» Buying Bridal Jewelry: Men’s Buyer’s Guide

Buying Bridal Jewelry: Men’s Buyer’s Guide

Carl Blackburn wedding ring featured on the cover. Carl Blackburn’s wedding ring featured on the cover.

• When buying bridal rings it’s customary to first buy the diamond engagement ring, then purchase the wedding bands with your fiancé.

• On average, wedding bands are bought three months before the wedding day and are fashioned both from the same metal.

• An engagement ring can be bought and fitted to your fiancé’s finger after purchase.

• Avoid buying rings when tiny holes can be seen on the surface of the metal.

• Round diamonds are the most popular shape worn by brides-to-be.

• The precious gemstones in engagement rings usually account for 75-90% of the overall cost of the jewelry.

• The five most common settings for precious gems are: prong, bezel, channel, pavé, and invisible.

• Diamonds are graded by four characteristics: Carat, Cut, Clarity, and Color.

• Like diamonds, other gemstones are also evaluated by color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.

• Gemstones are priced and sold by weight, calculated in carats, which are 1/5 of a gram.

• When buying a diamond be sure the color and clarity are of the same quality.

• Round brilliant diamonds usually contain 58 facets.

• Look for gemstones that have no dark areas but an even brilliance throughout.

• If a gemstone has been treated to enhance color or cover flaws, it should cost less than a “natural” stone.

• The Moh’s Scale is used to measure a gemstone’s hardness. A diamond is 10. Sapphires and rubies are 9. Topaz is 8.

• Choose diamonds in the SI range rather than flawless to save money. The SI flaws (inclusions) are not visible to the naked eye.

• Choose a bezel setting for your diamond to make it appear larger.

• Consider the size and shape of a lady’s hand when buying her a ring.

• All rings should be stamped with a Hallmark (PT, 18K, etc.) indicating the purity of the metal used.

• Examine where the ring has been soldered/welded. Make sure the seams are smooth.

• Platinum, Gold, and Silver are the three precious metals, platinum being the most expensive, the most rare, and the most enduring.

• Check that the polishing or texture finish is consistent and has been carefully applied everywhere on your ring.

• Fine finishing and polishing should be seen throughout the entire piece of jewelry.

• 24 karat gold is pure gold and usually too soft for jewelry making.

• 18 karat means 18 parts pure gold and six parts alloy metals.

• Though beautiful when set in 18K yellow or white gold, diamonds are best complimented and protected by platinum, the world’s most enduring precious metal.

• Harder than yellow gold, white gold is commonly alloyed with the precious metal palladium, which increases its value.

• White gold is often rhodium plated to increase its white luster.

• A cost cutting alternative to platinum is 18k white gold.

• Pink gold is alloyed with copper and has a fancy rose to reddish hue.

• Vintage designs are often chosen for their enduring style and sophistication.

• Consider how and when the jewelry will be worn when selecting the piece.

• Natural pearls are exceedingly rare, irregular in shape, and the most expensive kind of pearl you can buy.

• Virtually all “real” pearls found in jewelry stores are cultured pearls.

• A cultured pearl will feel rough when rubbed against the teeth, an imitation pearl smooth.

• Basically, the most expensive cultured pearls are South Sea, followed by Tahitian, Akoya, and freshwater.

• Purchase jewelry from only a professionally accredited jeweler.

• If purchasing your jewelry online be sure that the company uses an insured carrier.

• Insure diamond jewelry against theft, loss, and damage.

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