in stones is, and what type of setting you prefer. Even when we make our own choices regarding the rings that we want, we sometimes need some help and guidance from experts to ensure that we've made a wise decision.

Most jewellery shops have expert consultants who are able to provide you with valuable advice regarding the cut, colour, clarity and size of your stone, particularly if it's a diamond. If you're designing your own ring, they are able to help you choose a stone that suits the design that you want. They even make sure that the design suits the shape of your hand. Another important point that they help you with is showing you how the colour of your stone will affect your choice of metal.

In order to get an idea of the different ring styles available, or to see what the current trends are, especially regarding engagement and wedding rings, it's a good idea to do some online research. There are dozens of sites dedicated to rings. They provide information on anything from sizing a ring to choosing a professional jeweller who will design a ring to suit your personality.

Currently trendy on the jewellery market are titanium rings. They are far less expensive than rings made of other metals such as gold and platinum. The diminished costs don't, however, affect the beauty of rings made with titanium, which makes them ideal for those with budget restrictions. Being an alloy, it's a durable metal that lasts longer than gold. The rings are relatively scratch proof and can withstand conditions of extreme heat, cold and pressure.

Rings made of titanium are proving to be particularly popular with men who choose them as wedding rings. Black titanium has a sensual masculinity about it, and also points to the individuality of the man wearing it. Other benefits of titanium include it being smooth so that it doesn't irritate the skin, as well as the fact that it's hypoallergenic and safe to wear for those who are allergic to gold.

Another good reason to investigate your options online with your spouse-to-be is to get an idea of prices, and what you can expect for your budget. It's very important to settle on a budget and decide to stick to it no matter what before you start looking at rings. This is because once you start visiting sites you'll want nearly everything you see. You may decide to go slightly over budget for one that you and your fiancé both fancy.

From there it's easy to keep going that extra bit over budget as you see more and more rings that you both like. Eventually you risk deciding that because the rings are for life you might as well go large and go for something that exceeds your original budget by three or four times.

Some online investigating will reveal that you can get beautiful rings for very reasonable prices. It's also a good idea to include your budget range in your search phrase so that you won't be tempted by anything more extravagant. Research for this article turned up some lovely rings for as low as $89. On the opposite end of the scale some rings exceeded $10,000 and not all of them were easy on the eyes.

Wedding rings are given to represent a life-long love, but that doesn't mean you have to spend the rest of your life paying for them in monthly installments. Provided the rings are given with sincerity and the love behind them is known to be beyond doubt, their cost is a secondary consideration. After all, true love is priceless.

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